For many people, hanging onto the memories & sentiments of kids sporting equipment, science projects and bedroom furniture or pieces of wood from recently completed renovations is comforting. You just never know when you might need a piece of wood for a home project or an extra roll of insulation.
Why bother getting rid of perfectly good things when you can always store things in the garage? But wouldn’t you like to be able to park both your cars inside during the winter, or not have to worry about your kids taking out their bikes and scratching the car doors? Maybe it’s time to purge.
Start with a manageable task. Just charging ahead and trying to tidy everything up sets you up for disappointment. Take a good long look at all the stuff living in your garage and divide it up into what you need and what you no longer use. Old bikes, skiis and other household items may be useful and valuable to other people so give them away. Give away online via freecycle, donate items to a charity, prepare for a garage sale or just leave things at the curb. It’s almost guaranteed someone will scoop them up.
The next step is to review what you need to store in the garage and organize it into groups by category. Decide how often items are accessed as well as their use & placement within the garage. For example, holiday decorations can be placed into a sealed plastic storage bin instead of a cardboard box in the corner of the garage. For seasonal items, the best place for them is off the floor and above in overhead storage where you will only be accessing them occasionally or once a year. If you don’t create a well thought plan for storage locations of items, you’re likely to resort to old habits and pile them up in the corner.
Creating designated storage areas in the garage is the key to good organization. Unlike your kitchen, which already has specific places such as a pantry for food or drawers for cutlery, a garage usually starts as a bare room with walls & doors. Create specific zones for items so they can be found when you need to use them, or stored safely away when you don’t. Imagine the ease of knowing where to look and finding your weed remover when you need it, or no longer tripping over your son’s skates on the garage floor. Clearing the clutter and a bit of organizing can do wonders for your state of mind. Start by deciding how you want to use your space, then transforming it to suit those needs.
Gardening equipment such as rakes, hoes and spades can be stored in one zone and can be hung from hooks. Shovels and ice breakers can also be hung on the wall. Sports equipment, such as hockey sticks and pucks can be placed on hooks or in baskets. And while you’re re-arranging your space, garbage and recycling bins placed near the entrance to the house makes for convenient access.
A happy consequence of purging the garage and getting it organized for spring is a sense of freedom or heavy weight finally being lifted. I’ve helped many people transform cluttered garages, where there wasn’t room to park the family car, into garages with the space to store family belongings, to become a workshop and to park the full number of vehicles intended. When the garage is no longer a dumping ground for things without a home, it becomes a functional living space and frees up room for tools, sports equipment, seasonal decorations and garbage and recycling bins. I can show you garage storage solutions and fabulous products to transform your garage into the envy of your neighbours.
My clients say they feel happier and uplifted when they are finally free of the shackles of a cluttered and dangerous garage. Organizing allows them to concentrate on things that really matter and to stop stressing about the mess hidden behind the garage door. If you’re interested in discovering your garage’s potential, start by purging.