Welcome to Day 7 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge:
The garage is often home for everything but your car. Car parts, boxes that haven’t been unpacked from 2 house moves ago, all the things you’re “definitely” going to repair, craft supplies you will use one day but can’t fit in your house at the moment, baby gear “just in case”, tax papers from fifteen years ago that you’ll sort out one day and all the amazing art your children have brought home since they were 4. And sometimes there’s even some junk that’s actually been earmarked to go but hasn’t quite made it out the door yet… It all makes for a cluttered mess and when the time comes to turf it, a serious health and environmental hazard if not disposed properly.
The World Health Organisation say that stockpiles of waste tyres sent to countries like Vietnam has caused the spread of Dengue Fever and other mosquito borne diseases by providing a perfect breeding ground. But recycled, they are useful for making sporting & playground surfaces, brake pads, insulation and constructing roads and drains among other things.
Another big problem is batteries. Australia has one of the lowest battery recycling rates in the world. Each year, over 300 million household batteries are thrown away with ordinary waste, meaning a staggering 8,000 tonnes of batteries end up in landfill. Batteries leech toxic metals into the ground which contaminates our soil and finds its way into our water systems.
Top Tips to sustainably declutter the garage
- Hazardous waste should never go into landfill. Check out this blog post for destinations for most types of rubbish including making use of your council hard rubbish collection service which is often your best friend when it comes to cleaning out a garage
- Determine what is of no use to you, and what is of no use to anyone. Donate the former and ensure the latter is sent to its proper destination. The RecycleNearYou website is a great resource
- Anything sentimental or of value should never be stored in the garage, where temperatures can vary wildly. If it’s important, it deserves a place in your house
Top Tips to organise the garage
- Create zones for the different types of things you keep in your garage, such as tools, gardening equipment, car paraphernalia, sports gear, outdoor living and the like. Store like things together and ensure small items are contained
- Keep the floor clear as much as possible by utilising vertical space. Shelving along a wall, hooks, brackets and even rafters are important to make the most of this space whilst still being able to park your car here
- Create a dedicated area for items that are ready to be donated or disposed of. Don’t make it too big. That way, when it is full, you are reminded to empty it (regularly) in order to make more space
Environmentally friendly resources when decluttering the garage:
|Chemicals, paint, batteries, fluros, etc||Detox your home collects items throughout the year at various locations. Use this link to find a date, time and location near you and to see what they accept
Battery World accepts all types of batteries
Aldi accepts household batteries (AA, AAA, C, D and 9V sizes)
|Sports/Playground equipment||Progress Pikinini donates suitable items to children and schools in need in Vanuatu|
|Furniture suitable for a classroom such as desks, large tables and chairs||Progress Pikinini|
|Old tyres||Tyrecycle is one company recycling used car tyres. Check the list of participating retailers on their website to ensure the place you get your tyres changed is committed to recycling them, or if they’re not on the list, ask them before you book in.|
|Bicycles||Bicycles for Humanity|
|Cars||Kids Under Cover|
|Tents & Swags||Rumbalara|
|Everything else||1800-got-junk? is a handy resource for your back pocket. They will remove your unwanted item (whatever it is and from wherever it is) and take it away. They divert as much as possible from landfill and you pay based on the amount of truck space you use. Considering it includes two men with lifting power this is often a very good solution when you just don’t know what to do with your unwanted stuff or can’t move something yourself|
These resources and more will be added to the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.
Today is the last day of National Organising Week and our week-long sustainable decluttering challenge. Congratulations on making it to the end and I hope you’ve learnt something new and got a little closer to finding your Organised Sweet Spot.
Getting organised is not a one-time event. It’s a life long journey that requires your ongoing commitment and prioritisation, much like you health and garden. At the end of the day, its a choice between the stuff or the space. There is no right or wrong choice, but it is important to acknowledge you can only have one or the other and to work out what the right balance is for you.
If you want to maintain momentum on your decluttering journey and would like one-on-one help with sorting your space, please call or email me for an obligation free chat. There is no pressure to take any action right now, but it is always empowering to know your options for when you are ready. I can do in-person consultations in Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula and West Gippsland. I also have a brilliant & trusted colleague based in the Gold Coast for our Northern Friends in Brisbane, Northern NSW or anywhere in between. So whenever you are ready for more time and space, we are ready & waiting.
Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.