The Great Garage Clean Out Challenge – Week One!

So I asked you all should we or shouldn’t we and the consensus was an overwhelming: “Just do it…” Thanks guys!!! So “we are in” on the Great Garage Clean Out Challenge… Though not in a “stop the traffic” kind of way, just a “this is what needs to be done and this is what I intend to achieve,” kind of a way!!!

Here you go the same old garage – you see it tidy, you see it tend to chaos, you see it nearly tidy, then absolute chaos… well this is the month. I am going to give it one last try…


There is a system… everything in the house that we want to donate gets dumped there. As well as a few potential projects and a pile of bikes…

So I am seeing se7en tasks:

  1. Get all the donate-ables out of the house.
  2. This is a big project. I have no problem gathering up goodies for donation – I bag them, I box them and down to the garage they go. But there are some items: that don’t seem to get down to the garage… they get stuffed in shelves, put on the side in piles and generally cause clutter around our house. These bits and bobs have been filtered out of the everyday stuff and that is as far as they go… stagnating in the top of closets, jammed on top of books on shelves… bleh. To this end I spent the whole of “May Day” going through everyone’s closets… checking for discards. Truth is when you are a minimalist at heart it is possible to sort everyone’s clothes in a day!!!

    Sorting every closet until I am done... Send ice cream for encouragement... Anytime!!!Ten tidy clothes shelves... Successful day at the "office"

    From crazy to choralled, the task was done… all of us. Otherwise, toys are done, books are an ever and slow-ongoing process… the kitchen we did earlier this summer… So pretty much all the donate-ables are done and in the garage.

  3. Get all the donate-ables out of the garage:
  4. This is the next step… Right now everything is jammed on shelves around the garage and needs to all be taken out, put in a pile and then we need to figure out where to send everything. This is my project for this week…

  5. Get all the donate-ables GONE!!!
  6. If I manage this task this week I will consider myself to be quite rocking!!! This is probably going to be the hardest to do… And I am going to need to figure how to get the stuff in our garage into the hands of the folk who can use it… Just up the road from us… let’s see how I manage!!!


  7. Sort out the shelves:
  8. Amidst the things to donate and the few things we actually need to keep there is actual garbage… I wish I knew what to do with it. For example: I have asked this before and I will ask it again: “What exactly do you do with a solid block of concrete?” Any hints???

  9. It is not all rubbish:
  10. We have a perfectly good tumble dryer lurking in there… I moved it out of our kitchen when the cost of electricity began to hike, about two if not three years ago. I can’t bring myself to part with it – I know how expensive it is to run and how much energy it wastes…we never ever use it, but that doesn’t mean I want anybody else wasting heaps of electricity either. It is a dilemma!!!


  11. The Pile of Bikes:
  12. Our kids ride bikes up and down the driveway all winter… but they need a few repairs and I think I need to set the task of a “bike-rack” because this heap, and this is on a good day, is just not working for me at all!!!


  13. The door:
  14. That door, balanced against the wall, has been in our garage four if not five years… it was part of our house before we renovated and I have always wanted to use it for a project – the time has come. Project or donate – seriously, enough is enough.

    And the se7en + 1th thing:

  15. Clear the Floor: I know this should be the first project, but we need to get to the floor first!!! We live at the bottom of a mountain and as the winter rains set in, so does the mountain run-off. All winter we literally have a river running through. My kids love to build little projects in the special channels, created in the floor, specifically for catching mountain water runoff. If we do nothing else we really do need to clear the floor of anything that could potentially be damaged by water.

That’s us… And I won’t mind any encouraging comments – like: “Of course you can tackle the garage with joy in your step.” No matter how many little people really want to just help. Actually it is the help of the older siblings that fill me with trepidation, their idea of help and potential projects are a lot further away from mine than you can possibly imagine. Let’s build a bike rack could quite easily turn into let’s build a time traveling space rocket, without any of them batting an eye… If that is the sort of help I get then our garage is going to look a WHOLE lot worse before it gets any better!!!

