The Important First Step To Take When Organizing Your Garage Or Basement

Stepping into your cluttered basement or garage can be unsettling. You may go in with good intentions to declutter and clean up the space but after taking a look around you feel overwhelmed and decide to put it off again. While it might never be a fun-filled chore, it has to be done. By breaking it down into parts, you can approach the looming task with a practical mind. The first step to organize your garage or basement is to take inventory of what you have.

Though it might seem counterintuitive, even absurd, to take everything out of the space, it can be a vital first step. Sure, decluttering in place might seem tempting, a slow and steady whittling down of your mountain of clutter but inevitably, you can easily end up frustrated, lost in a long line of decisions, and confused by what you have already looked through. A full clean-out, however, can give you a clear picture of what needs to stay and what needs to go. With a little planning, perseverance, and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, you can organize your basement storage area or garage into a space that brings you joy, not dread.

Why clearing out the space and taking inventory makes it easier

The benefits of clearing out the space include clarity and the ability to see the true scale and potential of your space. You'll identify wasted corners and underutilized areas and places where you reclaim square footage and maximize storage potential. Once cleared out, nothing will be hidden in forgotten nooks, including dusty cobwebs. A big benefit is the ability to give a thorough clean-up of the walls and floors so it's in tip-top shape before any of your belongings are put back. You can mop, vacuum, and wash the shelves and walls.

It also gives you better decision-making power. With everything laid bare, you can make informed choices about each item, and where it should go. This is the time to inspect each item and determine what you have that may be expired, broken, or worn to the point of being useless. It also provides you an opportunity to find cherished items that may have not been stored or put away properly and enables you to store them away with care. Starting with a plan or vision for the space is one of the best ways to declutter.

How to begin organizing your garage or basement

To avoid getting overwhelmed, it helps to enlist the help of family or friends since sharing the workload makes it lighter and more fun. Also since the items may belong to other family members, having them on hand to make decisions for their belongings helps the work get done quicker.

Create designated areas for keeping, donating, tossing, and recycling items as you empty each section. As you go, if not already done, label everything for easy retrieval. Start on one side and attack the items in an orderly fashion rather than zig-zagging around and getting confused at what you already looked through. Think with your practical mind and try to embrace the purge. Let go of anything broken, unused, or no longer bringing you joy. Remember, less is not only more but easier to manage in the long run.

Once you have gone through all items and determined what needs to go back in the garage or basement, assess your needs. Consider your lifestyle, hobbies, and seasonal requirements and what you will need to reach regularly, what items will only come out once a year, and what items will stay there indefinitely. To keep things organized and accessible, designate specific areas for different categories like tools, sports equipment, and seasonal items. Once finished, try your best to not let clutter creep back in. Establish regular decluttering routines and put everything back in its designated place.