Cluttered Garage? How to Determine What to Move to Storage

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A garage can quickly become a disorganized storage bin that contains everything from unused clothes to Christmas decorations. It can be a daunting task to clean a garage because so many of the items cannot be clearly identified as trash or treasures. It is often impractical to move everything in a garage into storage because some things are obviously not going to ever be used again. There are several factors that should be considered in order to determine if an item in a garage should be moved to storage or disposed of.

One of the first things to look at when trying to decide if an item is worth keeping is the age of the item. Clothes, decorations and other objects that are very old are most likely not worth keeping. The exceptions are family heirlooms and antiques. Not all old items are antiques, however, and many times something that might look valuable is actually just a piece of junk. The age of some things like blenders or wicker baskets can actually affect the integrity of the object. An old piece of machinery might not work well and could be a fire hazard. Old items that are brittle could break easily and create a mess.

Documents and other papers that are kept in a garage might need to be disposed of. The general rule is to throw away records that are more than 10 years old because they are usually not relevant or are available elsewhere. Computers and scanners can digitize documents and then throw away the originals. It is also a good idea to donate to throw away items like clothes, exercise machines and books that have not been used for a few years.

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Items that have sentimental value can be kept if they are packaged correctly. Tools like screwdrivers and hammers are worth keeping because they are usually functional no matter how old the item is. Seasonal items like Halloween decorations and Christmas lights can be packaged neatly and then placed into a storage locker until the holidays arrive. The same is true for gardening supplies that are not needed through the winter.

Some homeowners use a garage to hold large pieces of furniture that are no longer being used. If the furniture item has been replaced then it is probably best to get rid of it through a yard sale or donation. Particularly expensive or designer furniture can be put into a rented storage space so that it can be safely kept. Storage facilities that are temperature controlled are especially good for holding items like furniture, artwork and photographs that cannot be replaced.

Casey Haslem is a writer and a hobby outdoor enthusiast. She writes often about storage and organization. If you’re in need of help with storage, contact San Jose self storage units or Brighton Extra Space Storage.

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