One of the first things we decide is what we are keeping and what we are getting rid of. If we haven't used it in the last 6 months then it is time to get rid of it (unless it is a seasonal item). A lot of times the clothing the children have grown out of has been bagged and left in the garage. This is a great time to donate items to a NON-PROFIT organization. I like to make sure that our items are going for the benefit of others and not at a profit for a person or company. Once we have our piles we set aside time (either this same day or one VERY soon) that we can take the items and donate them.
For any of our larger trash items - we try to set up our cleaning close to the time when our city has it's neighborhood pick up. This way our items don't stay on the street for very long. We just make sure everything is bagged and sorted in an organized way so we don't get confused on the "keeping" and "trash" and "donating" piles.
Having lots of shelves in your garage will greatly benefit your being able to keep it organized. Training your family to put things away from WHERE THEY GOT IT will be even better. Label things and either have the children come out and help get everything organize (our choice) or else make sure you have an 'orientation' with them so everyone knows where everything goes. One of the biggest problems for organization that most people struggle with is putting things back correctly. If you can get in the habit of using it and then putting it right back you will stay organized! Training young children to follow this simple rule will make their lives simpler, too.
Once we have like items with other like items and labeled accordingly, we generally use the blower and just blow out all of the dirt. We make sure that there isn't trash or debris floating around - we sweep that stuff up first. Be mindful when you use your blower that you don't get your trash and debris in your neighbors yards or in the road.
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