With the warmer temperatures coming it’s a great time to get your garage organized. If I had to choose my favorite place to organize it would have to be a garage. Why, you ask? That’s a great question!
I think it’s because people are less attached to the stuff in their garage and it’s pretty much a black/white thing, as opposed to other items that require organization Clothes, for example, can become so complicated…is it too little or too big… or we feel “obliged” to keep it because we paid too much money for it…we just “can’t” part with it because there is always that idea that one day we might wear it (even though we hate it), etc. In a garage those feelings rarely apply. Not too many family heirlooms are stored out there and we almost never feel like we just “have to” hang on to much. Hands down, a garage is fun to organize and can be done quickly, no matter how horrible it may appear at first.
Make spring cleaning a breeze, and take note of these things to remember that will help you keep your garage clutter-free! 🙂
1) “Hang 10”
This popular surfing term doesn’t only apply to the surfboards you may (or may not) be storing. When organizing a garage it is important to hang as much as possible and get things off the floor. With the correct gadgets, you can hang a pretty good bit that often clutters the floor. Common things to hang are ladders, yard tools, extension cords, wheel barrows, fishing rods, mops, brooms, etc.
2) Stick Together
Use the same concept in a garage that you use in every other area you are trying to organize. Group like things together. Common categories to have in a garage are recreational items, car related items, lawn and garden items and tools. Some people have more categories depending on storage in other areas of their home.
3) Be Serious About Shelving
Shelving is a must in any garage and having correct shelving will set you up to stay organized. How do you know you have functional shelving? If everything has a place and there is no wasted space. A good way to maximize space on shelves is to put like things in containers that stack. For instance, have a container just for paint brushes, garden gloves, etc.
4) Fill ’em Up (Containers, that is)
Some people think that throwing everything into a rubbermaid bin is a fast way of organizing, but that simply is not true. In order for it to be effective each container needs to have like things and be filled to capacity. Never let there be a container halfway filled with random things in it. Before you know it you’ll have a bunch of unlabeled containers collecting a bunch of stuff you never use and might as well pitch in the trash! What a waste 🙁
5) Remember: Mom Was Right!
Remember the saying “A place for everything and everything in its place”? I know, you may have rolled your eyes every time you heard her tell you that, but…it’s true! As tempted as you might be to come back later and clean up, let’s be honest: how often does that really happen? The only way to stay organized is to always put things back in their place. Right away. While you’re there. As soon as the job is done!
6) Use Common Sense
Store things that are not used on a regular basis up high and make the things that are used often easily accessible. It’s almost a no-brainer, and should go without saying, but it’s unbelievable how many people don’t keep this one in mind. How can you tell if you’re not remembering this step, or using it ineffectively? If you walk into the garage for the umpteenth time to use a particular item and it’s laying out on a counter or the floor…that’d be a big hint! Most likely it’s there because the place you’ve decided to store it is not easily accessible. The fix? Take a moment and think it through and come up with another solution!
The bottom line: organization is a process! Don’t be afraid to move things around if, after time, you discover that something you tend to use or need often got squirreled away in an inconvenient location.
Organization methods and formats can change periodically, just as we do over time. Keeping these 6 concepts in mind, however, will see you through any and all methods that you may go through, and ensure a neat and useful space to store stuff..maybe even allow you to fit in a car or two! 😉
What does YOUR garage look like? Discovered any neat tools or tricks for keeping order out there? Please do share with us in the comments below…thanks!
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Kim has successfully helped create time and space for hundreds of people in Southwest Georgia. In 2005 she started Organize 4U with a vision to help individuals live clutter-free and productive lives. She organizes areas in the home, including pantries, attics, storage buildings and garages. Kim also custom designs and installs closet systems that enhance storage capacity. Her expertise also includes office space and systems. For organizational tips, find her on Facebook at Organize 4U. And you'll find lots of great organizational info, including before and after shots, on her website Organize4U.org.
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