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Minimalism: How to clean your Garage

Hi my name is Vanya and I am a Minimalist!

Last month I shared with you why I have decided to live the life of a minimalist and today I share with you my first step toward that goal.

Why start with the Garage you ask you self? Well I compare my garage to my state of mind. Anything that I didn’t want to deal with, I would segregate it to my mental garage. This manifested it self literally in my garage at home. A pile of bits and pieces and rubbish that just seem impossible to put in order.

The tougher life got the bigger the rubbish piled in the garage, both mentally and physically.

Also I figure instead of putting off the hardest thing for last, I’ll eat the frog first.

If you have been putting off dealing with your mental & actual garage then keep reading. This is the full proof way to bring your house in order and clear you own mind ;)

Step 1 - Enlist some help

This is the most important step and not for the obvious reasons. I asked my friend Hayley to come and help me clean my garage. I need a person who was disconnected to my household, someone with a rational mind.

Her job was to challenge me on the things I was keeping, such as the unused light fixture my parents moved over to the new house as it wasn’t used in the old. It had been sitting in my garage for the past 5 years (unused) and another 5 in their old garage.

“Throw away!” Firm words, but effective.

Other helpers included:

My mum - who watched Charlie while this was all happening

The Hubby - Who helped dispose of the garbage (2 trips to the tip)

My Dad - Donated one of his work vans to transport the rubbish to the garbage tip

Charlie - My two year old who inspected the final product with a thumbs up

Step 2 - Keep, Donate & Trash

The most effective way to get started is to create three piles

1. Keep - Items you are still using or have a purpose (tools, wrapping paper, xmas decorations, easter decorations)

2. Donate - These are items that are in good condition that you no longer use or need. (Old paintings, exercise equipment, baby toys)

4. Trash - Things that you don’t want to keep, can’t donate and can’t sell

I piled the trash in the driveway making it easy to load into the van. The donation pile was in one corner of the garage and the keep pile I stored on the shelfs and floor for the bulk items.

With Hayley's help I culled a significant amount of ‘things’.

While the rubbish pile was huge, the donations pile was impressive as well. It actually made me think about how much ‘stuff’ we hold on to, for sentimental reasons. If you truly look at the things you have collected over the years you will be amazed at what you have that is useless to you.

Step 3 - Sell & Donate

Once the Rubbish was taken away, and we had two van loads. I started to sort through the “Donate” pile.

I split that pile into two “Sell” & “Donate”.

The items I decided to sell were items that the charities didn’t want to take, such as a queen size Ikea bed, boxes and boxes of tiles, to name a few.

Step 4 - Storage Supplies

Before you begin this project you will need to look at what type of storage solutions you’d like to use.

Do you need to put some shelving up or do you already have it? Are you going to use any storage boxes or do you already have those?

If you are looking to purchase something, I find that Bunnings and Ikea have some very affordable storage solutions to get you started. For plastic bins I found that the cheapest option was from Bunnings, as they had a sale the day I purchasing them.

I had some shelving in my garage from when we built the house so I used them to store my new plastic pins on. You don’t have to use plastic bins, I used them as I wanted the stored items to be ecstatically pleasing and the items in them to be visible so I know what is where.

Step 5 - Clean up

This is the last, easiest and most satisfying step.

If you have followed all the above instructions, you now need to play Tetris with your plastic bins and any other bulk items you are keeping. Place them all away on the shelfs, hangers & hooks.

Last step is to sweep the floor.

By the time you finish you will look around and find your self with an empty floor.

If you have reached this point, then go ahead pat your self on the back!!!

You did it!!

How does it feel to let go of all that accumulated ‘stuff’?

I actually felt lighter. I felt like a weight had been lifted off me.

I have to say what you see in pictures here has only motivated me to continue and transform my life further, progress towards that minimalist lifestyle where I own things and things don’t own me.

Since the ‘BIG clean up of 2015’, I have transformed this garage into my home gym and plan on doing these types of culls once every year.

I would love to know, which room in your house represents your mental state?

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