Decluttering your home can be a tough task, but getting rid of the clutter you’ve accumulated in your storeroom and garage (among other spaces) can be downright stressful. After all, it’s where you store all your old furniture, non-functional electronic appliances, seasonal clothes, and above all, timeless memorabilia. However, as dreadful as it may seem, we all need some extra space, which means you will need to declutter the storage areas in your home sooner or later.
So, if your storeroom, storage closet, garage, basement, or any other place where you store your stuff starts to feel cramped and disorganised, you might need to dedicate a weekend to fix it. If investing weekend is not an option, then follow our guide to get it over in a jiffy.
Here are a few tips that will make decluttering your home much easier.
How to Identify Clutter
Who doesn’t want a clutter-free storage area? However, before we discuss steps to declutter your storerooms, let’s first talk about clutter.
Storage rooms are usually filled with stuff that we all think we’ll need one day. The reality is, however, entirely otherwise. So, this begs the question: how do you identify clutter?
Well, here are a few things you must ask yourself while sorting through the stuff you’ve accumulated in your storage room over the years.
- Is this item still usable? If broken, would it be worth the money that’d go into fixing it?
- Does this object improve the quality of my life?
- Have I used this item in the last year?
- Would I use it in the next six months?
- Do I have something similar in my home?
- If this item were stolen or damaged, would I replace it?
- Given a chance, would I repurchase this item?
- Am I only holding onto it because it’s expensive?
- Am I only holding onto it because it prompts old memories?
Top Reasons to Declutter the Storage Areas in Your Home
These are the most important reasons why you should take invest some time in getting rid of the clutter in your storage room:
- Decluttering and organising these areas will create more storage space in your home.
- A clean and clutter-free environment will help you feel happier.
- You might find something useful that you had stored away and then forgotten about it.
- It helps you decide what’s actually important to you.
- You can even make some money by selling off some unused items in your garage or other storage areas.
Now that you have a rough idea of what needs to go, here is a list of supplies you must keep on hand to declutter and organise your storeroom:
- Cardboard boxes
- Duct tape
- Permanent Markers
- Cleaning supplies
- Trash bags
How to Declutter the Storage Areas in Your Home
Follow these tips to declutter a storage room with too much stuff in it.
Where to Start Decluttering?
Wondering how to clean out a room full of junk? Well, you need to start with the stuff that’s not in boxes or covered by a sheet. If something isn’t stored properly and left out to collect dust, there is a good chance it is not useful anymore.
Once you’ve gone through the items strewn about the storage area, whether it is your garage or a storeroom, you should move on to the things kept in labelled boxes. Usually, such boxes are rarely ever opened, so you need to quickly sort through their content and salvage what’s explicitly important while doing away with the rest.
If you have more than one storage area in your home that needs to be decluttered, it is suggested you first tackle the one that’s easier to clean and organise – for instance, the pantry. Choosing a relatively easier project to kick-start your decluttering mission will help you build momentum. You can also check out our comprehensive guide on how to declutter your home in a weekend or less for more information on the matter.
After you’ve decluttered the first area, move on to a space that will have the biggest impact on your life once it’s clutter-free.
Sort Out Stuff That Can Be Donated
The basic rule of thumb while decluttering your home is to create separate ‘keep,’ ‘donate’ and ‘maybe’ piles and sort accordingly. The same rule applies while decluttering your storeroom, as well.
In case you have items such as old furniture and old electronic appliances in your storage room or garage, ask yourself if they are still of use to you. If these things are not in ideal condition to be used, are broken or damaged, or you already have their substitute in your home, it’s about time you part ways with them. Old dining tables, bedroom sets, exercise equipment, refrigerators, and generators are some of the most common household objects people end up putting in storerooms on account of them being expensive. However, if you’ve already replaced these objects in your house with their newer versions, you should consider letting someone else use them.
The same goes for old clothes, blankets, and bedding as well. But, if possible, put them through the washing machine before donating them to the less privileged. However, clothes or items that are beyond mending or repair need to be discarded right away.
Old books should also be donated to your local library, especially if you don’t plan on reading them anytime soon.
Don’t Get Distracted
Decluttering storage areas can be rather tedious, so there’s a good chance that you would eventually start looking for a distraction. It is also rather easy to get side-tracked while going through your things such as old photographs and family albums, children’s report cards, and souvenirs you bought during a trip ages ago.
One way to deal with this problem and make sure you don’t end up spending your entire day decluttering only one part of the room is to set a timer. While using your phone for this purpose is completely fine, it’s always better to use a kitchen timer or an alarm clock to ensure you don’t end up spending extra time going through your social media feed or checking the notifications on your phone.
However, to make the job a bit more fun, you can try playing music on speakers. This will also keep you from being distracted and help you focus more on the task at hand.
How to Deal with Memorabilia
Truth be told, memorabilia and keepsakes are often the hardest to deal with while decluttering your home. Some of the most common examples of memorabilia include:
- Old photographs
- Old clothes
- Items from your or your kids’ childhood
- Trophies and awards
- Children’s artwork and school reports
- Souvenirs and trinkets
- Old birthday cards
- Old jewellery
- Tokens of remembrance
- Collectables or collections
- Clippings of old newspapers
- Family heirlooms
Of course, you can’t get rid of all of this stuff, but keeping it all is also not an option.
The best way to deal with memorabilia is to limit yourself to a certain number of boxes. Just keep a couple of your child’s baby dresses and donate the rest, the same goes for your old clothes. As for report cards, artwork, and newspaper clippings, you can either create a scrapbook or scan these pieces of paper to store them digitally. The same can be done for old family photographs.
The family heirlooms and collectables, on the other hand, can be hung on a wall or displayed on your shelves. Instead of letting them collect dust in the storeroom, you should consider making them a part of your home décor.
Last but not least, make sure to label all the boxes before packing them away. In case two or more boxes bear the same label, you can also list their contents on a piece of paper and stick it on the surface. This will make it easier for you to look for stuff without having to go through all of the boxes.
In the end, stack all the boxes neatly in a corner or on the shelves and cover them with an old sheet. You can also place a few mothballs inside boxes of clothes to keep them safe.
Repeating this process once every year is usually enough.
Meanwhile, if you feel like you have a tendency to collect things that you never really use, take a look at our tips on how to overcome hoarding and organise your home.
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