Garage Decluttering in 4 Days or Less

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Recently, writer Adria Saracino wrote a post about how we’re redefining the garage in the 21st century.In that post, she talked about how we’re taking that space traditionally set aside for car storage and making it into a full-blown living space extension. But, before you can accomplish this kind of transformation, there are some initial steps to take – like preparing that space, and clearing it of the stuff you don’t want in order to make space for what you do want.

To address this important point, who better to tackle it than someone who’s something of an expert when it comes to big decluttering and disposal projects. Writer and dumpster rental company owner Joe Eitel is here to break this down to enable you to clear out your old garage to make space for you to create something new …


Garage got junk? If so, don’t feel bad. The garage is one of the most cluttered parts of most homes, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It’s almost too convenient of a place to stash boxes filled with who-knows-what, lawn and garden equipment, bicycles and other things that most likely will never again see the light of day. Before you know it, you can’t use your garage for its original purpose – to park your car!

There is hope, however, and a clutter-free garage is not as difficult as you may think. In four days or less, you can clear your garage of junk, organize it, and actually have room for your vehicle(s) again.

Day 1: planning your garage de-clutter

The very first step of any cleanout is proper planning. The planning stage starts at least one week in advance of physically emptying and organizing the garage. Planning will help keep you organized, improve the efficiency of the job, and avoid the pitfalls associated with mass cleanouts.

Determine the type of “stuff” cluttering up your garage. Separate items into different categories: trash, recyclables, sell, charitable donations and items to keep. If you find that you have quite a bit of trash and other junk, consider renting a roll off dumpster. The key is calling the local dumpster rental company at least a week in advance to ensure you are able to reserve a container for the date of your choosing.

If you have quite a bit of items that are recyclable or you plan to donate, consider renting or borrowing a small trailer to haul these items away. Sellable items can be posted online at sites like eBay or Craigslist, or you can plan a yard sale in the near future.

After you have a dumpster, trailer and selling plan in place, it’s time to get your hands dirty.

Day 2 – Sort your unwanted stuff

Day 2 of the four-day plan actually takes place at least a week after Day 1. It’s now time to dig in. Completely empty the garage of its contents. Separate any remaining items into the designated piles as described in the previous step.

Once separated into piles in the driveway or yard, load up the recyclables and/or items designated for charity and cart them off to your local recycling center or charitable organization. Put any remaining sellable items up for sale, or if you’re more interested in just getting rid of it, simply put the item(s) at the end of your driveway with a “FREE” sign on it. You’d be surprised what people will take off your hands!

Start loading the dumpster rental on Day 2 if you rented one. Keep in mind most dumpster rental companies prohibit certain items, such as car batteries, flammable/toxic chemicals, paint and tires.

Day 3 – clear some garage floor space

The third day of the cleanout will often be a continuation of Day 2. Finish any remaining dumpster loading, recycling or other unloading of unwanted clutter. If you get the garage empty by Day 3, you’re in great shape! The next step is returning the items from the “keep” pile back into the garage.

Don’t simply throw the items back into the garage without a plan in place. A great organizational tip is to keep as much stuff as possible off the floor of the garage. This means you may have to hang storage hooks – find at any hardware store or larger retailer like Wal-Mart – or shelving for smaller items.

Organizational solutions vary depending upon the type of stuff you store in your garage. For instance, consider investing in a wall or ceiling-mounted storage solution for kayaks or canoes to free up floor space. The same thing holds true for bicycles, wheelbarrows and larger kid’s toys.

Day 4 – ring in the new!

By Day 4, your cleanout should be near completion. It’s now just a matter of tying up the remaining loose ends. Finish up any mounting of garage hooks, shelving or strap-mounts started on Day 3. Next, bring any remaining “keep” items back into the garage and store them accordingly.

At this point, you can call the dumpster rental company to come pick-up the container if you haven’t done so already.

The final step is the most important or at least the most satisfying — Sit back and relax with your favorite drink and admire your brand new garage.


Thanks, Joe.

Joe Eitel is the senior editor for Hometown Dumpster Rental, the leading online resource for finding local dumpster rental and junk removal service providers nationwide. Search Hometown’s extensive dumpster rental listings for free and find reputable roll off dumpster rental companies in your area. Also check out the Hometown Dumpster Rental Blog for more tips and eco-friendly advice.



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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.