The garage is one area in the home that can become a dumping grounds for tools, boxes of old books, gardening supplies, automotive supplies, extra extension cords, and a wide variety of other odds and ends. Spring is the perfect time to whip your garage into shape; you’re already in spring cleaning mode, and the weather is warm enough for outdoor projects without being too hot yet. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the disorganization that is running rampant in your garage, here are some tips on getting it under control:from Askmen.com and us!
- Lay out zones.
- Find ways to utilize your space.
- Inventory and label your items.
The first thing that you need to do is get all of the clutter out of the garage. This is the biggest part of the project, and is best accomplished with a group of friends. Get everyone together and drag everything out of your garage. Anything that is garbage should be tossed, and anything that you don’t need but is still in good condition can be donated to your nearest thrift shop. Don’t bring anything back into the garage that you don’t want to keep, unless you are having a garage sale and have an actual date planned (and marked, in ink, on your calendar).
When everything is out in the driveway, sweep your garage and use the broom to remove dust and cobwebs from the walls and corners. If you want to wash the walls and apply a coat of paint, this is the time. Hose down the floor and use a squeegee to remove most of the water. If you are having your garage floors re-done or sealing the concrete, this is an easy time to get that done as well.
Your garage is a big space, and if you don’t have a place for everything, then it is likely to get disorganized again quickly. You can make some sense of the mayhem by choosing zones for your items. One zone should be a place to park your car. Other zones that might make sense, depending on what you keep in your garage, include one for tools, one for gardening supplies and one for automotive equipment. You could also have a storage zone if you are storing items temporarily or permanently.
While your garage is probably something like 200 to 400 square feet, that only includes the floor space. Remember that you have plenty of other space as well, such as wall space and overhead space. Overhead shelving or ceiling-suspended bicycle racks can free up a lot of storage room on the floor. Also, installing a pegboard wall can allow you to hang small tools and various items on the wall, where they won’t take up room in your garage cabinets, on your workbench or on your floor.
As you put everything away, label any boxes that you have. This will save you a lot of time and energy when you need to find something that you put “in a very safe spot.” Number every box, and write down what’s in each container on a garage inventory sheet. Keep one copy of each sheet in your garage, and another in a master binder in the house. This way, you won’t be going on any wild goose chases when the time comes to find the seasonal decorations, outgrown children’s toys or sports equipment.
Getting your garage under control is not often something that can be accomplished in one day. Once the major decluttering is done, you can work on the project whenever you have an hour or two to devote to organization. In practically no time at all, your stress level will plummet as your garage becomes neater and more organized.