Do you have a garage filled with stuff? Is your vehicle even regularly parked in your garage? Studies show nearly 80% of Americans have a garage while close to 25% say their garages are too full or cluttered to fit a car. In fact, garage organization may be one of the most difficult home organization tasks you face. Here are some tips to make the process easy, creative, and fun.
It is difficult to make the most of your space without paring down. Rather than dread decluttering, think of it as a methodical, therapeutic process.
Start with a quick check for nails and other small items on the floor. Also, look for oil or chemical stains, cobwebs and any possible critters that may have nested in your garage. While doing your initial pass through, toss anything unwanted directly in the trash. This will give you a great head start.
That done, you can really begin to declutter and organize. Create the following familiar categories:
●Toss -- there will be more after your initial pass.
●Keep -- if you are not sure, ask yourself “When was the last time I used this item?”
●Donate -- gently used items are appreciated, used up items may be better off tossed.
Depending on how much stuff you have, you may want to put everything out on the driveway and sort it into zones. You may find you have more than one of a certain item. Some items may be broken or alternatively never used. People are often amazed at how much stuff they have in their garage.
What Belongs in Your Garage?
Let’s face it, if you own a home and have an active life, you probably have a lot of things. If you have kids (or even if you don’t) you may have bicycles, skis or camping gear. In many cases, we don’t want all of our things in our homes but we need (and use) them either out in the world or in our garages.
In addition to accommodating our busy outdoor lives, we need our garages to store items like general tools; lawnmowers and gardening tools; seasonal items like Christmas and Halloween decorations, and much more.
Your garage was meant for your second biggest investment (after your house) -- your car. So, make room for it. When you store your car in a garage you save the exterior from the harsh, damaging elements of wind, rain, snow, and sun. Of course, your car is safe from theft while in the garage and you may even get a discount on your insurance.
Make Storage an Art Form
First, make use of the vertical and overhead space. You have three bare walls and a vast ceiling at your disposal (especially useful if your garage has a high ceiling or rafters). Many garage items are only needed occasionally, so less accessible overhead storage is not an issue.
Along the vertical walls, you can find many affordable options at home improvement stores or you can build your own. The entire wall is open for wire shelves, storage bins, or steel cabinets. A narrower depth (so you don’t take valuable space from your car’s parking spot) won’t impact the wealth of storage of a full wall.
When you select cabinets and bins, it’s helpful to install various sizes. Smaller containers are good for things like garden accessories and cleaners. You can install a pegboard for tools and hooks for other equipment such as bicycles and skis.
For many people, the functional area of the garage is the most important. If you have a workbench, you want to keep it neat. A cluttered area makes tasks difficult and tools hard to find. Hang shelves or cabinets where needed and make use of the pegboard so the workbench does it’s intended job. Imagine the projects you’ll complete with a well-designed and maintained garage work area.
Barn Doors -- A Special Touch
It may be a garage, but it can also be a beautiful extension of your home. Your garage is in fact, valuable square footage. You can do a variety of creative things to the interior so that your garage feels inviting while remaining useful storage space. Why not color coordinate your shelving? Or, paint the floor a fun color? If you organize the storage space well and with panache, your garage can be a great work area or even double as a bonus room for, well, anything you choose.
One great way to get storage, make a bold design statement, and even create a bonus room, is to add interior barn doors in your garage. Hanging double barn doors (with storage behind them) will add charm and utility to any garage. Open the doors when you need access to your sports equipment, tools, or gardening supplies. When done, close the doors and you’ll have a statement-making garage to wow the neighborhood. Have questions about which barn door is right for you? Contact us, we are here to help.