Create an Organized Garage by Rowena List, Professional Organizer

organized garageWhen is the best time to get an organized garage?

Most people select the summer so they can have the door open and put unwanted items in the driveway.Keep in mind that it might take more than one day to get an organized garage.There are lots of hiding spaces in your garage. You might find items you had forgotten you had.You might even come across the odd spider or 2!

Creative Commons License photo Les Chatfield

Can you get your car in your garage? Would you like to park in your garage?

Has your garage become a catch all? This is very common.Not sure where to store item X ? It usually ends up in the garage. And that clutter is the enemy of an organized garage!

Would you like to have a system?

Would you like an organized garage?

Watch this short video to get some tips on how to have “zones” in your garage. You’ll see the gardening zone, tool zone,sports equipment zone and so on. Zones are key to an organized garage.

What are your great tips for organizing a garage ?
Please leave them in the comment box below. We can all learn from each other.

Keep in mind that your garage did not get cluttered overnight so it will not get cleared overnight. It will take time. You will need a plan of action. Let me help you with that.

If you like this video, click the “like” button and then share it with your friends.  And if you’re not in the “Getting it Together” community, head on over to GettingItTogether.ca and get on the list.  You’ll get instant access to a free ebook that outlines a simple 10-day plan for organizing 10 different areas of your home in 15 minutes or less.

Moving Checklist

movingHow many people love to move? I have yet to meet anyone who gets excited about moving.

The key to a stress free, successful move is “ORGANIZATION” and good labeling!

The other key to a successful, stress free move is proper planning. Give yourself enough time to do all the tasks. Do not leave things to the last moment. Be ruthless with your sorting, purging and donating.

Follow this moving day checklist and be the envy of everyone who has every moved.

4-6 weeks before moving day

1. Start collecting boxes and packing paper. Your local produce store will have beautiful apple boxes. Having all the same size boxes makes for better packing. If you would like to use “green” boxes be sure to check out http://www.frogbox.com.

2. Go around your house with post it notes. Label all large items that WILL NOT be going with you. Be ruthless. Consider having a moving sale, use a consignment store, Craigslist, or donation. (I can help you with this is you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself.)

3. Start purging your clothes closets and storage areas.

4. Begin the process of contacting “People to Notify”:

  • Electricity and gas
  • Water and milk delivery
  • Telephone and internet
  • Cable TV
  • Home and auto insurance
  • Drivers License and Passport (change of address)
  • Newspaper and magazine subscription
  • Doctors and Dentist (get referral in new neighdorhood)
  • Banks and credit cards
  • Post office (change of address)  www.canadapost.com

5. Decide if you will pack/move yourself or if you are going to hire professionals. (I work with some very reputable movers.) Only use well known movers who will come to your home and give you a quote.

6. Start really downsizing your deep freeze. The goal would be to have it empty by move day. If your move is local, your frozen food can be packed in a cooler. If your move is long distance, you will need to make arrangements for any frozen food left. This is a great way to get to know your neighbors!

3 weeks before moving day

1. Pair down your pantry. Use up canned goods and dried goods. Toss out all outdated spices, baking supplies, stale cereal, etc.

2. Cleaning supplies, flammables, and aerosols cannot be moved by professional movers. Use these up until move day and then leave behind for the new tenants.

3. Decide what you would like to do with any or all plants. Indoor and outdoor ones. Will you be moving them or donating them?

4. Dismantle gym equipment, patio furniture, trampolines and large power tools.

5. Do any of your appliances need services? Now is the time to do it.

6. Pack (unless you have hired professionals) all items you do not need. Seasonal clothing, most of the kid’s toys, seasonal cookware/platters, books, CD’s, sporting equipment, etc.

2 weeks before moving day

1. Pack a suitcase for each family member. Include a towel, toilet paper, hand soap, special medications, toiletries, fresh set of sheets, toys/books and a few clothes. Just enough stuff to get your through the first 2 or 3 days in your new place. This saves on opening boxes and trying to find the favorite toy or pillow.

2. Arrange transfers of any school records.

3. Check to make sure your insurance covers you while moving.

4. Return library books, pop/beer bottles and any borrowed items.

5. Pack as much of the house as you can. When we moved I had 2 special boxes. One had the plastic cups, plates, etc. and the other had the champagne and non-perishable snacks. As soon as we got our keys I set up a little celebration area.

6. Make any travel arrangements.

7. Accept all help. Do your friends want to cook for you? Do they want to help pack? Say “yes please” and “thank-you”.

8. Be sure to do some self care. You do not want to strain your back. This is an important time to keep up your yoga, walking and hot relaxing baths.

