Garages can become a “store all” for everything from your car to tools to lawn equipment. The garage can get so cluttered with “stuff” that there is no room to actually use the structure for what it was intended for - to park your car. As the weather begins to warm up and our spring cleaning projects start to go into full steam, don’t forget to add cleaning the garage to the spring cleaning task list. This is a great time to sweep out the salt and soot from the long winter. Below are a few garage organization ideas to get you started on your project.
- As with any home project, it is important to have a plan in mind for organizing and cleaning the garage. There are many questions to ask yourself as you put together your plans for the garage. Is the ultimate goal to park your car in the garage? Are you using the garage for additional storage only? Will the garage space be turned into a workshop, man cave or craft room? Is the garage used for utilities and food and home supplies storage?
- Once you have decided on the purpose, diagram zones in your garage where you want to store certain items or where you want to set up the garage for different purposes. If you have a freezer or store food in your garage, these items need to be closer to the door of the home. Children’s toys and summer equipment should be closer to the front of the garage for easier access for the entire family. Everything that you place in the garage should have a specific home, instead of everything being piled into a corner. Group like items together within each of the zones that you create, for example keep your gardening tools, summer toys and tools together in one area and not spread out in the garage.
- You have your garage organization plan set and know where you want to place items back in the garage. How do you start the entire garage cleaning and organizing project? Just as you would for any organizing project inside the home, you need to remove all of the items from the space and sort them into specific boxes or piles. Sort the items into the following piles: Keep, store, donate, sell or throw away. If you borrowed a neighbor’s ladder or gardening tools in the past year, then this is the time to return them to the rightful owners. If your garage plan doesn’t include (or you don’t have room for) seasonal items such as holiday lawn decorations, Christmas trees or lights, then consider renting a storage unit to place these items in a secure place. ezStorage has a variety of storage unit sizes that can help you free up space in your garage. Each ezStorage location also has a large supply of moving and packing supplies, so you can properly pack your additional tools and garage items.
- After all of the items have been removed from the garage, thoroughly sweep and clean the floor of the garage. This is a great time to remove the oil stains from the garage floor. You can use many different DIY solutions such as kitty litter, dishwashing solutions or baking soda to remove the spots. Time permitting, this is also a good chance to paint the walls of the garage to freshen it up before putting items back inside the garage.
- Use as much vertical space as possible as you move your items back into the garage. Install pegboards and storage shelving units along the walls. Pegboards are a great way to store tools for a workshop. Hang ladders and bicycles from the walls and ceilings of the garage. When you are using the garage for storage, make sure to clearly label the contents of any boxes that you use for storage. This is especially true for a workshop with screws, nuts, bolts and other materials. If you keep things in your garage organized then you will be able to find them when you need them.