Garage Storage, Tips & Hacks

A Golden Rule for Your Garage

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris, leader of the Arts and Crafts movement in England, proclaimed this golden rule in 1880.

Your house can benefit from Morris’ wisdom today. And your garage is probably the part of your house that can benefit the most.

Chances are your garage is full of things you’re just not sure about keeping.

  • The miracle cleaning product you used once
  • The gardening gizmo you never got around to assembling
  • The sports equipment your kids have long outgrown
  • The holiday decorations you keep forgetting to put up

We all accumulate things that we’re not sure we’ll ever use again. But we save them, just in case. It feels like the wise thing to do. But is it really just the lazy way out? It sure seems easier to close the garage door on your clutter and forget about it, than to make a good decision and take action.

What if, at least once a week, you chose an abandoned item in your garage and asked yourself: Do I know this is useful? Do I believe this is beautiful?

You could decide that the funny gadget for cleaning your gutters is pretty useful after all. And that your neglected pink flamingo is indeed a thing of beauty. Great. Keep them. Start using them. Enjoy them.

You could decide there’s not much use in keeping a tricycle now that your toddler is a teenager. And that the Thanksgiving wreath your aunt made in 1982 isn’t getting any less ugly over time. Okay. It’s time to let these things go. It’s time to reclaim your space.

Now you have to make another decision: donate, sell, recycle, or throw away? Following through will take a little bit of effort. But it will be worth it. Getting rid of clutter that isn’t useful or beautiful feels good.

Will you take the challenge, starting today? Head out to the garage, grab something you haven’t used in years, and ask yourself if it’s useful or beautiful. If it’s not, let it go.

Let us know if you do it, what you choose, and what you decide. Share your story – pictures too! – with the Gladiator GarageWorks community on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Boy, do I ever subscribe to your philosophy…. If I haven’t used it in the last year, I throw it away! Recently I built a new cabinet in the garage, and consolidated two older cabinets into one. However, I recently got tired of looking at 10- 1 gallon paint cans on top of my cabinets (the paint was old anyway) so I removed the lids so I had the formulas, and got rid of the paint at local recycle center and Voila’! had extra space!

    • Thanks for sharing, Steve! That’s a great example of reclaiming your space by clearing out what’s not useful. And keeping the lids from your paint cans is a great tip!
      For anyone else looking to recycle paint, here’s a site where you can find local Household Hazardous Waste centers: http://search.earth911.com/?what=paint

  • I live by that golden rule in our home.

    • It’s something to live by alright! How often do you find yourself asking those questions? Is it a way of thinking every day? Or do you set aside time to take stock every so often?