ClutterBGone has organized quite a few garages over the years but there is one that stands out. This particular garage organizing job was quite challenging because the husband was not originally aware that his wife had hired us to organize the garage and challenging because of the weather – it was late fall with temps near zero and a mix of rain and snow coming down.
The garage had become a sore spot in the relationship to the point where it was either get it organized or get a divorce! I’m sure you have all seen those garages in your own neighborhood that are stuffed to the rafters with all kinds of stuff. This was a single car garage and was just like that. The husband reluctantly gave in provided he could assist us. This was actually the best scenario as whoever owns the items must be the decision maker in terms of what to keep and what needs to go. We honor and respect client’s “stuff” and so nothing can ever be tossed without the owner’s permission.
We started the project by bringing everything out to the driveway (remember I told you there was a mix of rain and snow?) and almost everything that was taken out was met with “I need that” or “I’m not going to get rid of that” from the husband. Hmm, this is going to be a tough one. Of course, our methodology is to first sort and categorize everything into piles and then make decisions on what to keep or go. We had to reassure the Mr. that we respected his belongings and nothing was leaving at this stage of the process. He was very anxious (understandably) so we ensured that we communicated constantly with him every step of the way. Managing client emotions and expectations is a large part of every downsizing and organizing project.
Once we had everything out we saw that there was a large workbench in the back of the garage (not visible earlier in the project) with a lot of tools to go along with it. The husband all of sudden became more interested. He had actually forgotten that he had a workbench in there and all these great tools that he had been looking for.
After sorting through everything both the husband and wife realized how much they had and the sheer volume and quantity of each item. Lots of duplication and money needlessly spent. They confessed that quite often they would give up looking for something and buy another – a common issue with people who live with disorganized chaos. After seeing the multiple tools, pieces of garden equipment, auto accessories, etc. they both agreed that things had gotten out of hand and they both dove in and made some great decisions – together. It was quite cathartic for them.
We got the OK to bring in a small dumpster to haul away the trash (unbeknownst to our clients, many items had active mold growing and others could not be recycled or repurposed due to pest contamination) and we separated the duplicate items to be donated, sold or given away to family. The husband spent hours at the tool bench reorganizing the tools and hardware and found many duplicate hand and power tools that he gave to his sons. He was like a kid in a candy store. A neighbor actually stopped by to see what was going on (I think he thought there was a garage sale happening) and ended up buying a power saw and a tool box from our client!
This garage organizing project took 2 full days with a team of 3 and on the second day our clients had brought us some portable heaters that they had borrowed for us. Boy, were they a welcome sight! We installed a couple of functional garage shelving units, put everything away in an efficient, functional and organized fashion, set up an organizing system on the wall and left them with an organized garage.
To this day (a year later) the garage is still organized, the couple are still together and they can even get a car in the garage for the first time in 10 years! We love transforming spaces and transforming lives!
If you need help with your garage organizing project we would be happy to hear from you.