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Home organization & decluttering

DIY Garage Cleanout vs Hiring A Pro: Which Should You Choose?

 (modified Sep 14, 2022)

If you're like me and you can’t park your car in your garage because of all the stuff in it, then it’s probably time to declutter that mess. The question is do you approach it as a DIY garage cleanout project, enlist some friends or do you hire a professional garage cleanout service? There are a number of things to consider before making a decision on the best approach for you.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each approach.

How Do I Get Rid of Stuff in My Garage?

There are a few different approaches you can take to get rid of the stuff in your garage. If you’re not in a big hurry, you can just pick away at it over a few weeks yourself. The problem with this approach is that life tends to get in the way and before you know it, that DIY garage cleanout is all but forgotten.

If you do decide to go it alone, you should prepare to spend several days (depending on how much stuff is in your garage) going through which items should be removed and which should be organized. For the items that need to be removed, set them aside in a spot of the garage or in a box for easy carry out. Once you're finished, the only items remaining should be organized appropriately.

Remember to try your best to toss out items rather than keeping them, as you may feel like keeping an item just because you might need it at some point in the future. If you haven't used it in a year, you likely never will.

Consider investing in a shelving unit to put things like paint cans, tools, gloves and other necessities in a place you can easily access them. A garage storing rack with large space on top makes storing larger items like kayaks or winter shovels simple.

Organized Garage with shelves

Work on Your Own With a Set Timeline

If you are going to tackle the project yourself, it’s best to set yourself a time limit of 1 week sandwiched between two weekends. If you have lots of stuff, rent a dumpster that you can have in your driveway to load up with all that junk. The benefit of this, is that you can take your time thoughtfully going through each item you need tossed out of your garage.

The last thing you want to do is stop every hour to make a run to the dump. Loading your truck, driving to the dumpsite, and then doing it over and over again will tire you out. Your project will drag on and you’ll probably get a little frustrated after the first couple of runs.

Creating a deadline for yourself helps for accountability and creates an expectation on yourself for when you should be done this project. That way you won't be dragging it on for another year.

Enlist the Help of Family or Friends

When the cleanout seems a bit much for one person, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a family member or friend to help out. With a helping hand you should be able to tackle the project much quicker and it will probably only cost you a lunch and a cold drink.

The biggest drawback with relying on a friend or family member is that you have to work with their schedule as well. There may be conflicts between your availability to tackle that cleanout and there’s. If you want their help, you have to work around their time limitations. That can be almost as frustrating as making those multiple dump runs we mentioned earlier. However, tackling a garage cleanout project with help will certainly make the overall process less overwhelming, go by quicker and a great bonding experience!

Moving Boxes

Hire Professional Garage Cleaning Services

If you don’t think you can manage the work on your own and you’re having a tough time coordinating time with friends and family, it may be best to look into a garage cleanout service. All you have to do is give them access to your garage, provide a list of items that are to be removed and sit back and watch them work.

There are potential problems with hiring a junk removal company to help you though. You’ll have to work around they’re schedule. They likely have a lot of other junk removal projects they’re working on, so their availability may not be convenient for you. You can choose to make sacrifices to accommodate them or reconsider your other options.

For Florida locals, the option to hire We Clean Garages is available on any day of the week. With pricing from $149 and up, they offer a number of different packages for different needs.

For folks in Denver CO, Clutter Trucker offers garage cleaning services as well, specializing in hoarders with messy garages. Pricing with them starts at $357.

If you're in Texas, you can look for garage cleaning services from Dirty Garage Guys. Their services include washing your garage, hauling junk and organization.

How Much Does it Cost to Have Someone Organize Your Garage?

According to Move.org it costs on average $230 a load if you hire a garage cleanout service to help you with your garage declutter. If you have a large garage, your cleanout can get pretty expensive pretty quick. If you think one load will do the trick and you don’t have time to take on the task yourself, that may be a price tag you can live with.

If you have a large two-car garage loaded top to bottom you’re probably going to need that junk removal company to take away 2 or 3 loads. That means you’re looking at a minimum out of pocket cost of between $600 and $700.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean and Organize a Garage Myself?

If you don’t have any friends or family members to help you with your cleanout and you don’t want to hire a garage cleanout service it can be hard to figure out what the cost to do the work on your own will be. After all, you don’t have to pay yourself, but what is your time worth? What is the opportunity cost that you’re giving up for something else you could be doing?

Your time is worth something. Are you willing to make a commitment? Perhaps you want to assign a number, let’s say you hypothetically pay yourself $50 an hour to tackle your garage cleanout. If it takes you 4 hours to get the job done that’s $200 plus the cost of your rental dumpster. Now you have a tangible number you can compare to the cost of hiring a pro.

On the other hand, when you do the cleanout yourself you can take extra care to make sure that things don’t get thrown out accidentally. You’re in full control and that may be more important than the cost of your time.

Should I Hire a Professional Garage Cleaning Service or DIY?

With all the above information, you should be confident enough to make a decision that makes sense for your garage cleanout project. Whether you decide to go down the DIY garage cleanout route, or hire a professional offering garage cleaning services, is completely dependant on your budget, time and goals.

While hiring a professional garage cleaning service is most convenient, the drawbacks are that it may be pricey and you may have items tossed that you’d intended on keeping. On the other side of the coin, you can DIY the garage cleanout on your own or with some friends to save money, but this process will be laborious and time consuming. Bin There Dump That’s residential friendly dumpster rentals makes the DIY route a little less painful and saves you loads of time.

For more helpful tips check out our full garage cleanout guide.


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