The garage has become a dumping ground for your family’s stuff. It’s taking over the garage floor and it’s becoming ever more difficult to park the vehicles with belongings littering the space. Now is the time to start planning and preparing a garage renovation.
Declutter with a Garage Sale
Start by clearing out the clutter. As spring approaches, it’s a great time to hold a garage sale and clear out equipment or tools you haven’t used for a couple of seasons or toys the kids have outgrown by paying it forward to another family in the neighbourhood.
Having a garage sale is a great way to set a deadline for everyone to get things cleared out. By getting the entire family involved in the process, it becomes a learning experience in decluttering and organizing habits which will carry through a lifetime.
Start by throwing out anything that is broken. From there, if you have duplicate items, move them to your garage sale items. Decorative items that we don’t love are ideal for the garage sale. If you’re just holding on for some day, then take courage and put it with the other garage sale items. If it is clothing that you haven’t worn for a year, the guideline is that you probably won’t be wearing it again. So, take courage and include it with the garage sale items. Finally, all belongings require upkeep so if you’re not willing to dust and clean it regularly, consider it another item for the garage sale.
For some people, decluttering may be more psychologically difficult than it is physically difficult to do. Letting go of items will improve the well-being of your family.
Donate Your Stuff
Whether you decide to run a garage sale or not, whatever is collected or left behind from the garage sale can be donated. Anything from clothing, furniture, small appliances, old renovation items like insulation and even an old clunker which may still be sitting in your driveway can be donated.
In Canada, there are some great ways to donate your belongings. In the Greater Toronto Area, there are many drop off locations for donations of clothing, furniture and old renovation items. In some cases, there are ways to get your donations picked up free or for a small fee. Depending on the items, sometimes you may get a donation receipts for your items.
Clothing & Small Items
For instance, Diabetes Canada (formerly Canadian Diabetes Association before February 13, 2017) will accept: gently used clothing, bedding, sleeping bags, blankets, footwear and small household items such as kitchenware, pots & pans, tools, blenders, etc. They’ll also accept small electronics such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, iPods, digital cameras, gaming consoles, PDAs.
Visit http://www.diabetes.ca/how-you-can-help/clothesline to book a pick up.
If you’ve got an old clunker which needs to go to Car Heaven, they will tow it ($200 value) for no charge and give you a $100 donation receipt to one of the charities featured to promote health, protect the environment or inspire communities.
The furniture bank works with social agencies which need furniture for shelters, refugee programs as well as homeless & poverty programs. For a listing of agencies they service, visit http://www.furniturebank.org/programs-services/partner-agencies/.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Donate by dropping off items to a Habitat ReStore nearest you. They accept all sorts of renovation items from flooring, windows, doors, kitchen cabinets, sinks, counter tops, hardware, tools, building materials, garden tools, fridges, stoves, microwaves and more.
They also have multi-item pick up services and de-construction services to remove kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures. Submit your ReStore Donation Form here.
Organize What Stays in the Garage
Organize the remaining belongings into groups. Typical groups include sports equipment and camping gear, bicycles, seasonal decorations, household supplies, workshop tools, gardening tools, automotive accessories, recycle and trash bins. You may have some additional categories unique to your lifestyle. Many people who have home businesses may find that they need to find appropriate storage space for their working tools and supplies so plan this category of items into your overall garage renovation plan.
Once there are categories of items, it makes it much easier to understand what needs to be organized and stored in the garage.
Do It for Me or Do It Yourself Garage Renovations
Next, the question becomes whether you do it for yourself or you get someone to do it for you. You might have a handyman in your family. Maybe, they are not adequately skilled. Or, they are abundantly skilled but just don’t have the time to get it done in a timely manner. It`s may be time to consider booking a complimentary in-home consultation with one of our garage renovation specialists.
If you’re on the fence as to whether you’re ready and prepared to do your own garage renovation, then, read my upcoming blog on “Garage Renovation & Design: DIY or Do It For Me”. You’ll gain some insights as to whether you are able to handle the garage renovation as a DIY or DIFM project.