Did you know the Saturday after Labor Day is National Clean Out Your Garage Day? If this news doesn’t exactly thrill you, we understand. But we’ve broken the process down into three steps and provided some resources that can make it easier if you try to tackle this project over the weekend. Don’t have a garage – the same process can be used for your basement. Let’s Do This!

3 Steps to an Orderly Garage

Step One: Purge

If you can, remove everything. If this isn’t feasible at least try to organize your stuff in to 3-4 piles: trash, donate/sell, keep. 

  • Trash: If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably don’t need it. Get rid of the throw out pile as soon as possible. Be mindful of hazardous wastes and check your municipalities schedule for big trash day so you can take advantage of it.
  • Donate/Sell: You can donate to local charities (see resources below) or if you are really ambitious sell items on Craigslist, ebay, or yard sale. But just remember, selling can take time and coordination and you may end up with a pile that accumulates.
  • Keep: As you put items in your keep pile, organize them by type so when you put things back, you will have less to do.

Step Two: Clean

Working from top down, dust out cobwebs, change light bulbs if necessary, wash any windows, hose out/mop floor. Now is the time to paint the walls or garage if you’ve been considering it.

Step Three: Organize

If you don’t have shelving, now is a good time to install and organize. It will free up floor space. You may want to mount ceiling hooks to hold bikes, camping gear, or sports equipment. Consider how often the items are used (seasonally, monthly, daily) as you organize, putting the most frequently used items towards the front of any storage spaces. There are dozens of ideas on the internet for organizing your garage. We’ve saved some great ones on our Garages Pinterest Board


If you have paint, aerosols, batteries, cleaners, bulbs to dispose of, St. Louis Household Hazardous Waste (HHWSTL) is a regional partnership to provide options for proper management of Household Hazardous Waste for residents of St. Louis County, St. Louis City, and Jefferson County. Their website has FAQs and resources regarding disposal options.

HHWSTL Website 
Phone: St. Louis County 314-615-8989, St. Louis City 314-622-4800

Habitat for Humanity will accept tile, doors, cabinets, windows, and more. Their ReStore locations are always looking for gently used or new building materials and will even take unopened cans of paint. The website has a full list of donations they will accept, information on scheduling pick-ups, and even alternative organizations that may accept your donations if Habitat for Humanity can’t.

ReStore Donation Guidelines
Phone: 314-678-4576