Day 5 of My Organizing Challenge — The Garage

IMG_2467  A recap of my mission on this organizing challenge: As you can imagine, my house is pretty organized. There is a place for everything and everything fits somewhere. And I keep on top of the maintenance and regularly reevaluate and purge what no longer fits into my life. But a few months ago, I really started thinking about what I own and I decided I’m ready for change in my life, ready for something new and I’m done with so much of what I have. I’m done thinking about how it used to fit into my life or that maybe it will again someday. So as a challenge to myself, I decided to do this work and document it for you so you could see how even an organizer struggles with the same things you do!

We all have things in our garage that are just sitting there, waiting and waiting to be used again, or at all in some cases.  A garage is also a place that seems to get organized and it stays that way for a little while and then slowly, it starts to get more cluttered, little by little.  Even I think, “I’ll keep this box for awhile in case I need to ship something soon.”  Or the most common,  “I’ll put that away later.”

Admittedly, my garage doesn’t get all that bad, because I do tend to stay on top of it.  It’s small, I park my car in there and so the clutter gets on my nerves.  But not only did this time did I recycle shipping boxes and straighten, I purged the cabinets…again!  There were things that I was keeping that I just haven’t been using and can’t see myself using soon.  Of course, I forgot to take before photos and the only one I snapped were the two bins above, that were filled, on their way do be donated to an art collective.  What I parted with:

  • The steamer I bought to make sure my sofa slipcovers and drapes were more easily wrinkle-free.  I never use it.  Turns out, I’m fond of a few wrinkles…or too lazy.  And when something needs it, I iron or have it drycleaned.
  • I have chains for my tires in case I ever drive to the snow.  I haven’t driven my car to the mountains in all the 15 1/2 years I’ve had it!  But that just in case, and good to be prepared way of thinking had me keeping them.
  • I do have some overflow kitchen items that I don’t use often, which make sense in the garage.  But I also had some things out there that didn’t fit well.  Since I purged and rearranged my kitchen, I was able to move my grill pan and cast iron skillet back inside.  So much more convenient.

The bigger/harder things for me were the craft supplies and holiday/party decor items.  Clearly these items aren’t used often and most can be used over and over.  But the fact is, I hadn’t used any of them in years!!!!  And again, I think my entertaining style and hobbies have changed.

  • Yes, I kept the glue gun and some basic paint brushes, but I tossed or donated all the acrylic paint.  The glitter had to go.  I still love me some sparkle, but I’m not even sure how I would use glitter at this point in my life.  I really don’t craft anymore.  In fact, I didn’t ever do it all that frequently.  But I did occasionally and I do realize that none of us want to buy all the supplies again.  But if I hadn’t thought about using it, then what was I doing with it?
  • I had a bin of decorations or craft supplies that I have used throughout the year — some Thanksgiving things, Christmas bulbs, shamrock garland for St. Patrick’s Day, and some little flags for the Fourth of July.  Again, sitting there for years, untouched and forgotten.  If I want to add a little flair to a holiday, I will have to be creative with what I have or spend a few bucks…both unlikely since I don’t think about it anymore.
  • There was a bin with party supplies and decorations from past baby showers, bridal showers, girls’ nights, etc.  All of which hadn’t been touched in so long.  And none of this was special or fancy.  I’m 100% positive I never wanted to use 85% of it again.  The other few things are so easily replaced, for very little expense — unopened paper plates, napkins, little plastic table decorations, etc.

It doesn’t amout to a whole lot, but knowing this stuff is officially out of my space and my life is so very freeing!  I am no longer obligated to it….even though I wasn’t using it at all!  What are you ready to let go of?

Read back Day 1, Day 2, Day  3 and Day 4.

Happy Organizing!


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