7 Garage Items You Can Purge Right Now
Has your garage become a depository for clutter? It’s time to start taking it back by throwing away or donating these seven unnecessary items.
In addition to providing protected parking for vehicles, a garage can also be a great storage spot that is removed from your home’s central living spaces. The downside, however, is that it often becomes a dumping ground for items that you prefer not to store somewhere else. It’s really easy to allow clutter to build up in the garage until it’s completely overrun with stuff like lawn equipment, leftover project materials, sports gear, and miscellaneous boxes of household belongings.
If you’re no longer able to park your car in the garage, it’s time to tackle a clean-up. While this job may seem daunting, especially if you’ve really let your garage get out of hand, an easy way to get started is by simply disposing of a few things you no longer use or need. Begin by clearing out these seven garage items and a more organized and useful garage is within easy reach.
1. Old or Unused Athletic Gear
The number one offender of garage clutter is sports equipment and fitness gear, whether from a brief flirtation with exercise or a hobby outgrown by one of the kids. If all these items are just collecting dust, then it’s time to start tossing those old balls, bats, rackets, bikes, dumbbells and other athletic equipment. Are any items in good working condition? Consider donating them to a charitable organization or local rec center that accepts sports gear. For things that are broken, or too worn out or outdated to be donated, look to local ordinances to figure out the best way to recycle or dispose of each item.
2. Broken-Down Tools
Damaged or otherwise unusable tools are not worth holding onto, so now is the perfect time to finally let go of that rusted shovel, busted lawnmower or leaky garden hose. Face reality about what can and cannot be repaired (or what will and will not be repaired) and start moving things onto the junk pile. A good rule to go by is that if the tool has already been replaced, the old one must go. Consider donating any still-functioning tools to a local charity, school or other community organization that can use them. Consult with your local waste management authority on how to dispose of the unwanted tools and equipment that remain.
3. Damaged Holiday Decorations
Even though the garage is an ideal spot to stow seasonal decorations that only get used for a few weeks out of the year, that doesn’t mean you should keep everything. Those leaking lawn inflatables and damaged light strands can be let go. Donation is generally the way to go for unwanted holiday items that are in good working order. Broken items that cannot be repaired should either be recycled or thrown in the trash, depending on what items your local recycling center accepts.
4. Forsaken Kids’ Toys
As kids grow up and lose interest in toys, those toys often find their way into the garage, taking up valuable space. Dedicate a little bit of time to sort through your collection of old toys and figure out what can be sold, donated, or given away to another family. Toys typically are hard to recycle since they’re made from several different parts and materials that aren’t easy to separate. For broken toys, you can either throw them away, or consider researching toy recycling programs (Hasbro has one) to see if they can be given a second life.
5. Half-Empty Chemicals and Paint
Not only just a waste of space, stockpiling old paint, pesticides, or cleaning products in your garage can also be a fire hazard or health risk. As a rule, all expired chemicals and paints should be disposed of right away. Unfortunately, these items are usually regarded as hazardous waste so they’re not something that can simply be thrown away with regular trash. To find out the best way to get rid of old paint and chemicals, try checking your local ordinances. They may provide options like allowing the liquid to dry out before putting it in the trash or loading them up and taking the whole lot to a drop-off site for hazardous waste.
6. Cast-Off Furniture
The longer you live in a home, the more upgrades it will generally see. This often means older pieces of furniture that no longer fit in the household get sent to the garage. Rather than letting old chairs or dressers sit and collect dust, try being more proactive by either listing them for sale or donating them right away. For special pieces that you simply cannot let go of (think family heirlooms), consider having another family member hold it for safekeeping until you are able to find more storage space for it elsewhere.
7. Extra Building Supplies
While it’s typically a good idea to buy extra materials when working on a project, you don’t want those supplies still cluttering up your garage years later — especially when that space could be better used for other things. Try repurposing extra patio stones, trim or plywood into other projects, or find local organizations that will accept donations of building materials, such as Habitat for Humanity.