The Great Garage Cleanout

So let’s be honest for a moment, how big is your garage? How many cars are regularly parked in your garage? I personally have a 2 car garage but don’t park any of our cars in it. In my cul-de-sac, there are 5 homes, 3 of them have park one car in their garage.

Having that extra storage space makes it easy to just accumulate items that we don’t need, want and sometimes don’t even know where it came from. With this being said, I’ve decided maybe some purging is necessary not only for me but many others as well. So, here are 10 things you can clear from your garage to make room for what really belongs in there…your car!

Twin Tools

Is there a tool box in your garage? Are all of your tools actually in it? Whether it is a large mechanics toolbox or a small box of essentials, now is the time to sort through, do you have duplicates or broken tools that need replacing? It’s doubtful you will need 7 of the exact screwdriver, 4 hammers, 8 pliers, rusty pipe wrench and the handle-less hammer. Clear out the excess, replace or just get rid of broken or unused tools. There’s no point in storing things that don’t work or you won’t use.



Yes, books, if they have made their way to the garage, chances are not good that you will actually be reading or needing them anymore. Got old textbooks? They may be worth something, websites buy back some textbooks, you may have a little extra cash collecting dust in the garage. For some, e-books just aren’t the same as a physical book. Donate those books to places where they will be appreciated, from libraries to schools and local non-profits. Give someone else the opportunity to enjoy those books that you once couldn’t go without having. Sharing is caring.

Exiled Furniture

That couch that you already replaced, but for some reason are having a hard time parting with, that is now sitting in the garage becoming a catch-all for everything within 5 feet in either direction. Yeah, you know the one I’m talking about. Let it go! If it’s in the garage, it more than likely won’t be coming back inside. You moved it out there for a reason, now keep it moving. Think it’s worth something? Advertise it for sale – for cheap! Local organizations like Hospice Thrift Store, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity take donations for items that are in re-sale condition. Otherwise, get it to the dump!


Got Oil?

Cooking or motor, new or used, it all goes bad. Stop storing oil, especially old and used oil, and don’t you dare pour it down the drain or throw it in the trash. Did you know 1 gallon can contaminate millions of gallons of groundwater? So I repeat, do NOT pour it out any place or throw it in the trash. Local auto repair shops may accept it for recycling, call your local mechanic to ask. Otherwise, click here to find your local collection site.


Outdated Tech

Sadly, our tech is one of the most often replaced items we have. With things evolving so quickly, our phones are often outdated only a couple of months after getting them. So it’s not surprising some of us have a box or 2 of outdated tech. Mine ranges from my first flip phone, the black Motorola Razr to a Polaroid camera. With 48.1 million tons of e-waste produced in the US annually, only 10-40% is properly disposed of. Whether you make a little extra cash by selling these items, donate or just simply recycling, the environment and future generations will thank you.


DIY did I start this…

We’ve all seen that really awesome Pinterest project or video that we knew we could do and it would be really really cool when it’s done, yet there it sits, half-started or half-finished, however, you may see it. The birds are still bathing and eating, maybe a go-kart wasn’t a great idea, to begin with, and lastly, don’t feel bad, we all were not blessed with natural carpenter skills. Clear the projects, if you haven’t finished them by now, are you really going to?



We played tennis twice, 5 years ago, yet here the rackets are. A bike you don’t ride. Weights you’ll never lift. Kickball you’ll never kick. Don’t hang on to this sports equipment if you aren’t actually using it. Will you now suddenly be guilted into these games you haven’t participated in since…since you can’t remember when? No, you’re not. Sell it, donate it, do whatever you must do to clear the space.


Dated Paint

Like many things, paint has a shelf life, and I don’t just mean for the trend of the color. Not only is the color a decision from what may seem a lifetime ago, but the texture changes, making it appear bumpy and even peels. If it smells rancid, no longer mixes together smoothly, or is just a horrendous color, it’s time to go! Paint is another item that you do not simply just pour down a drain, on the ground or throw in the trash. You really don’t want your drinking water to be that not so pretty paint color do you? Click here to learn about proper paint disposal and recycling.


Newspaper, magazines, catalogs

Why are they in the garage? Are you starting a paper-mâché project? I know it’s not because you find it fun to store these fire hazards in your garage. Did you know that garage fires do more damage and cause more injury than other house fires? There are 6,600 garage fires in the US annually that result in an average of 30 deaths, 400 injuries and $457 million in property damage. Why risk it? Stack them up and go drop them off to a recycling center. It costs you nothing and frees up yet more senseless clutter in the garage.


What is this and why is it here?

I recently found a box of nothing but chargers and cords. There was once a time when these were worth their weight in gold, every device required a specific plug and or charger and even when the device broke, somehow for some reason, we kept the cords and chargers. What a waste. How long has stuff in the corner been sitting there and where did it even come from? All of this stuff needs to go. If you haven’t used it or needed it in 6 months if you don’t know what it is, what it goes to or with, why it’s there or who’s it is…get rid of it!!

Let me know how great it is to park in your garage once this afternoon project is complete!

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