Leaving your car out in the elements can be costly, damage to the paint from the suns rays, tree sap, hail or other things mother nature may throw at it, yet it’s estimated that 70 percent of us don’t park our cars in our garage. The number one reason for this, we have too much other stuff in there. Getting your garage organized can be a big project. With help from this guide you may find it easier than you would have thought.
The Big Clean-Out: Getting Started
• Set aside at least a full day, or even a full weekend or two, to get the job done.
• Make decluttering a family project and invite over a few friends to pitch in, and it’ll go a lot faster.
• Go through absolutely everything, including boxes you didn’t unpack when you moved in—you never know where that family heirloom might be lurking.• Sort all items into three piles: keep, donate or sell, and toss. Lay them on dedicated tarps or mark off areas of your driveway with chalk and place them there. What should get the boot: outgrown toys, items that are broken beyond repair, expired household chemicals (which may need special disposal), and anything you haven’t used in two years or more. If you have a hard time letting go of things that have sentimental value, snap pictures as keepsakes.
• Sort the keepers into broad categories (for example, sports equipment, hand tools), and place them in well-marked cardboard boxes or, better yet, stackable clear-plastic bins you can use later. Put the keepers back in the garage for now.
• As soon as possible, donate giveaways and schedule a yard sale to get rid of castoffs.
Draft a Floor Plan
Most manufacturers of garage-organizing systems offer free space planning, so use their services as you research how to store all your gear. Before buying anything, take down your garage’s dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches, and receptacles, as well as how much space your car takes up. Then use the following rules of thumb as you assign things a home.
1. Items you use together, such as gardening tools and lawn chemicals, should be stored close to one another.
2. Put bulky equipment, like lawn mowers, in corners, where they won’t get bumped or knocked over by your car.
3. Place frequently used items, like bikes, close to the garage door.
4. Stash seasonal or rarely used items in the hardest-to-reach spots.