Guide to Decluttering a Garage

Decluttering a garage can seem like Mission: Impossible when you look around your garage and see dusty tools, piles of clutter, and boxes of who knows what. The good news is that with a little planning and some time set aside, you’ll be rewarded with a fresh and wonderful space that will help you feel in control of your life, foster creativity, and maybe even find new life for all the things you have that you don’t need and don’t want. Decluttering a garage is a total win. So let’s get started. Here’s a step by step guide to help you through your journey. Clear your mind and get ready to complete the mission successfully!

Get Motivated / Decide Why You Want to Do This

The first thing to consider when deciding to declutter your garage is how you want to use it after it has been cleared out and organized. What things do you want to leave there, and what do you want to store somewhere else? And don’t forget to think about which things you want to give away for good.

Once you have a clear vision of what you want to get out of this process, you’ll have traced objectives that will allow everything to move smoothly. It will make the job easier to let the real decluttering challenge begin!

Set Aside Time and Organize Your Piles

The first thing to do when you begin the decluttering stage is to prepare a personalized checklist with all the information you acquired through the previous brainstorming method. Then, set aside time in your calendar to work through this process. 

Make a list of all these things before beginning the heavy work and then take an honest look at your availability to do this activity. At what point during the day can you do this? How much time can you put into it? Set aside specific dates and times to start decluttering. Having a checklist and time set aside to do the work will keep you feeling in control and help the work go faster.

Start by dividing items into different piles or boxes. Organize the piles into the following: 

  • What you want to keep in the garage
  • Items you want to move somewhere else
  • Objects you wish to donate
  • Recycling
  • Landfill
  • Toxic/electronic waste
  • Don’t know/uncategorized 
  • Important paper you’d like to shred

If you feel indecisive about a specific item, you can leave it in this last pile, come back to it later, and make a final decision. This system gives you time to think about it while you work on other important items.

If you prepared a checklist before this step, you can begin by splitting those items into the categories first and then continue with the items that are not on the list. Also, remember to take little breaks every once in a while to rest and clear your head. Taking breaks cuts down on feeling overwhelmed and helps you make decisions.

Things You Can Toss When Decluttering the Garage

If you need some extra motivation to know what to throw away, here are some thoughts on things you can immediately toss when you begin to declutter:

  • Trash
  • Old paint
  • Old toys
  • Damaged equipment of any kind
  • Expired chemicals
  • Broken decorations
  • Broken tools
  • Anything for donation
  • Old appliances and electronics
  • Old furniture
  • Leftover supplies (Batteries, oil, and certain lawn care items)
  • Torn/ripped Old clothes

And let’s not forget all the things you rediscovered because you forgot about them and never used again!

Toxic and Electronic Waste

Toxic and electronic waste need special care. Google how to dispose of toxic and electronic waste in your area. Most cities have special departments to help with this important step.

  • Old paint
  • Damaged equipment of any kind
  • Expired chemicals
  • Old appliances and electronics
  • Leftover supplies (Batteries, oil, and certain lawn care items)
  • Old clothes

Improper handling of electronic waste (e-waste) is harmful to the environment and humankind. They are a combination of plastics and toxic chemicals that get released into the environment and have negative effects on everybody. These items are not recyclable, compostable, nor are they allowed in our landfills. Remember, it is illegal to put them in any of your bins. 

Avoid worrying about how to store and dispose of this type of waste in the future by purchasing only what you require, using up what you buy, and sharing unused products or containers with your friends and neighbors.

Final Steps to Decluttering the Garage: Make a Plan

After organizing all your piles, you will have to decide what to do with each one. Think about a new space for the objects you chose to keep, consider options for storing the items you want to move somewhere else, look for organizations that accept your donations, and discover the recycling options near you.

Once the entire garage is cleared, you can focus on big items that take lots of space, including:

  • Storage boxes
  • Tool chests
  • Bicycles and other riding toys
  • Gardening supplies
  • Lawn and yard tools and equipment
  • Automotive supplies
  • Camping gear
  • Sports equipment
  • Fitness equipment
  • Old appliances
  • Old unused furniture

For some of these, you might want to consider a storage place to leave a better room in your garage. If you think this is an option that might interest you, Boxbee offers storage and moving services that are an excellent solution.

After Decluttering the Garage


After cleaning out your entire garage, assess the area and decide where to store every item. Start with garage organizers and shelves and move your way through the garage. Or, better yet, use an off-site storage service. That way, you can use your garage space for projects, and use on-demand delivery to get only the items you need when you need them. Live the dream of clutter-free spaces!

Donate the things you don’t need any longer that are in good condition, recycle all the items you can store the ones you want to keep and throw away the objects that are of no use to you.

After a well-deserved break, you can go back and repeat the process one last time, in a quicker fashion, and make sure there is nothing else you want to remove from your garage. This second time around, it will be much faster because the garage is cleared and organized. Remember to do every step in the same way and method.

Cleaning Up

Once you’ve cleared and organized your garage, cleaning will be fast and easy. Make sure you have all the right tools in place before the cleaning process. Gather your cleaning supplies, including the following:

  • Trash bags
  • Boxes
  • Strong vacuum or a broom
  • Catch-all basket for odds and ends


Congratulations! You finally have a clean, visually appealing, and functional space to use for anything you wish. Garages are the ideal place to provide room for parking, storage, and hobby space. You have completed the mission successfully, but this doesn’t mean the job is completely over.

Just like dieting, a clean and organized garage is a lifestyle. Monthly follow-ups will maintain your garage’s organization. Plan to go back in and spend 15 minutes or so each month with a broom along with quarterly trips to the recycling, donation, and toxic/electronic waste centers.

Decluttering the garage can seem like a monster, but it is a rewarding accomplishment once you’re finished. You’ll love stepping into your decluttered garage and easily finding what you need when you need it. You’ll be able to work on household projects, gardening, and art projects. 

To discover more tips and ideas for decluttering your garage and other areas of your home, read our comprehensive guide about decluttering your home here! (add the link after the other blog post is posted)