Perhaps no area of your home is as important or underappreciated as your garage. Because it’s not as comfortable or livable as the rest of your house, it may be little more than a storage unit for a mishmash of seasonal belongings. Patio furniture, sports equipment, gardening supplies and other miscellaneous items end up stacked against the walls or tossed in the corners. Over the years, this makes it extremely difficult to find anything — not to mention the other problems it can cause, such as creating nesting places for vermin. That’s why finding a place in your garage for everything (and putting everything in its place) can save so much time and hassle. Here are some valuable organization tips you can use.
First, Clean It Out
Getting rid of all the unwanted junk you don’t need will simplify the process of organizing what’s left. Start by pulling everything onto the driveway and sorting it. Sell, donate or throw away whatever you don’t want to keep. Be careful to dispose of any old chemicals, such as cleansers and paint, properly at a hazardous material disposal facility. This is also a good time to group items together based on how and when you use them, such as power tools, outdoor toys or holiday decorations. Sweep or pressure wash the floor to get rid of debris and dirt.
Have a Plan
Before you move your stuff back inside, you should have a clear idea of where you want it to go. Take a moment to think about how often you use certain items and where they would be most convenient to store. This is why it’s important to group similar items together — they will be much easier to find when you need them. Drawing a diagram can help you get the most out of your garage space.
Hang It Up
Using pegboards or industrial hooks can get lawn chairs, bike helmets and tools off the floor and out of the way. Hanging your tools also provides easy access whenever you’ve got a project to complete. You might also want to install shelving that hangs from the ceiling to store boxes of holiday lights or sports equipment that you only use on an occasional basis. This can be a great way to open up floor space in your garage and prevent it from feeling cluttered.
Give Yourself Storage
Most garages aren’t outfitted with cabinetry or other storage solutions, which is why so many items wind up on the floor. Add some shelving or cabinets from your local hardware store to provide additional storage space for all kinds of gear. This has the added benefit of keeping your more valuable tools or breakable belongings safe from potential damage or wear. Reserve the highest and lowest shelves for items you don’t use often so you don’t have to bend or stretch for them on a daily basis.
Be Smart With Boxes
Plastic totes or storage bins can be very helpful when organizing. Just be sure they’re sturdy enough to hold whatever you put inside and can handle the extreme temperatures of a garage. Clear bins can be a good choice because they allow you to see what’s inside at a glance. Try to avoid stacking them directly on top of each other because it can become difficult to access the ones on the bottom.
A label maker can be your best friend throughout this entire process. Labeling boxes, bins and shelves will ensure that you know where everything is and make it less likely that you’ll stash items haphazardly. Even if you just use masking tape and a marker, labeling can make a world of difference.
Keeping your garage neat and organized can make your life a lot easier. It can also make it easier to keep the space clean and your garage door apparatus well-maintained. This means you may not need to call your garage door service provider as often. Use these tips, and you can give this important area of your home the attention it deserves.
Author bio: Troy Anderson is co-owner of Roadrunner Garage Doors. He has 20-plus years of experience in industrial sales and management and is skilled in price strategy and negotiation.
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