According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) almost 1 in 4 Americans say their garage is too cluttered to fit their car. Think about that for a moment! What could be so precious that we would rather keep our cars parked outside? Not to mention the inconvenience during the inclement winter weather. There are other reasons to get organized. At our home we need to store the outdoor furniture in our garage every winter, forcing me to clean out and reorganize every spring and fall. So, whether you are making room for your car, your furniture or just want to spruce things up, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!
1. Plan to work on a dry day and grab a buddy for support, if possible. Next, arm yourself with garbage bags and recycling bins, and begin by moving all large items onto the driveway. Evaluate each item and sort into categories of Keep, Donate, Recycle or Sell. Ask yourself: “Is it broken? Do I use it? Do I need it? Will I miss it if I gave it away? Could I store this elsewhere?” Continue the process with the smaller items on shelves and in cupboards.
2. Next, clean out the garage by sweeping or hosing the floor, wiping counters and shelving.
3. Think about your current system, does it work for you or would you benefit from additional storage? What are you storing? Be sure to measure your available space and think about how much you have to store before purchasing any organizational storage. I love to maximize wall space by using cabinets, hanging systems, or even overhead storage for the ceiling. Get bikes off the floor by using any style wall rack. Open shelving works fine, however, it often looks cluttered if not maintained regularly. Metal cabinets with doors make for a cleaner, more streamlined look.
4. Once you have cleaned, purged, and installed the proper storage systems it’s time to organize the “keepers” back into the garage, creating zones for all items.
Keep all garden tools together in one common area - hanging larger items on the wall and storing smaller tools, such as gloves and hand shovels in plastic containers with lids.
Create additional zones for automotive supplies, tools, sports equipment, outdoor toys, etc.
Store frequently used items at eye level and within easy reach. If space is tight store out of season items on a higher shelf or in the basement to make room for the current season’s tools and toys.
When you have finished the work, you will probably agree that it was a worthwhile investment of time and effort. Remember to spruce things up with the change of each season to prevent another major clean up in the future.
For more inspiration browse Pinterest or Google Images. Need help in the Rochester area? Give me a call, I'd love to help!