How organized is your garage?
- In control
- Not bad
- A mess!
If a mess is your truth, you’re not alone. Fact: 57% of homeowners with two-car garages don’t have room to park their cars inside them – let alone cram anything else in. Most of us simply use the garage as dumping grounds. Where everything from knickknacks and seasonal decorations to sports gear and lawn equipment wind up. This often renders the space impossible to fully utilize.
When all of your belongings are properly organized, and off the floor, the garage becomes delightfully practical. Whether you dread the process of organizing, or you find it strangely soothing (sheepishly raises hand), it’s a task that has got to be done, particularly since the garage isn’t going to organize itself. Now, wouldn’t that be nice? Here’s how you can organize your garage.
Step 1: Make a Plan of Attack
Over the course of a weekend, you can transform your garage from a dumping ground, into a space that is both functional and well-organized. Depending on the state of your garage, you may want to consider enlisting the help of friends and family. Just be sure to thank them or supply them with some sort of incentive, such as pizza. You’ll also want to make sure that you check the weather before diving in as it’s best to start with a blank canvas – meaning everything needs to go (at least temporarily).
Step 2: Drag Everything Out
Before diving in, it will help if you take the time to drag ALL of your belongings, right down to last Allen Wrench, out of the garage. An empty garage is the only you’ll be able to rediscover all of your long lost treasures. With an empty garage, you can also envision the way you want your garage to look when all is said and done. Just make sure that if this is a weekend project, the valuables go back in each night for safekeeping.
Step 3: Clean the Garage Floor
Typically, the only room of the house exempt from routine, let alone deep cleaning is that of the garage. Because of this, the garage is often full of dust and cobwebs. Gross! Now that you’ve removed all the contents of your garage, it’s time to break out the dry vacuum, and pressure washer. After you’ve thoroughly vacuumed up all the dust bunnies and cobwebs, turn the pressure washer on full blast, and really let loose. It’s a good idea to work from the inside out.
Step 4: Purge
Continue the process of organizing by setting up several areas” hazardous waste, trash, recycling, get rid of, and keep. Once you have your areas in place, begin analyzing each of your possessions by asking yourself: “Have I used this item in the past six months?” “Year?” If you answered no then chances are that the item has already served its useful purpose, and is no longer needed. For items, such as seasonal decorations, it may be better to think in terms of two-years or more. For the items you wish to get rid of, consider having a yard sale, or donating to charity. The latter is tax-deductible.
Step 5: Sorting
Once you’ve purged your items, we find it particularly beneficial, to sort “like with like.” We suggest sorting the items you wish to keep in the following categories:
- Car care
- Holiday decorations
- Gardening supplies
- Paint and home repair
- Seasonal gear
- Sports and camping equipment
Step 6: Install Storage Units
For this step, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve accurately measured your garage’s width, height, and length to ensure any shelving units you purchase will fit, and not hinder your ability to park in the garage. Use these measurements to purchase and install appropriately sized storage shelfs, drawer units, bike racks, peg boards, and cabinets. Don’t forget to purchase lots of clear storage bins and labels.
Step 7: Bring Everything Back In
The aforementioned storage items will restore order to your garage by providing you with a specific place – where everything must return – for your belongings. Ideally, the only things taking up floor space, should be your car and items such as your lawnmower. At this point, you should have a map of where your belongings are going, and where they’re hopefully going to stay. Just remember to place frequently used items within easy reach and less frequently used items further away from your reach.
Step 8: Don’t Scrimp on Safety
With room to park your car in your newly organized garage, it’s important to not scrimp on safety, particularly since you’ll be using your garage door an average of four times per day. Optimally functioning garage door components (e.g. springs, pulleys, cables, rollers, etc.) are vital for ensuring your safety. If your door is need of any kind of repair, contact a professional garage door repair company.