20 Replies to “The Great Garage Clean Out Challenge – Week One!”

  1. Go for it! you’ve got a plan and it’s going to work! (maybe not quite how you imagine it, but it WILL work!!)

  2. Right Zoe!!! The first encourager is in!!! I fully intend to take the encouragement to heart… It is actually sunny here today I could make a good start… or just thaw out and do the laundry!!! Thanks for stopping by… I hope you have a great week!!!

  3. Wow – love your plan. LOL, our garage looks much the same. BTW, am in the market for a tumble drier, so if do decide to sell, drop me a line!

  4. Heehee, have put off buying the tumble drier specifically because of the electricity issue, but winter with a new baby is just too hard to contemplate …

  5. Hi Christa, We actually stopped using our tumble dryer just after Hood #7 was born and really haven’t looked back. A drying rack, well two for us, has been enough. And in Cape Town it generally rains one or two days and then a clear day and so on… so it is possible to dash out and hang the washing and dry it. We also don’t have tons of clothes we basically wash and wear and repeat… but it has worked!!! All the best… And have a great day!!!

  6. Of course you can do this! You have already done so many things that the rest of us think we could never accomplish — research on a ship in(near?) Antarctica, eight home births, homeschooling all those hoods.

    You could probably put the older hoods in charge of the younger hoods AWAY from the garage and get a whole lot done in an hour a week by yourself. Just a thought…

    You can do it!!

  7. Sarah, Thank you!!! I know, for us it is the one place I never ever see… Out of sight and totally out of mind – except for the never ending niggle that something has to be done!!! I think I should stop saying tomorrow and get started!!!

  8. Linda B, I think I should keep you in my kitchen – just to spur me on!!! Thank you for the encouragement… you are fabulous!!! With comments like yours I will have to get going!!! Hope you have a brilliant week!!!

  9. Just keep tinkering away! It all adds up and that clean space is going to make you happy every time you think of it by the time it is done!
    You can do it!!!
    Lots of love!

  10. You go go go!!! You can do it! It will look And feel spectacular when you ar done!!

  11. Have you seen the cool bike racks made out of pvc pipe on Pinterest? Maybe you could make one of those! 😉

  12. Hay Corli… Tinkering!!! I am going to have to tinker with a mallet me-thinks!!! And you have a new blog post up!!! Wonderful, it has got be a great week!!!

  13. Hi Katherine… I know – the first step is the hardest step and all that!!! The whole house is nothing compared to how I feel about the old garage!!! It will be fab when it is done and I must keep that in focus!!! Hope your ave a great week!!!

  14. Oh Kara, from such a lover of Pinterest… why did I not think of looking at bike racks over there… off to search, what a fab idea!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  15. I am soooo inspired by this. We have been SERIOUSLY decluttering for the past 2.5 weeks. Clothing and toys and books and CDs and bedding and arts and craft supplies that remain unused. I even gave my friend A LOT of wool the other day because even though I am a knitter, I am simply NOT getting through all my wool.
    ps…check pinterest for garage storage ideas. And if you are looking for a buyer (or are *cough* willing to donate) then I would love your tumble dryer.
    Enjoy the process and think of how fantastic it will be to have a cleaned out garage.

  16. Hay Julia!!! Cough, gotta talk to my hubs about the tumble. Meanwhile keep on decluttering, it is so freeing!!! Just knowing that the stuff lying on the kitchen counter is stuff we want to keep… and so we need to find the perfect spot for them!!! Everyone has been so encouraging about our garage that I am absolutely going to have to get started in there… Bleh!!! I know it will be so good when it is done… but the first step… Hope you have a great week!!!

  17. What type of ceiling do you have in your garage? We hang our bikes on hooks from that. Usually from their back tires. We have had 15 bikes plus two canoes hanging from our garage ceiling lots of winters. That way we can still park in there.

  18. Hay Anna, That’s a great idea… We have hung my husbands bike from time to time… but the little bikes need very quick and easy access… So I was thinking that they could make a rack rather than just flinging them into a pile!!! But hanging from the roof is a great way to create space. It isn’t a big garage – built in the very olden days and there isn’t actually room for a car there!!! I am definitely going to take a stroll around Pinterest and see what I can find there to raise my enthusiasm!!! Thanks so much for stopping by, I am loving the support!!!

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