As the keeper of everything that is really not worthy to go into the house, your garage can be one of the messiest places in your home. Why? Because itâ€™s viewed as nothing more than a storage area and a place for your car to live. If youâ€™re like most people, your garage is probably a jumble of tools, old toys, sporting equipment, and just plain trash. While this is not the time to drag everything out to the driveway and do a complete clean (save that for a Saturday in the spring), there are a few things you can do in your 15-minute allocation of time â€“ although some preparation must have taken place prior. Be sure you have organized your garage in such a way that everything has a place â€“ and that means on a wall, on a shelf, in a cabinet or in a designated floor area. Itâ€™s helpful to label these areas so that when you do a 15-minute decluttering, you know where everything goes. When youâ€™re ready to start, first take your car(s) out of the garage. Itâ€™s easier to clean up without large objects in your way. Tackle the big items first: bicycles, sporting good equipment, yard tools, etc. Put them where they belong. If something needs to be tossed out, do it. If something needs to be repaired, affix a tag or piece of tape on it indicating such and take care of it later. With the big items cleaned up, youâ€™ll want to start on smaller items. If thereâ€™s anything on the floor, put it on a counter or shelf. If the shelves are in complete disarray, spend no more than 5 minutes organizing them. The best approach with shelves is putting like items together. For example, if you have 5 cans of paint on the floor and an empty shelf, put all the paint cans on that shelf. Then, when you are doing a more thorough cleaning, find all the cans of paint and give them their own shelf. Tools are a problem in and of themselves. If you have a lot, the only way to declutter them is to either put them in their place (and you may not have time for that) or hide them in a box. This is a touchy area and is decluttering is probably best accomplished by the person in the household who uses those items the most. Give him or her a plan for doing a major decluttering of just these items and a plan that includes a 15-minute decluttering just for them. Cabinets are ideal in a garage because you can quickly stash things and then come back and do a cabinet reorganization later. They are also a good place to put anything hazardous so that it is either under lock and key or on a high shelf that it cannot be reached by small children. A garage really becomes a series of 15-minute decluttering sessions. Start by giving it a good pass to see what you have, then come up with that plan to tackle specific areas. Oh: donâ€™t forget to pull your car back into its freshly decluttered space!
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