Tips for Organizing the Garage
“Most people will gladly store their useless junk in the garage and park their $20,000 car outisde.” This quote found on Reddit sums up the amount of STUFF we having hiding out in our garage. In fact, in many places, more people use their garage as storage than people who park their cars in their garage.
There’s nothing wrong with using the space for extra storage, or for a workshop, or gym, or for any other purpose. But, the problem comes when our “extra space” becomes so cluttered, that it’s not longer useful space. It becomes a junk room.
So, get ready to organize! Whether it’s to get the car back in there or just keep the clutter down, it’s good to make a plan and follow through so it actually gets done.
Here are a few tips for organizing the garage
Set Aside Time
Organizing a big room like a garage is quite the undertaking. It’s going to require time and space to unpack, organize, and repack. These kinds of tasks can’t easily be done in small blocks of time spread out. It’s much better to choose a few days (like a weekend) and really block out the time to get things organized at once.
You can hire an expert in organizing and clutter, or you can round up a team of helpers. Helpers may be useful so you don’t become overwhelmed and quit mid project. Depending on your work style and personality, it may be better to stick to a professional or go at it alone. Sometimes, well meaning help can just bog down the purging process. If you do bring in a team of helpers though, have a plan of action so they stay busy and useful during the task.
It’s easier to get things stored properly if they have been sorted properly. Also, double check all of your categories. Do some of those items belong in the house? If so, make appropriate spaces in the house for the items that belong inside. Keep your garage the place for tools, camping gear, sports equipment, seasonal items, and other related things.
Group the Categories
Use cardboard boxes for getting an idea of what goes with what. Label the boxes. It’s a good idea not to buy plastic tubs and containers yet, because you need to see how much stuff you have before buying storage containers for it.
If you have ever watched an organization show, they begin their purging process by sorting things into Keep, Donate, and Trash piles. Once you start adding to the piles, you get a visualization of how much you have and what you can get rid of. If you have several sets of the same types of things, choose your favorites, and donate the rest!
Pick a New Garage Layout and Storage System
This is where you can really get creative if you want. There are modular storage systems, and shelving, and many other products you can purchase and customize for your needs. You can go as simple or elaborate as you want.
Keeping costs low? Plastic tubs, found at any store like Wal-Mart or Home Depot, can be found in a variety of colors, they have lids, and they are stack-able. They’re definitely worth the $5 or so per container to ensure your stored items are safe from water, dirt-daubers and anything else that can get into your garage.
Put Things Away
You’re packed, you’re organized, and you’re labeled. It’s finally time to relocate your items back into your garage in an orderly fashion.
Make a Schedule
Keep on top of things now that you’re organized. Plan on a seasonal check of your garage, especially after major holidays. Make sure you put things back in their place so that next year, you can find them again!