Aladdin's Cave Garage: Declutter and Make Your Treasures Findable.
Updated: Jan 10
A trap that most of us fall into is this: We believe a garage is for storing things, and being nice to our past.
Everything falls into place when you do this mental re-frame:
A garage is for retrieving things, and its about being nice to our future.
My goal for you is an Aladdin's cave garage . It holds a lifetime's worth of objects you chose to live your one-and-only life with. No department store can compete with the preciousness of this 10, 20, 30 year project, all held in one room. Its filled with things you love and want, things you would pay the same money all over again, just to keep. You can go there, and in less than a minute, put your hand on anything you want. Success!
If I was standing beside you, here is how we would proceed:
Get Perfect Equipment
20 or 40 translucent tubs.
Choose high-quality, so you can stack them on each other without lids breaking. Low quality boxes become hard rubbish in a few years, good ones become your real estate. They are strong enough to stack, so you don't need to by shelves. They becomes your 'towers of power' and look so pure, so free, and so responsive to your requests.
Don't pollute your future with stickers that don't come off. Your storage will evolve and change. Create a house thats trustworthy, where everything is what it says it is. That makes life so relaxing and wonderful, surrounded by allies you can depend on.
Your favourite color marker pen.
One color only. Your brain is working hard enough, don't add extra distraction. Keep it find-able, in the garage, beside with spare stickers for the future. Otherwise you will use whatever pen is on hand, elegance disappears, and the downward spiral of mismatch begins.
Order hundreds in the mail, in three sizes. They must be completely clear for invisibility, with no logos advertising at you. Nothing should get in the way of you and an object you want to find.
Music and Friends.
This is a party.
Throw away ill-fitting 'homeless' homes.
Cardboard or opaque boxes baffle you, because they refuse to communicate whats inside. Mis-matched, unlovely and broken boxes discourage you. They leave you feeling confused and poor and you forget what you own, and you go shopping again. Throw or give them away. Compost them.
Create proper, welcoming homes and families of objects
Make labels of useful categories, or 'families' of objects, put them on the boxes, and start putting the exact right things in. If the category evolves into something else, just re-write the label.
Chrismas and presents
Museum quality past clothes
Electrical cords and gadgets
Pipes for water inventions
Knitting: do or donate by June
Sheer curtains and tulle
You can also make boxes called:
Things I have to keep because I spend a lot on them in the past.
Things I have to keep because they were presents.
Things I have to keep because I sometimes use them.
Things that are annoying, damaged, unattractive, but I see redeeming qualities in them.
These boxes live in the boot of your car. You know what to do with them. I'm not saying a word.
Put heavy, rarely-used things at the bottom, and light, frequently-used things at the top. If frequently-used things are heavy, put them in two boxes, half filled. Make it easy for yourself to put things in exactly the right box.
Keep straight things 'Rightened'
That is, line them up at right angles, no tilting or 'stuffing in'. They will feel their nature is understood and respected. When you search for things, you will do it with eyes, not with upheaval and digging like a doggy, leaving chaos for next time. Rightened things will handsomely reward you for the three extra seconds you spend mindfully putting them straight, listening to their nature. They will co-operate, not oppose you.
Leave a path for walking and fossicking though boxes. Some people are missing the path-awareness gene. If thats you, or your husband, draw it with chalk on the ground, to protect it.
'Creative Void' Box
An empty box goes at the very top. Its like an angel on a christmas tree. It has a lable 'Things in transit'. Thats where you plonk things when you are in a hurry, and don't have the serentiy needed to put them in the right box. If you don't have this 'buffer zone' box, you will pretend they go in a box that they just don't belong to. Problem solved! Execpt it isn't. They will be lost to you when you need them.
Delight and honour yourself
Sprinkle the room with fairy lights, drape bare ceilings in muslin over rods, and keep a broom and dust brush on hand. There is no rule saying garages have to be grim.
If you send me at least six 'before' photos, I will give you advice and barrack for you. Register for my blog or next free webinar, or if you really want, book in to have me come to your house, and fast-track your transformation. Life is already rich, elegant, and easy. There are just some cobwebs to clear, and re-arranging to uncover it.