Organizing Your Garage!
Summer is here—with lots of sunshine, heat and humidity! It’s time to take a well-deserved break.
Let’s get started and turn over another leaf!
Organizing Your Garage
“I had more clothes than I had closets, more cars than garage space, but no money.” Sammy Davis, Jr.
Are you able to park your car(s) in your garage? If you can’t, do you keep your garage door closed to hide the clutter? Many people say that their garage is their most disorganized space.
The same principles used to organize the inside of your house can also be applied to the garage.
When you live in our region of the country, organizing the garage has to be done when the weather permits. Choose a date and time as well as an alternate date in case of extremely hot or poor weather. Check with your neighbours. You may not want to clear out your garage when they’re planning a yard sale. Their customers will assume you’re having a yard sale too!
The size of your garage and the amount of clutter will determine how much time you will need. Remember to set a realistic goal for the amount of time you have set aside. Decide if this will be a project for the whole family.
Stock up ahead of time–garbage bags, recycle bin, empty boxes, broom, dust pan, gloves, etc. Have cold drinks and snacks readily available.
Dress comfortably. Put on your favourite tunes.
Designate areas: Keep, Sell, Donate, Garbage and Recycling. Have the children label areas on the driveway with coloured sidewalk chalk.
Start by removing everything from the garage onto your driveway and/or lawn. If that’s too overwhelming, work on one area at a time. As you empty the garage, sort items into categories—toys, sporting equipment, bikes, tools, car cleaning supplies, outdoor decorations, gardening items, etc. Ensure that all items you keep are in good, working condition. Place items to donate or sell into boxes or bags. Recycling and garbage should be placed in their designated area.
The most important thing is to stay focused on the project at hand. Take short breaks to keep up your energy—especially if your children are helping. Visualize the end result; it will help keep you on track.
Questions to Ask when Sorting
Do I need more than one of an item? How often do I use it? Borrowing or renting an item may be a better option—especially if it takes up a lot of space.
Be realistic about how much your garage will hold.
Organizing Your Possessions
Gather together everything you want to store in an area before you start organizing that space. Designate a different zone for each activity–toys, sporting equipment, bikes, tools, gardening items, garbage and recycling, etc.
Plastic containers are ideal for garage storage because they keep items clean and the bugs away. The garage is not a good place to store photos and heirlooms because of extreme temperature differences.
Use storage containers that you already own. It’s important to measure before you buy any new containers; only buy containers if you need a different size or style. Clear storage containers are best—especially if containers will be stacked. Try to avoid rows of containers; if you have to move a lot of containers, an item is less likely to be put back. Remember to label all containers.
Make use of vertical space as much as possible. Adjust shelves or add extra ones.
Hang tools on pegboards. Draw an outline of the tool, so everyone knows where it belongs.
Stacking recycle bins are available to conserve space.
Create parking spaces for your children’s bikes with paint or tape lines on the garage floor.
Deck boxes are great for storing cushions and other outdoor items.
A cabinet just inside the garage close to the deck can store plastic dishes, glasses and other serving items–making table setting easier.
Garage storage cabinets are available in various price ranges at home building and hardware stores. Cabinets look tidier because items are out of sight. Ceiling-mounted racks can store less frequently used items. There are numerous garage organizing companies who will create the garage of your dreams.
Make sure that paint, gardening chemicals and cleaning supplies are stored safely and out of reach of young children. Dispose of them safely at a household hazardous waste location.
Consider installing a shed to store items such as lawn mowers, lawn furniture, etc., if you don’t have a garage.
You’ll feel like you’ve really completed your project if you can dispose of any donations, recycling and garbage right away.
Plan a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy after all your hard work!