house projects

10 items to toss from your garage


If your garage has turned into a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t fit in your house or that you’re just not quite ready to get rid of, it’s time to get a garbage bag and a donations box and tackle the task. The garage is a great place to store cars, bikes, lawn mowers and garden tools — but it isn’t the place for broken tools, electronics or that hideous lime-green paint that you’re never going to use again. Here’s a list of what should go:

1. Newspapers, magazines and catalogs

“You’re not going to read these again,” says organizing and storing expert Emma Gordon of “If they’ve been banished from the house to the garage they need to go.” If you can’t part with all of them, allow yourself to keep a few special editions or issues. Donate or recycle the rest.

2. Old electronics

“If it’s in the garage, there’s a 90% chance that your old CPU is not worth the time it would take you to bring it back up to speed for day-to-day use,” says Gordon. “It’s better to find a recycling program that can take it off your hands.”

3. Broken or duplicate tools

You probably don’t need five hammers or that broken drill. Take stock of your tool collection and consolidate, so you don’t have an overflowing toolbox (or too many bulky bins filled with tools).

4. Plastic planter trays

“Unless you’re a regular gardener, there’s no reason to keep these trays after transplanting.” says Gordon. Clear them out so you don’t have to deal with spiders or other garage critters that will make a home in them.”

5. Old paint cans

You’re not going to use that old can of paint, and it might not be good any long anyway. You’ll either need to find a hazardous-waste collection site, or pour clean cat litter in the can to dry up any remaining paint before disposing of the litter and paint and then recycling the can.

6. Unused DIY project materials

Thorw out old materials from DIY projects. “The only reason to save otherwise disposable DIY tools would be if you have a project in mind that you plan to tackle soon,” Gordon says.

7. Old sports equipment

“Toss out balls if they don’t hold air anymore,” says Gordon. Same goes for broken tennis rackets, skis, helmets and more. If one of your kids no longer plays a sport, donate the used gear to a thrift store that accepts sports equipment.

8. Old shoes and clothes

“You won’t miss the clothes and shoes you’re storing in the garage,” says Gordon. “These are the items that you don’t even have in your weekly outfit rotation, and if they haven’t been kept in an airtight container, they will require a lot of laundering to nix the garage fumes and dust.”

9. Tapes, DVDs, VCRs or other outdated tech

Sadly, your beloved tape collection is now obsolete.”Compared to streaming services, these outdated forms of entertainment require a lot of fussing,” says Gordon. “Make a quick list of albums and movies you consider staples, and plan to purchase in digital format.”

10. Unused décor

Bring that old chair you’ve been meaning to reupholster for years, or those outdated holiday decorations to a donation center. If you can’t imagine placing them back inside your house anytime soon, you should bid them goodbye.


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