The Great Garage Clean Out Challenge ~ Week One!

So who’s ready to organize their garage???  In case you might have missed it, check out what The Great Garage Challenge is all about here and then come on back to join us.  At the end of today’s post you’ll find a linky so you can link up to your post showing us the before pictures of your garage space or even your shed if you don’t have a garage.  Then for the next two Fridays you can come on back to link up your progress with the final link up taking place on June 1st.

So I’m going to start this post by admitting that the idea of organizing the garage really doesn’t get me fire up at all.  Ugh…it’s so painful don’t you think?  I guess it’s because it’s usually heavy dirty work and I have to manhandle things I know nothing about it…like tools and bits and parts and bolts.  Blah, blah, blah.  I don’t really care what it does, I just want it put away.  I also can’t go great guns on the garage like I would like to because well it’s not my space.  It’s my husband’s space with my husband’s stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  Out of respect for him though, I can’t just throw it all away and call it a day.  Oh no, I have to go slowly bit by bit so as not to stress him out which eventually stresses me out.  How many of you can relate to any of this?  Thankfully my hubby isn’t totally resisting the idea and even took a whole truck load of stuff to the dump earlier today, woot woot!  We’ll take another load tomorrow and that in itself will make a huge difference.

So we are going to go through the great garage clean out following my handy dandy PROCESS steps.  Today’s steps involve Plan & Remove.


This step involves taking a moment to evaluate our present system to decide what it is that is currently working and what isn’t.  This is valuable information so we don’t end up wasting time doing busy work trying to fix what doesn’t need fixing.  We need to review the challenges of the project, including budget, and how we might work around each of them.  We need to think about how we use the space and plan it out accordingly.  Don’t skip this step.  Sit back and take a look around.  What do you see?  What do you want to change?  How are you going to make it happen?

Here are some more specific planning questions to use:

1. What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be?
2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose?
3. What can I remove from the room?
4. What problems do I see with the room?
5. What organizational tools might solve those problems?
6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems?
7. What kind of a budget do I have to create the organized room of my dreams?
8. What kind of a timeline is necessary to organize the room?
9. What is my plan of action?
10. Who can I ask to help me with this?

Think, think, think.

Try not to fall asleep.

Or get too comfortable.

Try and stay focused people!


This one is an often ignored step.  I always highly recommend removing everything from a space in order to start from a clean slate and to make the sort process easier.  It’s much more effective than shuffling everything around.  However sometimes when we are tackling large spaces with limited time this isn’t always practical.  As you know I am working with Sharon from Mom of 6 to help her with this challenge and this is the question she had for me today:

It will literally take us an entire month of finding a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there to get this project completed.  Any advice for me on this? Does it work just as well if I divide my garage into sections and empty a corner at a time and work on just one area first? Or should I start by trying to just get items out of my entire space that I know we won’t be keeping and call for some donation pick ups first?  The one thing that we did do was to move all of the bikes out of the garage and a few other things too….but it has already rained on them for several days in a row now-which is not ideal!

No, having your stuff sit around outside for long periods of time isn’t a great idea.

Absolutely if you know there are things you definitely don’t want or need any longer do get rid of those things first.  This will help you free up some space to work.  That’s why I “suggested” to my husband that he do a dump run first thing.  This removed some bigger pieces that were taking up space making it easier to get around and easier to access the things that are important to keep.

When time is an issue or indoor space with which to spread out is limited than yes certainly working in small sections is better than nothing for sure.  Try to clear yourself a sorting space if you can as that will give you somewhere to work.

Be sure to go over and check out Sharon’s post this week to see the plans she has for her space.

If you have a garage that could use a bit of an overhaul, considering linking up with us below.  We’d love to have you join us, let’s do this thing!  What are the challenges you are facing?

Filed under: Garage


11 Responses to The Great Garage Clean Out Challenge ~ Week One!

  1. 1
    Laurie says

    I pretty much did my garage over without spending anything, with the exception of a wire ball bin I found on the Land of Nod website. It was pricey but since it was my only expense I felt it was worth it. And I absolutely love it! It holds all our balls and bats neatly and I keep it near the garage door so it is easily accessible. I ordered it in red for the pop of color my otherwise colorless garage so desperately needs. It’s sturdy and will last forever. Can’t recommend it enough. Can you believe I actually put the larger balls on narrow shelves before? Always rolling off…silly me!

  2. 2
    Sabrina says

    Lol, love the photos. I will give this post link to clients who have trouble determining what to do with the garage. Thanks for making a thorough list. 🙂

  3. 3
    Nicole says

    Thanks so much for hosting this challenge. It will be just the thing to inspire me to actually get ‘er done! I’m excited to read what others are doing, too!

  4. 4
    Sapphire @ Life with My Pollitos says


    Thanks a mil for hosting this challenge. As I mention in my post, the garage has been taunting me for some time now & I’m so glad to have support & fresh ideas to get me going.

    Sapphire @ Life with My Pollitos

  5. 5
    Teri says

    LOL I’m not the only one with the mess and that makes me feel SO good! Let’s all get this done!!!

  6. 6
    Angela says

    Thanks for hosting the challenge!!! I need some organization in my garage and it would be nice to finally get 2 cars in there!!!

  7. 7
    hurley thurston says

    I am so looking forward to ideas for my garage. We move a lot, so we can’t just install super, cool gadgets every times we move. Here is to getting my bum in gear! Thanks a lot. I look forward to joining this challenge. I am Garage #10 above. ~hurley

  8. 8
    Carol says

    I wanted my HUSBAND to clean and organize HIS 2 car garage. I use that term lightly because the only car in it is the classic up on the lift. So we talked about it for a while and he wanted it organized but couldn’t find the motivation nor the “how-to” ideas. So I took a picture of one corner of the garage covering about 10 feet of wall space. Then we tackled that area, hanging things up, creating storage for things out of short lengths of 6 inch PVC pipe, etc. I took another picture of the area. That wowed him. Over the next 10 days he took a half hour every morning before work and cleaned / organized a few more feet. He was so proud of himself when it was done. I think the before and after pictures did it for him.

  9. 9
    Beth says

    I REALLY need to take this challenge. Like REALLY REALLY. I’ve already flipped through my calendar/schedule, and I think I can do this this week! I’ve already taken photos. Such a sad affair. Truly. Rather revolting, too. :/ I better get busy. I want to start today, alas, I have another organizing project –sadly, not my own, to tackle today. 🙁 So this weekend is shot.

    The BIGGEST challenge I currently face, and is really what has been holding me back from organizing is the lack of finances for containerizing/storage solutions. All I have are cardboard boxes of varying sizes. Any tips/suggestions? Of course you will see my dilemma when I post! BAH… off to work on my post now!

    Thank you for this challenge. It’s just what I need to get my butt in gear and hold me ACCOUNTABLE!


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