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Chicagoland Garage Cleanout: Tips To Keep Organized

 (modified Oct 8, 2021)

Spring is coming to Chicagoland and that includes: Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Aurora, and surrounding areas. After a winter of hoarding some of your household items and trash in the garage, it’s now the time for your annual garage cleanout.

We want to simplify the process for you so we’ve given you some easy tips to clean out your garage.

We’ll show you how to plan it out, how to organize your items and how to do it all while being safe.

After you apply these tips to your cleanout, you’ll have a safe, organized space and a newly found accessible path into the home.

Plan it Out

Before you start, schedule the time to do it correctly. You’re going to need to give yourself a number of hours to get it done correctly.

Take an audit of what’s in your garage. What will you keep? What will you trash? What will you donate?

Consider what equipment you may need. How are you going to dispose of the trash? How are you going to keep the space organized?

Take a couple minutes, walk around your garage and try to picture how you want your new garage to look. Check out some Pinterest boards of garage organization.

Rent a Dumpster

Rent a dumpster to throw out your unwanted belongings. You don’t want them lingering in your house any longer! Contact Bin There Dump That’s Chicagoland location. We have varying dumpster sizes for your different home projects and waste disposal needs. Our dumpster can hold just about anything you have in your garage, from old toys to heavy outdated furniture.

Stay Safe

Quick safety PSA:

  • Don’t leave glass items on high shelves 
  • Don’t touch rusty metal unless you’re wearing gloves 
  • Be careful of sharp objects Always have someone holding your ladder when you are on it 
  • Keep bigger, heavier objects on the bottom and smaller, lighter objects on top 
  • Wear a mask when working with paints and other chemicals 
  • Clean all mold when you see it

Clear Out The Garage

Because of our harsh winters garages in Arlington Heights, Bloomingdale, Highland Park and surrounding areas can get very cluttered. Take everything out and place it in the middle. Let’s call this the pile 'thecourtroom’. It’s where all the decisions will be made. What decisions do I have to make? That's simple. For each item, you will decide if it goes into the following categories:


Everything that you do not need that cannot be donated. Consider using a dumpster or junk removal company to get rid of your trash.


Old furniture, toys, tools, gear or anything that could provide value to someone else should go to a nearby donation center. In Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Naperville and surrounding areas, some donation centers include Goodwill and the Salvation Army.


If you look at an item, and decide that it provides value to you, then leave it in the ‘keep’ pile. We also suggest adding a sub-pile of anything that needs to be relocated.

It is a challenge deciding what needs to go and what needs to stay. One popular method, made known by Marie Kondo, a popular Japanese organizing consultant, is to decide if an object “sparks joy” to your life, and if it does not, you should get rid of it.

Here are some tips to organize your garage:

  • Group items according to their purpose. 
  • Fishing gear should not go together with your mom’s sewing kit. 
  • Label and color code as many bins and boxes as you can. 
  • Store items vertically: Invest in shelves 
  • Store items on walls with hooks 
  • Use a pegboard

The best piece of advice we could give you is to have fun! Garage cleanout is not easy, especially in Waukegan, Lake Zurich, Rosemont and surrounding areas, but if you stick with it, the reward of having a clean garage for the spring is so worth it!