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What to Throw Away First When Spring-Cleaning Your Garage

by Andra Hopulele
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4 min. read

With spring in the air, now is the perfect time to tackle that one job you’ve been putting off: cleaning and organizing your garage. Warmer temperatures mean you can use your yard as a temporary space to leave the entire contents of the garage there while you work on giving it a deep clean. Next, you need to decide what to keep, what to throw away, and what to sell or donate.

This can be easier said than done, and it’s tempting to slip into the ‘maybe one day…’ mentality. To help you along, we’ve had a good long think about what to throw away first when spring-cleaning your garage. Check out our list below.

Old Paint Cans

Whenever you paint a room or a fence, you always have some paint left over. It’s a good thing too, you tell yourself, as you can use it in case you need to touch up scratches or discolored areas in the future. But, when 5-years down the line that time still hasn’t come, it’s sensible to throw the paint can collection out.

Besides, you’ll find that even if you do use it, the paint has either separated or it no longer matches your walls. You’re probably better off buying a new can altogether. Be on the lookout for other old chemicals, such as paint thinner while you’re at it. Finally, be sure to dispose of these hazardous materials properly — check your local sanitation department for details.

That Rusty Old Barbecue

It happens to us all. Come fall, we hold out as long as possible before bringing in the barbecue, in the vain hope of one last fine, warm evening. But then the rains fall, and then the snow, and by the time you finally bring it in, it’s looking a little worse for wear. You promise yourself that you’ll clean it up in spring.

Now, looking at it, it’s rusty, still greasy, and pretty much un-salvageable. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably best to throw it out and get a new one.

Duplicate Tools

There are many life-saving tools that all homeowners should have around, but a cluttered, disorganized garage is often full of everything you need, except when you need it most. So, rather than digging through a year’s worth of clutter, you bite the bullet and buy a new screwdriver or chisel. As a result, when it comes to spring cleaning the garage, you’re likely to find several duplicate tools.

Rather than holding on to all of them, why not donate some of the spares to friends or family. Alternatively, if they’re in good condition, why not try selling them at a garage sale or online?

Expired Food and Drinks

The garage often becomes a space where everything you can’t normally fit within your home dwells. This typically includes tools, bicycles, old clothes, summer gear, and often, also food and drinks. From frozen goods and chips, to spirits and soft drinks, all can find their way into the garage, to be forgotten about entirely.

When you come across this stash of perishables, take time to sort through them and salvage what you can, but throw away anything that has expired. While a moldy loaf of bread is obviously not good, be sure to check canned goods as well, as contrary to popular belief, they don’t last forever!

Old Clothes

Bulky jackets and old vacation clothes also often accumulate in the garage, where they can get dusty, moth-eaten, or even moldy if you’re not careful. Take a look through what you have, and think about if you’ll ever wear them again — there’s a good chance you won’t. If they’re in good condition, you can give them a quick wash and donate them to local charities.

Parting with all these items can be difficult, but 9 times out of 10, had you not found them while cleaning, you wouldn’t even remember that they existed. Remember, a garage sale is a great way to make a little cash out of your hard work, while many charities will be happy to receive what you no longer need as long as it’s in good condition.

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