With an abundance of miscellaneous sports equipment, oil spots, and random boxes full of cleaners and tools, it should come as no surprise that the garage has a tendency to morph itself into a dumping ground of sorts. While it’s certainly not someplace we’d want to show off when friends and family come to visit, it still represents a part of the home which can generate a bit of stress when things get too cluttered.
If you’re tired of the mess and are ready to transform your garage from a black hole into a neat, organized area, then consider breaking down the monstrous task into doable steps that don’t have to be completed all at once.
1.) DEVELOP A PLAN: Depending upon how much of a mess you’re dealing with, it’s probably a good idea to start this project when you have a full weekend to tackle the beginning stages. Since you might need to drag a few things into the driveway to make room for your work, make a point to pay attention to the weather so you don’t get caught in a downpour.
As you develop your plan, take note of the fact that the hardest work will take place during the first few days—everything after is simply about creating storage and putting things back together. As you begin to envision the process, spend some time thinking about how you want the finished process to look. Proper planning creates better results.
2.) SILENCE YOUR INNER PACK RAT: Since you should be able to donate, sell, or recycle most of what you no longer want or need, carve out areas where you can separate your belongings into what you’ll keep and what you’ll part with.
Once you have settled on your keepers (don’t throw away spare materials for your home such as paint and tile!), categorize them into groups—holiday decorations, tools, gardening supplies, car care, sports equipment, memorabilia, etc. For everything else, try not to talk yourself out of letting things go. If you haven’t used it in 12 months and you have no definite plans to use it in the near future, chances are you can live without it!
3.) CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN: Garages open to the elements and they store your wet, dirty cars. While a little dirt is part of the deal, keeping on top of your cleaning duties will make a difference upon whether critters decide to take up residence in your long-forgotten boxes.
To start fresh, remove everything from the garage while paying attention to signs of rodents, pests, and water damage. Vacuum or sweep the corners and general floor area, and if you’re feeling really tidy, use sprinkled powdered detergent to remove any grease stains. If you choose to mop the entire area, make sure to allow proper drying time before bringing your belongings back in.
4.) DE-CLUTTER: Transfer items from old cardboard boxes to large, labeled plastic bins, and organize smaller items such as gardening tools into open-top containers. With this, make a point to keep things separate! Resist the urge to mix differing subject matter, since finding it later will become a challenge.
5.) CLEAR THE FLOOR: Once everything is organized, make a plan for where you want things to go. While storing things on the floor may seem easy, it invites mold and mildew. To combat this, consider adding tall shelving units and don’t be afraid to use the walls or install ceiling lofts. Wall hooks and overhead storage can be great when it comes to hanging tools, bikes, sports gear, etc.
Once everything is in its place, evaluate ease of access for your most frequently used items, make sure to get rid of that last pile of miscellaneous junk, and enjoy your new organized space!
Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.cresbuilders.com | 770-983-4698