What A Mess: Organize That Garage!
Notice: If your garage looks like an episode of Hoarders, read on. Easy tips that will get your garage looking sharp!
By Holly Reich
Sure, we understand. It’s tempting to throw all of your clutter into the garage but when it gets to the point where ice chests and holiday decorations are taking the place of cars, it’s time to attack and organize.
We asked Lisa Lennard, an organizing expert at California Closets (www.californiaclosets.com), a company known for organizing lifestyles, for some advice.
“The garage needn’t be a catch-all for everything that doesn’t fit into your house,” she said. “By thinking of the garage as an extension of your home, you can enjoy a clutter free space all year round.”
FOLLOW THESE FIVE EASY TIPS…
STEP ONE: CLEAN
It’s a lot more motivating to organize a clean space than a dirty one, so start by taking everything out of the garage and giving the space a thorough cleaning. Use cat litter to soak up oil spills on the floor and change any burned out light bulbs. If you are thinking about painting, now is the time to do it!
STEP TWO: GROUP
In order to clearly see what you have, group items together by their purpose. Create a separate pile for tools and home improvement, sports equipment, seasonal items, abandoned hobbies, gardening items, etc. If there are items that belong in the home, move them immediately. Also, create a pile for trash as well as a pile for donation. If you have items you’ve borrowed from neighbors and friends, create a pile for “returns.”
STEP THREE: ASSESS
Review the items you have, by pile. BE RUTHLESS. Ask yourself, do I really need this or like this? Does it still work? Do I use this? Can someone else use it? Can I donate it or sell at a garage sale? Cull down each pile to only those items you use regularly, or need to keep on hand for special occasions (holiday decorations, wrapping paper, extra paint, etc.).
STEP FOUR: STORE
Most people don’t make efficient use of their garage space because everything sits on the floor. For smaller items, invest in see-though storage containers or baskets that can be labeled and stacked. For larger items, such as sports equipment and tools, purchase garage accessories that utilize the walls to maximize available space. Consider hiring a professional to create shelving, drawers or even a workbench area. Prefab garage organization systems also allow you to use vertical space, and can potentially double or triple storage space — and leave room your car.
Sources for garage organization systems include: California Closets (www.californiaclosets.com)
Racor Home Storage Products (www.racorinc.com), Ikea (www.ikea.com), Home depot (www.homedepot.com) and Hold Everything (www.holdeverything.com).
STEP FIVE: MAINTAIN
Make a commitment to return garage items to their designated spaces when you are done with an activity. Having a clear space for each item makes this easy!
Once you’ve cleaned out the clutter in your garage you’ll feel a lot better, both mentally and physically. Organizational experts even say that clearing out and organizing helps you lose weight. Hmmm…let us know when you’re ready to tackle your closets.