If you’ve been a reader of Thrift Diving for any length of time, you know that my garage is a hot mess.
Please don’t judge me for that.
We creative thinkers are like a secret society called The Clutter Queens (or Clutter Kings for the few men that read along).
It’s just something that creative, furniture-loving, DIY-obsessed people simply are afflicted with: garage-itis.
(Or “room-itis” if you don’t have a garage).
Not that “garage-itis” or “room-itis” are real words, but if they were, and you looked them up in a dictionary, you’d see a picture of our spaces with the following definition:
“A chronic inflammation of CRAP everywhere.”
Go ahead. Raise your hand. You got the “itis,” too. I know you do!
And you know how overwhelming it is to even face the slowly creeping clutter. It’s just like a virus that spreads slowly: first it’s just a corner….then it’s a wall….then it’s the whole stinky room!
Those kinds of rooms you just want to shut the door and not deal with them.
But I’m sorry, folks! It’s early in the new year, which is the perfect time to stop digging your head in the sand and pretending that you don’t have a clutter problem.
Here are a few tips that I’m using and that you might find helpful, too!
So this, my friends, is my garage.
It’s full of “someday” projects, thrift finds, an roadside treasures. LOL
And while it’s not cluttered totally up to the ceiling, there’s enough crap around that it makes walking through feel like a game of hopscotch!
I decided that cleaning out and fixing up this garage so that I have a proper workspace is my #1 house goal this quarter.
And if you’ve been struggling to tackle that messiest room in your house, then I invite you to join me in the adventure!
5 Tips for Cleaning Out the Messiest Room in Your House
When I do my room makeover challenges with readers here on the blog, we usually give ourselves 30 days, give or take.
But I’m not going to stress us out like that for this challenge.
And I’m not even going to make you sign up to participate (although I will still hold you responsible! LOL).
I’m going to simply post about it, and you follow along at your own pace on this one.
TIP #1: Start Small!
Dude, tackling a whole messy room is enough to make you rip out your hair!
Don’t do it to yourself. Start small.
And when I say small, I mean one corner.
I could at least organize my workbench area. Not even the shelves. Just the work bench!
This is how my workbench looked “before.” I couldn’t find a thing. You wouldn’t believe how many flippin’ tape measures I’ve lost in this mess…
But after just about 1 hour or so, I was able to get most of it cleared away. It’s still not pretty, but I’ve got all my drill bits, sandpaper, screws, nails–everything small– stored away in a place I can easily find!
And you can see that I’m a RYOBI Power Tools girl. 🙂 They’re my favorite, if it’s not obvious…. LOL.
Remember that amazing vintage cabinet that I found back in October while at the Duluth Trading model shoot? I found it at the best vintage salvage shop in Minnesota.
It finally had arrived after 3 weeks to my door, via Greyhound. I couldn’t love it more!!! I’ve got this “thing” for vintage metal cabinets, and this one is divine!
I also found this Luxo “Pixar” lamp at the ReStore for $2.00!
It’s perfect as extra light when I’m doing small projects!
TIP #2: Sell The Junk
Well, not everything will be junk.
But it will be potential money just sitting there!
This is stuff you could easily sell online and hopefully make some money getting rid of it.
My advice would be to ask yourself, “If I saw this thing today at the store, would I still buy it?” If the answer is NO, then get rid of it.
(In my next post, I’ll be sharing with you how I’m trying out a new app called VarageSale to see if it’s a better way to sell stuff within my community. Have you ever heard of it? I’ll keep you posted on how it works out!)
TIP #3: Finally Use the Stuff, Already!
If there’s something that you’ve been stashing that you’re not using, now is the time to use it!
You have no other choice: either use it or lose is.
I about died when I found these mod chairs at the thrift store for $15 each. But they’ve been sitting in the garage for eons.
I’ve decided that I’m going to paint them and reupholster them very soon so that I can clear them out of the garage and make space for them somewhere in the house. They’re too good to get rid of!
TIP #4: Clear Everything OUT!
This is one of my favorite tips!
When you’re feeling stressed and not sure where to begin, and you feel like doing small corners isn’t enough, just move everything OUT.
Seriously–stash it somewhere else.
Start with a blank slate, and you’ll be surprised how refreshing this is!
In this case, I’m considering moving everything to one side of the garage (it’s a two-car garage) so that one side is totally clean and clear and accessible to start working on it (painting the walls, cleaning the floor, etc.).
Imagine the big relief to just have one clean side to start tackling!!
TIP #5: Send It Back!
We thrifters have this way of bringing crap home and then 6 months later, re-donating it. It’s definitely all about the thrill of the find! HA!
I’m going to call that The Circle of Thrift.
If after you’ve tried to sell it (unsuccessfully)… and you know you still don’t want it… and you don’t have someone that wants it for free… just give it back to the thrift store!
Take the tax write-off as a donation and lower your taxes. You’ll finally breathe easier knowing that you’ve got all that clutter out of your home!
My Next Step
So in my next post, I’m going to share with you some of the things I’m trying to sell and we’ll see how that goes!
At this point, I think I am ready to give this stuff away just to get it out of my face!
So do you guys struggle with starting a room declutter project? What are you favorite tips when decluttering a room? Share them in the comments section!
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