Spring is right around the corner and homeowners are looking to get a head start on their annual house-wide cleaning. Sadly, many tend to neglect their garage — which may or may not be overflowing with junk.
Make 2021 the year you finally organize this catch-all space and park your car inside again. These helpful tips will see you through and help you brainstorm a few storage solutions.
1. Declutter and Donate
Many households rent self-storage units to contain their extra stuff. Each month they pay upwards of $100 to store items they may never even use. If they could manage to get rid of just a few items, they might fit the rest in their garage. Of course, if your garage is also full of antiques, a purge is probably long overdue.
Separate everything into keep and give piles. Only keep things that spark joy or have a real use. Everything else can go in the give pile, which you can then take to your charity of choice. Consider donating items to churches, homeless shelters, Goodwill, the Salvation Army or even a friend or family member.
2. Toss and Recycle
Of course, you don’t want to donate half-empty paint cans and rusty saws to your local Goodwill. Rather, you’ll have to decide whether to toss or recycle these items. Take leftover household products like paint, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides to your local collection facility. Search for household hazardous waste near your zip code to find a drop-off location.
Meanwhile, you can recycle non-hazardous waste like broken glass, soda bottles, aluminum, plastic and wood. Find out what your local recycling program accepts and only drop off uncontaminated items. Water, dirt and grime can damage recyclables and make them unfit for reuse.
3. Use Your Walls
Once you’ve decluttered and downsized, you can begin to move items back into your garage. Use storage solutions you already use inside to organize your space and keep everything clean and put away.
Keep everything off of the floor and make more room for cars by storing everything on interior walls. Install tracks, shelves, pegboards, hooks, racks and more to hang tools, store sports equipment and manage long cords. You can even mount your bikes on the wall with steel racks.
4. Go Higher
If your walls aren’t strong enough to store heavy items or you don’t want to put holes in the walls, consider using the space above your cars. Look to the ceiling and get creative with hanging storage bins and racks. If you decide to use bins, choose see-through containers and a storage rack with steel wire grids. Label the bottom of each bin so you can find everything easily.
Does your garage have wooden beams overhead? Opt for mesh nets and baskets instead. Hang them from nails or tie them directly onto the beams to hang balls, rackets, cords and other random stuff that often litter the floor.
5. Repurpose Furniture
Maybe you’re on a budget or don’t want to spend money on storage solutions. Either way, repurposing furniture to use in your garage is a great way to save money and give cabinets, dressers and desks a new life.
Use an old bar cart to store craft gear in style. Convert a freestanding cabinet into a place to hang coats, bags and tools. You can even hang those old cabinets from your recent kitchen renovation in your garage. Add shelves inside and pegboards outside to keep everything clean and tidy.
Organize Your Garage This Spring
If you can use things you already have to organize and store your things, cleaning up your garage should be a relatively affordable undertaking. The real investment is time. If items have been piling up for a few years, you may have a weekend’s worth of work on your hands. However, all that hard work will be worth it when you can finally park your car in your garage on Monday night.
Get creative, think outside the box and flex your DIY muscles. Use lattices to store pipes, pallets to organize rakes and even lazy susans to store cans and bottles. Lean into your imagination and commit to a few hours — or days — of work. Your garage will be spik and span in the end!
About The Author: Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, a magazine for home improvement and décor advice. More of her work can be found on Twitter.
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
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