Broken tools, ancient sporting equipment, creaky old furniture — the garage or attic can be the ultimate magnet for clutter. Who even knows what’s hiding in those boxes way in back? If you’ve got a garage or attic full of junk, follow professional organizer Jill Pollack’s simple checklist to tackle that mess in a single weekend.
“There are all kind of things in your garage that have an expiration date, and you don’t even realize it,” Pollack says. Paint, batteries, cleaning supplies, motor oil, lawn fertilizer — all of it has a lifespan, and you likely have more than a few things that have gone bad. “Check the expiration date and get ’em out of there,” Pollack says.
Things That Are Broken
If it’s been broken for over a year and you haven’t bothered to fix it, Pollack’s rule is to let it go. “You know, the picnic basket that is crushed, the roller blades that don’t work anymore, the tennis rack that you’re going to restring — it’s time, move it out.”
The Unfinished Project
Many projects get put in the garage with the best of intentions, only to collect dust. Take the scrapbook supplies for your baby, who’s now off in college? Say goodbye, Pollack says. That piece of furniture you planned to strip and refurbish five years ago? Let it go.
Your archaic baby crib, your grandmother’s broken rocking chair, your son’s old baseball mitt. These are things that are the hardest to part with, but Pollack strongly believes in moving on. “If you really must remember these items, take a picture of them, but don’t store them in the garage,” she says.