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I can fit my car in there! A guide to organizing your garage

Tips on how to clean and keep your garage organized

Posted in Storage over 12 years ago, 0 replies

If you are one of the millions of Americans that suffer from cluttered garage syndrome, you know that there is nothing worse in the whole world than trying to find that one screwdriver, bag of charcoal, or garden hose in that bottomless abyss known as the garage. A garage is a unique entity all its own. Even if your house is spotless and organized to the extreme, for some reason the garage remains a mysterious place with no formal rules of organization at all. It’s simply the place where you throw all the things you won’t need in the near future. Sometimes it is the storage place for the things that are too big to get rid of or the things that you swear you’re going to use again…someday. And once that first big snowstorm hits, you think to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I had room for my car in the garage”? You swear to yourself that you’ll clean it next weekend when you have a day off. But of course something always comes up which prevents you from doing it., so it just keeps getting worse and worse.

But there is hope. The answer to your clutter problems is here, and it’s actually quite simple. It’s just a few easy steps.

1) Get motivated. Dedicate a specific time to clean your garage and don’t let anything stand in your way. Pick a day to start, and then actually do it.

2) Get rid of everything you don’t need. There are two ways of going about this. The most simple is that you can rent a dumpster and throw everything away. If you just can’t bear to see your beloved belongings going to the dump, then you can put all your useable belongings in bags and take them to a local charity. This is a great alternative because you don’t have the heart wrenching feeling that your favorite stuffed animal from 1st grade will be destroyed. Pooky will go to some needy child who will love him just as much as you once did.

3) Sort all your remaining belongings into categories. Put all sporting equipment, tools, etc. in separate piles, so that it will be easier to organize once you are done cleaning. Also, make sure that seasonal items are grouped separately. Maintaining your garage easily may involve rotating equipment with each season. You won’t need your lawnmower in the middle of January, and you won’t use your ski’s in June. Keep the current season’s equipment within easy reach, and put out-of-season equipment in storage containers or on wall hooks.

4) If you haven’t previously done so, install extra storage. This may include cabinets, shelves, and hooks. How you go about this is completely up to you. If you don’t normally spend a whole lot of time in your garage, then you could just pick up some plastic totes and drawers. These are efficient, yet inexpensive. However, if you feel really ambitious and you think that you’ll actually work on projects in your garage once there’s room to move around in there, then you can buy more expensive, permanent storage, such as cabinets and desks, or even a workbench. Once you buy these storage containers, put your tools and equipment inside in an organized manner. Then you will be able to find them easily, and it will be easy to remember where to put them when you’re done using them.

5) Mark your drawers and cabinets. By labeling everything, it makes it easy for anyone in the family to find things quickly. You won’t have to rummage through several drawers to find that screwdriver you’re looking for. Simply look in the drawer marked “tools” and there you will find it. Labels also make it easier to remember where to put the equipment back once you’re done using it, which will ensure that it does not get misplaced or lost.

6) Section off a portion of the garage near the opening for your trash and recycling receptacles. It will make it easier to dispose of these items and keep the mess in your garage to a minimum.

7) Clean up any mess you make as soon as possible. If you keep your equipment where it belongs at all times, you won’t have to ever spend all this time organizing it again.

Once your garage is completely organized, you will see the difference it makes in your life. You won’t dread going in there, and more stuff will get done around the house. And the best part is if you keep your garage clean and organized, there might even be room in there for your car.

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