Organizing Your Garage In 6 Steps
I believe most large projects (and I believe that organizing your garage
falls into this category) should be approached step by step. This allows you to break it down into smaller workable projects. With a plan in hand you don't have to complete everything at one time but still work toward your goal in steps.
With 3 kids and 2 cars our garage was more a dumping ground for toys. Yet with 3 moves much of our stuff that didn't find a home somewhere else landed here. It was time for a change. I used to ask myself - What am I going to do with all of this stuff!
Hence, my step be step process to organizing your garage...
6 Steps To Organizing Your Gararge
- Remove Everything
- Remove - Literally - When organizing your garage take everything out and really take a good look at the space. It will probably look a lot different and larger without your items there.
- Throw Out - Decide what items are no longer useful, damaged, or missing pieces, etc. and fill up garbage bags for disposal. If you have larger items most trash companies have designated days or times of year that they will pick up these items or call and make an appointment
- Recycle - Old newspapers, magazines, glass, aluminum, old oil or paint need to be recycled or disposed of properly.
- Donate - I think we all have a few items that are in good shape but we just don't use anymore. Fill up your car and donate it to a worthy cause. For larger items some organizations will arrange for free pick-up of household items assuming they are in good shape.
- Measure - Now that everything is out pull in your cars. (You do want to park them there right?) Mark the floor where your car ends on all sides.
This will prevent the unfortunate - "I didn't think of that!" spark that happens when you can't get out of your car because the storage cabinet was too deep or you are taking items out of the trunk in the rain because you can't get to the trunk without the garage door open.
Organizing your garage involves measurement. Accuracy is important so that you don't end up with a problem parking your car when it is all done. Measure any walls and make a rough sketch of the dimensions - don't forget vertical height of your walls.
Clean Out The Space
- Take a good look around now that everything has been removed. Although painting may not technically part of organizing your garage it is a great time to do it. Ask yourself - Do the walls need to be painted? Do the walls or floor need to be repaired in any way? What about the garage doors - Are they in working order? Now is the time to repair or paint before anything is moved back in.
- Look Down! - What does your floor look like? Are there stains or cracks? It's a good idea to clean the floor, repair cracks and seal the entire surface. This is our the 3rd house and in our climate it did not take long for the floor to look older than its 3 years. This is an extra step but has a great look when you are done organizing your garage.
Group Items By Category
Decide What Activities Will Be Done In Your Garage
- This is simple yet surprisingly effective. Think of your garage as having workstations or rooms like in your house - each one has its own function. Here are some categories to start:
sports and recreational, lawn and garden, automotive supplies, tools, hardware and home maintanence, garbage and recycling, drop of center - for shoes, coats etc.
- Since I live in a climate with 4 seasons when organizing my garage I decided not to plan on carrying out any activity that would mean me entering a cold garage in the middle of winter. I also didn't want to add a heating element to it.
So, with this in mind take into consideration where you live. Those in warmer climates have more options when organizing your gaarage. You can set up a mail center, craft area, small workshop. The options are open to your imagination and your interests.
- Also when organizing your garage take into consideration everyone in the family and what equipment they have and normally put in the garage.
Decide on a Comfortable Budget
Put It All Together
- By now your garage should be clean, repaired and ready to install any storage devices that you purchased. Next simply install and add your items.
Organizing your garage gives you a great feeling of freedom. You can walk to your door without tripping over things, find everything you need and access them easier. After you complete YOUR project you'll wonder why you waited so long!
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