Keeping your garage organized can be a frustrating task. If you need a spot to store dirty work shoes, into the garage they go. If your children need space to dump their sports gear, the garage is prime real estate. How can you maximize the square footage in your garage, having room for both storage and your vehicles?
Sort Your Stockpile of Stuff
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 percent of homeowners with a two-car garage don’t use it for their car, and 32 percent use it to house just one vehicle. While some homeowners convert their garage into a man cave, game room or bedroom, most use it as the dumping ground for stuff. If you want a tidy garage, first you have to tackle the mountain of possessions built up over time. The value of a cleaning schedule should not be overlooked.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding which items to keep and which to toss:
- Will you use this item in the next 12 months?
- How much is this item worth?
You might be able to make a little extra cash by selling tools or snow gear online or by holding a garage sale. If the items you don’t need won’t fetch enough cash, or if you don’t want to spend the time organizing a sale, donate them to a local charity. Reducing your clutter is step one when working toward an organized garage.
Organize by Season
Out of the items you have elected to keep, categorize them each by the season in which they are used. The beach chair should be stored next to the patio umbrella, not the ski poles. That way, when you go to look for something in your garage, you will know exactly where to find it.
Use Your Ceilings and Walls
Investing in custom cabinetry is an effective storage solution, but can quickly exceed a reasonable budget. Moreover, it can be difficult to find cabinets that fit bulky, large items. Install a pegboard or slats on your garage walls to hang bicycles, helmets and gardening tools. To get even more creative, install overhead storage on the garage ceiling. Overhead storage features are perfect for items you only use annually.
When initially organizing your garage, label each bin and plastic tub with a detailed description of the contents. Every time you add a new item, mark it down. You will save yourself time when you need to find it again, and you will also save yourself money. How many times have you bought something without realizing you already owned it? Clearly labeled garage storage can assist you in tracking down tools and sports gear before you make an unnecessary trip to the store.
It will take a significant amount of effort and a weekend or two, but keeping your garage organized will pay off with a sense of calm instead of a feeling of chaos.