Garages can be so messy if you let them go. The sheer amount of things in your home often means the garage is a dumping ground. In addition, add a lack of shelving and organised storage space and you can be in trouble. Here are some tips to get things organised.
- Make An Assessment, Analyze And Then Prioritize
One of the main problems you might run into when organizing your garage (or any other cluttered space) is that the space has no plan. People fail over and over again to visualize and analyze the space to determine how they would like it to function. When it comes to your garage, what are your priorities? To be able to park your car inside of it (one of your largest investments)? To store sporting equipment and seasonal items? To have a work space? Or perhaps all of these? It may be possible to get everything you want if you take the time to think about how you will be using the space and prioritize. Once you have figured out your priorities, it will be easier for you to organize and purge your space since you won’t have to spend time on what does or does not belong in the space.
- Clear The Space
Starting out with a clean slate is important. Find a few blankets or tarps to place all of your items on. Place them in an open area such as your lawn or driveway. Lay everything out. Wash down or sweep the walls and floors of your garage.
Note: This can be an excellent opportunity for staining your concrete floor and painting the walls. Your space with be given a clean, fresh, new look. Learn how to throw things out with this blog.
- Get Things Sorted By Placing Like Items Together
As you are pulling things from your garage, gather up all of your decorations together in one area, then your camping gear, lawn items, tools, sporting equipment and so forth. You can even get down to the very small things like screws and nails and sort them also. You can even get your kids to help. Sorting like items together might seem like a real “no-brainer,” however it actually is a very important part of the organizing process, not only to sort but also to get everything put into its permanent spot.
During this stage of the process, be ruthless. Try to commit yourself to eliminating at least 50% of the items in your space. Making this kind of effort goes a long way even if you don’t end up getting rid of quite that much. Make four piles for your purging process: recycle, trash, donate, keep. As you are purging, put each item into its proper category. Toss anything you haven’t used for more than a year or that is broken. Return anything that doesn’t belong to you or goes someplace other than your garage. Eliminate duplicates. Keep in mind you are attempting to get your garage organized. How many rakes, bats, basketballs, brooms, screws or hammers do you actually need? If you are having difficulties throwing things out just keep keep asking yourself the following questions: Do I really need this? Have I used it over the past year? Do I use it now? Is it something I love? If you don’t, then place the item in the recycle, trash or donate pile. Donating things is great since you will be providing somebody else with the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy some of your belongings.
- Take Inventory Of Everything You Have And Get Your Space Mapped Out Into Zones
Once you have your stuff pared down, take inventory of everything you have so that you have a good idea of what kinds of organizational items you have and what you are going to need to buy. Don’t ever buy any organizational items prior to purging. This will save you a lot of frustration, money and time. Now get your space mapped out. Get out a piece of paper and draw it out or mark off outlines with tape of the various work zones or spaces inside your garage. You can get a spot marked off for your vehicle, sporting equipment, workbench, lawn care and gardening supplies, hazardous material and paint cabinet, heavy duty shelving and more.
Remember to use the overhead and vertical spaces that you have available to you. Your walls can be used for installing shelving or hanging items on. The ceiling can also be used for placing plywood boards across the rafters for storing seldom used and seasonal items. Good garage shelving can make things a lot easier for you.
Think about frequency of use and convenience as well. For example, most likely you would like to have a trashcan placed close to the driver’s door on your car so you can throw things away easily. Or put the recycling bins next to the door that leads into your house so that it’s easy throwing things in. Or you could park or hang your bikes close to the garage door to make it easy for your children to get on their bikes and go for a ride.