Cleaning Out the Garage: 15 Steps to an Organized GaragePosted by Robin on May 31, 2012 in Garage Organization | 0 comments
Is your garage so packed that you can’t park your car in it? Have you purchased multiple tools, lawn care chemicals, or gear for your favorite outdoor activity because you can’t find the one you already own? Wouldn’t you love a garage that houses your vehicle(s), stores your lawn/pool/car care tools, and supports the outdoor activities you enjoy most? Here are 15 steps to get you there.
1. Envision – What are your “garage dreams?” What activities need to happen here? What would you like to see when you open the door?
2. Plan – Taking the time to create a plan now will ensure that you reach your vision. Without a plan, you may end up with all your garage contents on your driveway or lawn while you run around getting what you need to complete your project. When you’re creating a plan, think about zones like the big box stores have. Some zones may be lawn care, car care, pool care & toys, woodworking/home repair tools, or outdoor sports (like fishing, boating, ball sports)
3. Recruit Others – Garage projects are usually big projects. Instead of going it solo, ask for help up-front from family members or friends. Maybe you can swap garage organization help with your neighbor.
4. Clear – As hard as it seems, the best way to start a garage project is to clear your garage of all its contents. The easiest way to do this is often to work around the garage in a pattern until all items are cleared.
5. Purge – As you clear the garage, start your trash pile. Throw away everything you no longer use, is broken, or is not useful to others.
6. Recycle – Part of your plan needs to include a plan for recycling. Check out your county website to find out what you’ll need to do with all the hazardous chemicals and paints that tend to hang out in the garage.
7. Donate – Another “pile” in your driveway should have items to give away or donate. Be brutal. If you haven’t used the item(s) in over a year and they still have useful life, give them to someone who will use them.
8. Return – Are you housing things for others? Still have those tools you borrowed from the neighbor? Start a pile of those – and return them today.
9. Categorize – Your plan will help you here. As you empty your garage, sort the items you’re keeping into categories.
10. Sweep/Clean – A good sweeping and cleaning of the garage floor will make all the difference. Take this time to do things like lay down mats to catch car drips. If you’re feeling ambitious, a coat of paint on the walls will make you feel like you have a new garage.
11. Pick Your Zones – Now is the time to look at your plan and look at the piles on your driveway/lawn and set up your zones. Putting some thought into your zones will make your garage functional and safe. Extra appliances or food storage should be located near the home entrance. Toys & kids’ items should be located the furthest from traffic in the garage and nearest the yard. If you store your garbage cans in the garage, as many of us do, they need to be near the garage door for ease of taking to the curb. Things like holiday decorations that aren’t often used can go into higher/longer term storage.
12. Install – Now is the time to install any racks or fixtures you have purchased for your project. The key to garage storage is getting as many things as possible off the floor so you have room for your largest item – your vehicle(s). There are a number of great storage systems at every price range out there to help you do this. Some of my favorites are Monkey Bars, Gladiator Garageworks and Rubbermaid’s FastTrack system.
13. Put everything in their new homes – This is the fun part. You’re almost there!
14. Containerize and Label – This is as important in the garage as it is in the house – maybe more important. All closed containers should be durable as well as water– and bug-resistant. In Florida, the heat & humidity can create condensation & dampness in some containers, so I would also recommend a moisture-control aid in your containers.
15. Celebrate! You’re going to love your new garage… But don’t forget to maintain it!
If you could use hands-on help organizing your garage or another area of your home, contact Consider It Organized – robin@ConsiderItOrganized.com and 727–264-6035. Check us out at http://www.ConsiderItOrganized.com and http://www.facebook.com/ConsiderItOrganized.