You’ve decluttered, you’ve created stations for different categories, and you’ve brought all food and delicate items inside. Now you just need stuff to put your stuff in! Be strategic about what you purchase, though. When I’m organizing with a client, I try to bring as few new items into the home, including the garage, as possible. Using what you already have before buying new organizing gadgets saves you money and reduces your consumption (=love for the planet!). That being said, here are my top 3 tips for garage organizing!
1. Use Vertical Space
When you can’t go outward, go upward. Hooks, racks, and shelves are all great ways to get items off the floor. Vertical storage saves space, and saves you from picking everything up off the floor. Better for your garage, and better for your back. If you need help installing organizing solutions in your garage, contact a local garage organizing installer. If you are in Los Angeles, Gus at OrganizIt! and Jay from Organized Garage Solutions both know their stuff and have been working with Professional Organizers for years. Both these garage organizing companies can help you with sports-specific hooks and bins and other tricky bulky item storage.
A neat garage that’s crawling with pests is not a neat garage at all! And if you store your stuff neatly but improperly, you could face a disaster. Avoid garage organizing mistakes and keep these items safely indoors.
Things that are affected by extreme heat, cold, or humidity belong inside your home, or in a climate-controlled storage unit. These include:
Important documents. Don’t lose your marriage certificate (or your rare vintage Pokémon cards) to water damage. High humidity or floods can render valuable items useless.
Photos. Heat and damp can cause them to fade prematurely.
Vinyl records, which can warp at high temperatures.
Wine, which needs a consistent temperature.
Delicate clothing that can mold and rot.
Paintings, which don’t do well in fluctuating temperatures.
When I covered paper filing in the past, one of my top tips was, “The best way to keep track of paperwork is to make sure it never arrives in the first place!” But what about digital organizing?
Go digital when you can. Not only does it reduce paperwork that takes up physical space in your home, it reduces paper usage in general. Good stuff! At Organize to Excel, we aim to eliminate waste and help the environment wherever possible.
If (when!) you follow my advice about paperwork, you’ll end up with more digital files than paper ones. But if you don’t have a filing system in place on your computer, you’re just swapping paper clutter for digital clutter.
Here are my top 4 tips for digital organizing, keeping your computer files as neat and tidy as your physical ones.
1. Mimic Real Life
Would you throw your mail on the floor as soon as you brought it in the house? Do you file everything as “Important”? If you do, give us a call and we can help you straighten that out!
It doesn’t make sense to do these things, because all you’d get is a big pile of mail on your floor, and tons of time wasted spent searching for that one bill you kinda remember being in this pile…or is it this pile? Eek!
Physical clutter is more obvious than digital clutter because it’s in the way when you try to eat dinner at the table, or a tripping hazard in your hallway. And, you have to physically go through items one at a time. But digital clutter is real, and it’s costing you time and money you don’t need to spend.
Imagine your computer is a tiny filing cabinet. It needs labels, folders, and subfolders. It needs an internal logic, so the folders and subfolders are useful. If you think about digital files like they’re paper, it only makes sense to put them in some sort of order.
You’ve discovered your unique rules for what stays and what goes in your home, you’ve used one of last week’s techniques to jump-start your decluttering, and now you have a big pile of things to get rid of! But unless you have a plan for what to do with them, you’ll either have a junk pile that hangs around, or send things to the landfill.
Trash is always a last resort for unwanted objects. Before you toss things in the garbage, see if your clutter falls into any of these categories.
Why not? One woman made more than $30,000 selling things she no longer wanted on her minimalist journey! I don’t expect you to sell everything you own, but if you’re not going to use that ice cream maker anymore, sell it. Listing something on eBay or Facebook Marketplace doesn’t take more than a few minutes, and can get your item to someone who needs it (while adding a few bucks to your bank account).
This is a scary question. Is your financial disorganization costing you? Or worse, how much is your financial disorganization costing you? Because if your finances are not in order, I can virtually guarantee it’s costing you something.
Do you struggle to keep your financial paperwork under control? Do you have little piles of receipts all over your office? Or are they shoved in a box to hand over to your accountant at tax time?
There are two secrets to keeping on top of it all so you don’t miss important deductions–and your poor accountant is not pulling their hair out at the end of the year!
Set up a filing system that is easy to use and accessible.
Do a little bit often.
The simplest filing system mirrors your accounting system. The categories you use when entering expenses into your accounting system will be the same you use for your filing. Make a folder for each category of spending you get receipts for. Each week, after you enter your receipts and invoices into your financial tracking system (ledger, spreadsheet, Quickbooks, etc.), simply drop the receipts into the appropriate folder. You will keep track of your spending and your income and know where you stand each month.