If you’re like most homeowners today, your garage storage includes room for everything but your car. We simply have too much stuff. However, don’t let this stress you out. Give your garage a much needed make over and reclaim your parking spot! Here are a few tips to clear up the clutter:
- Set aside a full day, or even a full weekend or 2, to get the job done.
- Make decluttering a family project or even invite over a few friends to pitch in.
- Go through EVERYTHING! This includes those boxes that never got touched or unpacked when you moved in.
- Sort all items into 3 piles: Keep, Donate/Sell, and Toss. Consider getting rid of broken items, overgrown toys, expired household chemicals, and anything you haven’t touched in 2 years or longer.
- Organize your Keep pile into categories (i.e- toys, tools, sports equipment, etc). Put these items in labeled boxes that can be used again later.
- Get rid of the Toss and Donate/Sell piles as quickly as possible. If you have a lot of stuff, consider having a yard sale or making a large donation. The quicker you get rid of these items, the sooner you can start your organization.
- Note your garage dimensions and how much space you’ll need to park your car.
- Place frequently used items, like bikes, close to the front of the garage by the door.
- Store seasonal and rarely used items in the harder-to-reach spots like overhead.
- Keep items close to one another that you use together (gardening tools, lawn care items, etc.)
- Put big, bulky items in the corners where they won’t get bumped by your car (lawn mower, wheelbarrow).
- MOST IMPORTANT- Keep items off of the floor whenever possible. This will help free up space and avoid those sloppy piles of junk. If you purchase shelving or cabinets, make sure they are on legs so that you can easily access underneath.
Useful items to help organize that you can buy at the store:
- Stackable Clear Plastic Bins with Lids: Great for Miscellaneous items so that you can see what is inside. Lids also keep your items dust free. Make sure to label bins as well!
- Open Shelves: These provide easy access when installed at eye level. You can easily find what you are looking for and with open shelves you are less likely to accumulate clutter.
- Lockable Cabinet: Great for storing chemicals or other items that you do not what your children getting into.
- Adjustable Hanging Rail System: Great for keeping items off the floor such as gardening tools, sports gear, and lawn care items. Add hanging baskets for sports balls or smaller items. For long, flat items such as ladders or kayaks, try the garage ceiling or higher up on walls. Just make sure there is enough clearance for the garage door opening.
- Bike Mounts: Leaning bikes against the wall just doesn’t cut it. These steel hooks come in varying sizes and can hold the weight of multiple bicycles.
- Pegboards: Easy to install and customizable in size. Pegboards are great for organizing hand tools. Outline where the tools go to indicate if one goes missing.
Way to go- You now have room to park your car inside! Keep it clean for good by regularly sweeping and hosing down. At least once a year sort through your stuff to make sure you are not accumulating unwanted clutter. Don’t be scared to toss what you don’t need!