Tackle Garage Organization in a Weekend
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While many of us have the best intentions for keeping common spaces in our homes, like our garage, clean and organized, busy schedules throughout the year can sometimes keep us from staying on top of keeping such a space easily accessible.
With temperatures dropping, autumn is a perfect time to work outdoors and get your garage ready for a new season of activity. If your garage is in need of some organizing attention, dedicate a weekend day this fall to giving that space an organizational makeover with these strategies in mind.
Set Time Aside
If you can give your garage a full day of your attention, you’ll find the work goes by quickly, especially when you’ve got a plan in place. Pull out everything that’s in the way and create zones for items that can be trashed or recycled, that can be donated, or that need to be organized and put back into the space.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make, and one that can be prevented with planning, is not having the right storage items,” said Jule Eller, Director of Trend and Style at Lowe’s. “It’s easy to throw unlike items into a large bin just to get the mess out of the way, but that ends up being frustrating later when you are searching for a particular item. Arrange your bins, baskets and trash bags beforehand and come up with a system to put like items together.”
When garage cleanup day has arrived, make sure you have enough:
- Trash bags and cans
- Basic cleaning supplies
- Empty boxes for collecting items for donation
- Plastic containers in a variety of sizes for storage
If there’s a lot to clean up inside your garage, consider contacting your local municipality to see about renting a small dumpster for bulky debris removal.
Once you’ve given yourself an empty space to work with, make sure it’s clean. Sweep the garage floor and address any spills that may have occurred going in and out of the space. It’s also a great idea to check on light bulbs or any other mechanical check-ups your garage may need.
Start Small. Go Big.
Working in your dedicated category zones, gather like-minded supplies together so that you can focus on more detailed organization. If you have a lot to sort through, it can feel overwhelming at first to tackle organization from one giant pile, so grouped items can help you focus on one category at a time. With similar items together, it can help you better address what should stay in the garage and what should go.
“Once you've grouped all like things, look at how much there is of each item. Does lawn care need more space?” asks professional organizer Felice Cohen. “Many tools can be hung up. Dangerous tools should be out of reach of small children, but not too high that they could fall on someone's head.”
Think vertically when looking to give your garage storage items a home. Pegboards, cabinets, and overhead storage are all options for getting important storage and tools off the ground.
Plan. Plan. Plan.
“Use your storage cabinets in a way that make sense to you. Put the least used items on the top and bottom shelves,” said Closets by Design of Nashville’s Sandra Sokol. “Store the items that you will want to access frequently in the middle shelves. Often baskets or even dividers can be added to our cabinets to allow for the perfect storage solutions for your items.”
Designate the Space
After working hard on organizing and cleaning your garage, keep a handle on future organization by giving family members a space of their own to drop off sports supplies, toys, bikes and more. Consider creating cubbies for each person with hooks for hanging, benches for taking off boots or baskets for storing outdoor items.
If you live in a cooler climate and need to store outdoor items such as furniture or summer toys, consider dedicating a space in your garage to those pieces so that when it’s time for them to come inside for the season, there’s a space ready and waiting.
“This will ensure that you don’t miss important items for a weekend at the beach or for decorating the home for holidays,” said Sandra.