1 week before moving day

1. Take down drapes, and blinds.

2. Dismantle TV, desks, and any other furniture you do not need this week.

3. Make sure all the laundry is done. Do you have any dry cleaning to pick up?

4. Make arrangements for any pets. Keep their food close at hand along with leash and blanket.

5. Pack everything except for the bare necessities.

6. Use up all the food in your fridge (as much as you can).

7. Do you need to do a run to the dump or will your local garbage pick-up do?

One day before

1. Make arrangements for your kids to be at a play date/sleep over. This will help lower the stress level. It is also safer for little kids to not be under foot.

2. Do all last minute cleaning.

3. Defrost freezer and wipe down inside of fridge.

4. Put the self clean on your oven.

5. Unhook your computers, radios, coffee maker, phones, etc.

6. Go out for dinner to a friends, family or local café.

7. Check the house for any last items that need to be packed. Hopefully there is nothing left.

8. Say goodbye to your neighbors.

Moving Day

1. Load the truck or get your professional movers to do it for you.

2. Have cold drinks and snacks on hand.

3. Load your car with what you can. Use a cooler for any last minute items from the fridge.

4. Leave the keys and your contact information with your landlord or Realtor. Your contact info is handy if there is any mail that does not get redirected. It is also handy if the new tenants/owners have any questions about your house/condo.

5. Collect your kids and pets.

6. Prepare for a new start. I trust it is a happy, joyful experience.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of packing, moving or unpacking?

Please allow me to support you in this process.  Have you taken advantage of my FREE 30 minute phone consultation? If not, than contact me today. We will discuss a plan of action to help you have a stress free, ORGANIZED move.

Getting It Together FAQ’s – Part 3

organizedThank you for sending in your questions. It is really fun getting them and then answering them for everyone. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that I have received.

Q- I have a basket full of keys. I do not know what they are for. What shall I do?

A- Keep a key for a year. If you do not need it within that year I am guessing you will never need it. If you know what a key if for make sure you label it.

Q- How can I keep my freezer organized?

A- Let’s chat about the freezer that is attached to your kitchen fridge as opposed to a deep freeze. Have same size containers. Fill them with let’s say berries. Label them and freeze. None of this tossing items into the freezer without labeling them. You want your freezer to be user friendly for the whole family. You might remember what is in that unmarked container but no one else will.

Q- What shall I do with my grown kids baby teeth? I saved them. Stored them and now what?

A- Ask yourself this question “what is the purpose of keeping them?” Keep asking yourself that question until you come up with a really good answer. If your children do not want them and you do not want them then TOSS!

Q- I’ve downloaded all my music CD’s onto my iPod. What should I do with the CD’s and cases?

A- As long as you have a backup in your computer you can donate, sell or give away your CD’s. There is no point in keeping them if you are using only your iPod for music.

Q- I have all my dolls from when I was a little girl. What should I do with them?

A- Are your dolls in a box or are they on display? Most often they are in a box in the crawl space or attic. These types of items fall into the sentimental “clutter”. Is it safe to say that keeping one very special doll would be good? Pass the rest on with love. Be sure to take a photo of them before passing on. Keep the memory but not the item.

I thought my granddaughters would like my dolls. No such luck. They wanted new up to date dolls.

Q- What shall I do with all my shoes? In our culture we do not keep our shoes in our clothes closet. I have shoes all over the front entrance and even outside.

A- No matter where you store your shoes you will want a shoe rack of some sort. There are wire, weatherproof handy ones that would fit nicely in the front entrance. I’ll have to take her a picture of one next time I head to the post office. There are also really neat ones that hang over a door.

Q- I get asked this a lot. Is your last name really “LIST?”

A- Yes, I was born with that name. I tried to come up with a company name that would incorporate my last name. So far no luck. If you have any ideas please send them my way. For now I am sticking with the company name of “Getting it Together”

Q- How long does it take to get organized?

A- How long did it take for you to get disorganized? How fast can you make decisions? How big is the project? How much time do you have to dedicate to getting organized? These are just some of the questions I ask my clients prior to us getting started. For example: A clothes closet that has not been organized or culled for let’s say ten years would take at least 4 hrs to get organized.

Q- What should I do with the old love letters from my high school boyfriend?

A- Is he the guy you are with now? Would you like anyone else to see or read these letters? For example your current partner/spouse. Then ask yourself this “what is the purpose of keeping these letters?” If you decide to keep them, put them in your memorabilia box.

Q-What shall I do with chipped glasses or dishes I have in my cupboard?

A- Funny how we keep those chipped glasses or dishes yet never use them. If we need a glass we move the chipped glass to one side and get a non chipped glass. You would NEVER give a guest a chipped glass or cracked plate. TOSS the chipped items away. You cannot even donate them because it is dangerous to use a cracked or chipped plate. It might break in your hand or your children’s hand.

What is your burning question? What is your biggest organizing obstacle? Please leave a comment below or contact me at www.gettingittogether.ca for a FREE 30 minute phone consultation. We will discuss your burning question and how you can move forward with clearing the clutter.