It is day twenty-one of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. The weather is getting warmer. Are you thinking of any projects outside as part of your organizing?
Often our garages become an area where we dump the overflow from our house and cars. Inherited or broken furniture, boxes from a move that were never unpacked, sports equipment, children’s toys, tools and much more clutter a garage. Families store everything there but the cars the garage was built for! The spring/summer months highlight the need for more space in the garage as outdoor equipment is shuffled in and out. There is no better time to tackle a garage clean out then now as the weather gets warmer. Below are some steps you can take to meet the challenge.
My first suggestion is to walk through and identify any large objects you know can leave the area immediately. Is there a pile of empty boxes that never got broken down? Or a bike that your kids outgrew years ago? It is important to make as much room to maneuver as possible and target what you already know needs to go.
Group Like Items
Next, begin grouping the remaining items into categories around the garage. For example, kids’ toys, outdoor games, tools, yard supplies, beach chairs etc. The garage can become a catch all to throw items that have not been decided on; you don’t feel like dealing with or don’t know what do with. Grouping items by purpose can be really helpful in making final storage decisions. Consider loading items you no longer want right in the car to head for the dump or donation.
Now, decide where you will store items most efficiently. Think about what you need to access most often. Make sure you are able to place it in a reachable spot. For instance, lawnmowers and the kids’ bikes should be easy to roll out. Remember, there will be less desire on your part to use the item, or complete the chore, if accessing the tools you need is hard.
Maximize Vertical Space
If your garage lacks hooks or shelving, this is a great time to invest in some organizing tools. Use large shelving units to line the walls and maximize your vertical storage. Shelving units you choose should be sturdy and have the depth to accommodate large bins. I recommend grouping items in clear, lidded containers for long term storage, such as camping equipment you might pull out a couple of times a year.
Additionally, if you have wall space, consider hanging pegboard or slat wall. There are a plethora of hooks and attachments that store small objects, like screws and screwdrivers, neatly. It will also keep items more visible for quick and easy access. The more you get off the floor the easier it will be to maintain an accessible work space within your garage.
Lastly, if you really want to step up your garage consider calling in a local custom closet designer. Most closet companies also specialize in garage installations and have really unique storage options for a much more affordable price than you expect. In addition, most provide free estimates to analyze and expertly design your storage space.
Just think how much better it will be next winter when you can get your car back into the warm garage!