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October 2005: Tackling Your Garage

The leaves are starting to turn and whether we like it or not, winter is coming. Storing lawn furniture, stowing bicycles and cleaning the garage to make room for our cars are all jobs we know we need to get done before the first snowfall but many of us groan at the thought of it! Why not start now while the weather is still fine?

In our household, we clean our garage twice a year; once in the spring, in time for the town’s junk pick up and once in the fall in time for the snow. I recommend cleaning the garage at least once a year. Taking everything out of the garage and evaluating each item when it’s on your driveway or front lawn is not only productive but it’s also therapeutic! If you leave things in the corners, they may take on a life of their own and dwell there for years, often unused! Take every bat, ball, garden tool, sled, etc. out of the garage and sweep the garage and when you put it all (or hopefully only some of it) back – you will have an organized space. You can put all garden tools in this corner – skis on the rafters etc. You may find missing pieces to equipment, toys etc. and maybe even a few of your neighbour’s tools at the same time!

Organizing is often about getting rid of the old and making room for the new but it’s also about knowing what you have. Barbara Hemphill, America’s Favorite Professional Organizer says “If you don’t know you have it and you can’t find it, then it’s not doing you any good.” This is so true! You may have a snow shovel – you may even have three but if you can’t find one when you need it – do you really have any? This is why so many people actually go out and buy another item instead of struggling to find the one they know they have somewhere! My grandmother always used to say , “A place for everything and everything in its place.” She was right! If you make a home for all of your stuff, then you will be able to find it when you need it, like that shovel!

Happy sorting!