Declutter Your Garage/Shed, Porch, and Yard this Summer

Photo: A copyright free image of a very messy shed. Absolutely, 100% guaranteed, NOT MY MESS

If you were one of the many who, like my wife and I, watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix show earlier this year, then perhaps you’ve either decluttered, thought about decluttering, or just sort of nodded and smiled knowing the task ahead was not one you wanted to tackle in the winter months.

Well, summer is just as good a time as any to start moving on the concept of decluttering.

With BBQ season already in full swing, by now you’ve probably emptied out the garage and shed with all of the summer necessities: the grill is up and running, the patio set has been dusted off, perhaps the yard games and the gardening equipment have also been put to use. At this point, you’ve more or less de-winterized yourself in preparation for the months ahead.

But what about the items left behind? What didn’t you take out this summer?

Consider this: Are the summer/spring items you didn’t remove from storage going to stay there again next year? Why don’t you need it this summer, and what is keeping you from getting rid of it?

I have three different gardening shovels for a garden I didn’t plant this year (side note: I put a shed in that location last October). I probably wouldn’t need three gardening shovels even with a garden. Without one, I fail to see why I’d need any. So, knowing that I have intentions of planting next year (and building garden beds this time), I threw away the most rusted out one and have plans to ditch one more before the season is over.

Frankly, even the items you have out now may be ones you toss at the end of the season. Is that patio chair on its last leg and beyond saving? Has the small crack in your flower pot reached shattering proportions? Then why consider storing it away again later in the year, when you can save yourself the effort come November? Besides, by that time it’ll be too cold to sit around outside, and you can begin focusing your decluttering efforts on the inside, instead.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while being a homeowner, it’s that “stuff” builds up quickly. Before you know it, your neat closet is packed to the brim, your shoe rack looks like it’s self-multiplied, and paper – SO MUCH PAPER – piles up on desks, bookshelves, and coffee tables. Any chance you have to get ahead of it will save you time, and headaches, down the line.