For many of us, cleaning out our garage is no simple afternoon task. Most garages hold years of accumulated and forgotten items, and clearing them out is a serious job. Below are five tips to help you make the most of the big clean-out.

Pick a Date

To avoid procrastination, choose a hard date on your calendar for your clean-out. Depending on the size of your garage, a full weekend may be in order. Tell your family members about the date to make sure they will be around to pitch in.

Gather your Resources

Stock up on large trash bags, visit your local grocer’s for discarded cardboard boxes and—if you have enough lurking in your garage—consider calling your county’s waste management service to see if you can order a dumpster.

Ask for Help

Do you need to borrow a friend’s pickup truck to lug your unwanted items to the dump? How about a power washer to clean the floor once it’s clutter-free? Line these things up in advance for easy cleaning.

Pile it Right

At the start of your clean-out, create three piles: to keep, to sell, and to donate. As you come across items in your garage, add them to their respective area and keep moving. Once something has landed in a pile, try to resist the temptation to move it.

Organize, Organize, Organize

Set yourself up to re-organize your space once it’s squeaky clean. Do you need more shelving units? Hooks and bins? Gather these items in advance.

I hope these tips will allow for a smoother clean out process–and try not to procrastinate, this chore will be even less fun if done in January!

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