Breast cancer survivor and clutter clearing author learns to walk her talk

Clutter clearing cancer coping author and motivational speaker We can learn to live our priorities fully (and not just surviving or getting by on a day to day basis) by clearing out the distractions and focusing on what is important to each of us, our families, and our lives. Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools: We'll get you through this by Barbara Tako, two-time cancer survivor and published author and motivational speaker on the topic of clutter clearing. For updates on this new book, click here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Clutter clearing for garage clutter and shed clutter

It is time to clear clutter in the garage and shed. We have had the whole winter (in Minnesota, anyway) to ignore the garage and shed areas of our home. If you are like me, those areas sometimes become dumping grounds for things you don't want to clutter up the more lived in areas of your home! Don't have a spot for it? Just take it out to the garage or put it in the shed...Here are some things to consider when clutter clearing the garage and shed.

First, let's sort out the problems with shed and garage clutter. To start with, it is important to recognize that we often aren't the only ones contributing to the clutter problems in those spaces. The garage and shed are often used as a dumping ground by everyone in the family!

Tip 1: You didn't get into this clutter trouble by yourself, so let's all get together to unclutter these areas. If you weren't the only one putting things there, it isn't fair that you be the only one deciding what gets tossed, donated, or relocated. Besides, it is really difficult to decide what to do with someone else's stuff (it often is hard enough to make those clutter decisions about our own things).

Second, people often dread this chore for a variety of reasons (some of these are addressed below). It can be hard to get other family members to commit to helping you. You may be dragging your feet on this one yourself! Who wants to organize a damp, dirty, messy, awkward place?

Tip 2: With garage clutter (and you already know this), it doesn't make sense  to park a vehicle, worth thousands of dollars, out in the elements because of maybe a few hundred dollars worth of clutter in the garage. It also helps to take a positive approach to clutter clearing these areas! Start with a plan or goal of what family members want to use this space for! In the case of a garage, this is the last place you see every time you leave your home and the first place you see every time you come home! Make this a pleasant location for you and everyone else in your household. You deserve that!

Third, items thrown in these areas often aren't small and manageable. Bulky, awkward items often wind up in the garage or shed because, well, they don't store easily and they take do take up a lot of space.

Tip 3: Pick a sunny warm day when you, and the other family members helping you, can pull these items out into the driveway or yard where they will be easier to sort, clean, and organize. This won't work very well on a rainy, muddy, or cold day.

Fourth, it does take a lot of time to deal with the awkward clutter that winds up in the garage and shed. Things tend to be bulky, dusty, dirty, or broken. Sometimes there are chemicals that have been kept in these spots too. Clutter clearing is making a lot of decisions that have been postponed, and these decisions have already been postponed at least once--that's how they wound up in the garage!

Tip 4: Allow a large block of time to deal with garage clutter. It takes time to wash, repair, and haul away items or figure out how to properly dispose of any paints or other chemicals. If you set aside at least a half day, maybe more, you won't get frustrated at a job that only gets partially completed.

Finally, after the garage or shed has been emptied out, take the time to dust and sweep before organizing and putting things back. Knock down the cobwebs. Sweep out the sand and dirt! Clean the bugs out of the light fixtures. When things are back in place, go out for ice-cream! Give yourself credit for a difficult job well done.

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