It doesn’t take long for a garage to become a cluttery, catch-all space. It’s easy to take whatever you don’t have room for in the house and stow it in the garage. However, a few “stows” later, the garage is filled with junk and not very useable. Taking some time to organize this space will benefit the rest of the house as well.
- First of all, you need to decide what this space will be used for. In some families, the garage is the garage—used just to store cars and bikes. Some people have turned their gargage into a wood shop for their building projects. Perhaps you are a garden enthusiast and have all your garden supplies here. Do you have a mechanic in your house? Then your garage may be the auto zone. Or, finally some families like to use the garage as a recreation area for ping-pong and other games. It may be that your garage serves dual purposes. Whatever you decide this area will be should determine how you organize it. Decide which areas of the garage will be used for each activity and move all the tools into the appropriate areas. Train your family to put them back there when they have finished using them.
- Use baskets, buckets and drawers to store loose items and label them. This will eliminate frustrating searches for misplaced tools. Check your supply of frequently used items such as toweling, rags, car wash soap, sidewalk salt and replenish as needed.
- Be creative with the space you have. A visit to a home store will open your eyes to the numerous organizational containers, shelves, racks and accessories that you can purchase for your garage. Investing in organizers for the walls and ceilings will give you a place to store everything and help keep supplies off the garage floor, which can often be a damp place. For tools that need to be frequently carried to other locations, like gardening tools, buy a few caddies. This will give you storage and allow you to quickly pick them up and go.
- Weed out old insecticides, paint cans and other chemicals and dispose of them safely and properly. Do not just throw them into your regular trash. If you are unsure where to take them, do a web search using the terms “household hazardous waste center your county, your state” filling in the name of your county and state, and you should be able to find the location.
- If you use your garage in the winter to work in, consider insulating it and installing a heater that you can mount to your ceiling. This will make the space much more comfortable and allow you to use it for recreation, such as ping-pong in the cold winter months, as well.
If after your organizational spree, you find yourself left with some items you still don’t know what to do with, you may want to consider contacting a mobile storage company for help in storing these items on your property or off site.
Once you have your garage cleaned up, you just may find that the organizational bug has bitten you, and you’ll be ready to tackle the house too!