The garage is that one place where all of the clutter seems to gather. It is a convenient location to store things – rakes, bikes, dog food – and they get pushed into a corner or against the wall. But before you know it, you have an ill-functioning area that is full of clutter and disarray.
When you start to organize your garage, you should keep in mind that this activity means designating a place for everything while keeping your goods available for everyday use. The following are five steps to help convert your garage from clutter to clean.
#1 – Sort your items.
To begin, sort and categorize all the items in your garage. The easiest way to do this is to completely empty your garage so you can see everything you have. Separate the tools from the sporting equipment, and the garden supplies from the household goods, and you will quickly realize how much stuff you have. Only then will you be able to determine the best ways to organize and store everything.
Misplaced items in your garage should be returned to their proper place. Also take note of the things that don’t belong in the garage – and find a new home for them (by relocating them to the basement or attic). For the items you no longer want or need, you can recycle them, donate them or set them aside to sell at the next community yard sale.
#2 – Separate seasonal items and equipment.
To keep lawn maintenance tools accessible yet out of the way, install a special rack on which to hang them. Near the beginning of every season, rotate out the equipment that you’ll no longer need and bring in the tools you will need. For instance, if winter is coming, it is good to have snow tools like snow blowers, ice scrapers and snow shovels handy (and the fun toys like skis, snowboards and sleds close, too). The basic principle is to store the items that you use on a regular basis in a way that makes them accessible every time you need them – without creating clutter.
#3 – Add shelving units and cabinets.
When organizing your garage, consider adding additional storage space to help keep the garage tidy. Shelves and cabinets can be mounted on the walls. Also, think vertically: shelves can be mounted above where the hood of your car gets parked to store those less-used items such as camping equipment, Christmas decorations or partially used cans of paint.
#4 – Create a workshop.
If you regularly use your garage as a workshop, why not dedicate an area just for this purpose? Install (or build) a workbench or table, hang a pegboard for tools and keep a sturdy toolbox easily accessible.
#5 – Relocate trash and recycling bins near the garage.
To easily dispose of unwanted items from your garage, relocate the trash and recycling bins to near your garage entrance. This way you won’t be tempted to keep certain items simply because the trash bins are too far away.
When organizing your garage, keep in mind that there are many pre-fabricated storage options available at home improvement stores. However, if you want your space customized, hire a handyman to custom-build storage to your specific needs. Although it might be an investment, the long-term benefits of having a fully-functioning garage will be well worth it