Posted in Garage, Success Stories

Teaching an Old Garage New Tricks

Over two sessions, Judy and I focused on two parts of the garage. The first was a set of shelves but, to move around, first we had to clear in front of a parked car. We separated some pieces of wood to be cut for kindling. We decided to devote the shelves to gardening and lawn supplies. We used my professional organizer’s method of working top-to-bottom. On top – a sprinkler, a big watering can, plant food. Below it, we placed tools, sprays, grass seed and fertilizers. We put old “stuff” in her car, for a trip to the dump. Everything remaining was visible and easy to reach, ready for next gardening season.

Garage shelves before we organized them
Before
Garage shelves, now organized, holding gardening items, grass seed, tools
After

Next, we organized part of the garage’s opposite wall. My first action – to sweep the floor, so we wouldn’t push dirt and leaves around. One goal – to clear the canoe as much as possible. At some mental level (for me, anyway), it felt disrespectful to use it as a storage space.

I brought inside and tucked into the corner a 12-foot ladder, which had been outside. In front of it – a shorter ladder and podium, which Judy found. It was useful as a new church was founded several years ago. We brought tires out, which were for Judy’s car. We pulled other old or obsolete items, some of which were destined for the dump, placing them in her car. We tucked small items on the “crossbars” of the saw horses under the canoe. On top – just a few things, including a paddle.

A side of the garage before we swept and organized it
Before
Part of the garage, swept and organized!
After

Could Judy have smiled any brighter? That’s unsure. With the changing seasons and increasing cold, we may have to wait until spring to continue our work around the garage.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Garage, Success Stories

We Begin the Garage

In our next session, Mike and I organized one side of the family’s garage. In its cupboards and on shelves – the typical gardening and car stuff. Beyond that, though, Mike used to own a construction company, so there were its tools and other related items to organize, too.

As ever, using my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method of working top-to-bottom, we started with the cupboard that mostly held gardening stuff. Mike wanted to devote the large cupboard next to it for gardening. We moved pots, bug repellents and some other items there. To the left, we placed paint and related supplies. Up top, we put car and truck windshield washer fluid, oil and other items that didn’t need protection from normal garage dust.

Before
After

Next, we worked on two tall sets of shelves, organizing construction tools and related items. When they were done, there was an empty shelf! Hooray! That doesn’t often happen.

Before
After

To the far right, there was a player piano which, clearly, had seen better days. Its story? Mike said they got it with the house. (That brought back a funny memory for me. When moving years ago, my family got a cat with the house, but that’s another story!) I offered to contact a piano tuner for possible advice about what to do with it.

In a stroke of absolute creative genius, after we rolled two tarps, Mike suggested placing them behind the bindings of the snowboard sitting atop the player piano. Brilliant!

Look for the tarps!

Where would we work next? That was to be determined, but Mike was smiling. Success!

Part of the basement before we cleared its clutter!

Posted in Garage, Success Stories

Organizing and Reclaiming Part of a Garage

Johannes wanted help in his garage. It holds tools, associated supplies, and other items for his carpentry business. He also would like to park one of the family cars in the garage, which isn’t possible – yet.

Johannes, his colleague Alex, and I started the process of organizing the garage. Using my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method, I suggested placing on the top shelf tools that they don’t often use, but want to have visible for when they are needed. The next two shelves (the “most valuable real estate”) might hold the tools they reach for most. On the bottom, the shop vacuum, a compressor and other big, heavy items.

We spoke about hanging some items from a pegboard they will buy and place in a center spot in the garage that’s practically calling out to also store brooms.

We placed in a bin paints and other liquids that will have to be stored inside during the winter to prevent them from freezing. ((Winter? No, not yet, please! It’s still August!)

Toward the end of our session together, Johannes turned upside down a bin full of stuff that was “bugging” him. We spent most of the remaining time on it, putting its contents in better places. He was relieved!

Now, they can find what they need faster, saving his company time and money. Success!

Before

 

After

As we finished our time together, Johannes, Alex and I discussed how they might further organize the garage. They’ll be able to consolidate more and make room for the car.

One last thing – Johannes showed me his developing jewelry business. He makes rings and other items. I saw something and suggested that it could be turned into cuff links. He liked it!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Fall, Garage, Home Maintenance, Timely Tips

Seasonal Garage Cleaning, Even for a Professional Organizer

Today, I swept my garage and stored wicker summer furniture, placing the chairs on some old rubber car floor mats. That way, once winter snow melts off the car, the furniture legs will be protected. No old floor mats? You might lay down a used shower curtain liner. (Reduce, reuse, recycle!) No liner available, either? A small tarp would do the trick.

Another possible way to store and protect summer furniture or other delicate items – on top of horizontally-laid tires! If your garage has enough vertical space (and maybe limited horizontal room), that might be another useful option.

Another good use for used shower curtain liners – to cover bikes and other objects that aren’t fun to dust. After all, when spring returns, wouldn’t you rather use these items than spend time cleaning them?

While sweeping the garage each spring and fall isn’t fun, it feels good, in a way. It provides a timely opportunity to clear any clutter that’s accumulated during the previous few months. A great idea – this morning, colleague Steve Ertle, from BTV Creative, suggested using a leaf blower! It does a very thorough job of clearing dust, and is much faster than sweeping. A professional organizer, I was a bit embarrassed that I haven’t thought of that. It must be because I don’t have a leaf blower.

Be careful that no garage items are in the path of the dust, though, or you may have some extra wiping to do. Happy fall!

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing “chaos to calm” since 2013.

Posted in Garage, Success Stories

Before Deanna and Wayne’s Job Relocation

Having accepted a new job in California, Deanna’s new employer hired a corporate relocation company for their move across the country. Needing professional organization to help with part of their preparation, that company hired De-clutter Me! Planning a return to Vermont in several years, they had found someone to rent the house in the meantime. Continue reading “Before Deanna and Wayne’s Job Relocation”

Posted in Garage, Success Stories

Patricia’s Garage – a Multi-Step Process

Patricia asked me to help in her garage. Arriving on a fall day, she apologized for its messy condition. Hardly! It wasn’t bad at all. Our tasks – to neaten up along its two side walls, and to empty shelves along its back wall. She had ordered replacement custom, enclosed cabinets to house a variety of items. Along the way, of course, we would de-clutter and better organize.

Since she was slowly recovering from pneumonia, by agreement, I would do the bulk of the work, so that she could protect her energy level. It took more than one session, but we got it done!

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About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.

Posted in Garage, Success Stories

Nobody Said that Life was Going to be Fair

During our last session, Nina and I had forced ourselves downstairs into the basement on a perfect, warm and cloudless afternoon. Our next two sessions, devoted to the garage, were rainy. That’s not fair! When I walked in for the first of the two, we whined to each other, laughed, got over it, then went outside.

Our strategy was to work around the garage; that is, starting in one corner, and working our way around it. We started at the tops of shelves, working our way down. We devoted an area to camping gear, another to sporting goods, somewhat arranged by season. Lumber that had been been standing vertically was stacked horizontally. Another area was for her husband’s tools.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” We put items needing to be rinsed, like plastic sleds and watering cans, outside in the rain. Though the two afternoons were rainy, they weren’t cold. And, we didn’t get hot!

At the end, Nina was smiling, and said that she was grateful to approach winter with a de-cluttered, organized garage.

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About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.