It’s the end of summer and for many families, that means it’s time to put away the swim gear, scooters, and bicycles. However, before shoving everything into your garage, you may want to rethink how you use that space. A messy garage is not only unsightly, but can cost you if you have to waste time searching for lost items and re-purchase things you already own.
A cluttered garage can also be a possible source of danger as you could trip over loose objects or stub your toes while navigating through it. Your vehicle could also be at risk (if you can fit it in there in the first place) because the doors may get dented if they swing open and hit something.
Keeping your garage space organized will give you peace of mind as you’ll be able to store your vehicle in a clean, dry, and secure environment during winter months.
Follow these simple steps to declutter and keep your garage organized.
Depending on how much clutter you have, you may need to free up a full day or weekend in advance. Gather supplies beforehand (large boxes, packing tape, and garbage bags) and consider renting a secure storage container so your things aren’t just sitting in the driveway or in your house while you’re decluttering.
Recruit friends or family members in advance to help clear your garage and lift heavy objects.
Empty everything out of the garage onto your lawn or driveway and sort them into piles. I recommend sorting them into categories like Tools, Toys, Car Care, and Sports Equipment.
Once you’ve sorted your items into categories, toss everything that’s broken or expired, return borrowed items to their proper owners, and sort everything into further piles for donating, reselling, and keeping. Try and recycle as many boxes as you can because cardboard can attract bugs to your home and garage.
Once your garage is empty, you can give it a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint if required. Adding vertical storage by installing shelves and hooks (or a pegboard) will help you get things off the floor. If you have the space, get stackable plastic shelves that snap together (sold at many hardware stores) and store clear bins on them. You can also install a ceiling storage system – just make sure your garage door doesn’t interfere with it and there is enough clearance to avoid scraping the roof of your car!
Putting everything back
Once everything has been sorted and your garage is clean and sparkly, it is time to start organizing. Organize your items based on type of use:
- Bulky items: Try to downsize larger items if you can. For example, you can deflate pool toys or disassemble large objects.
- Categorize: Group similar items together, such as auto care and sports equipment, for ease of access.
- Frequently used: Keep items such as pet leashes and snow shovels within easy reach.
- Tools and bicycles: Shovels, rakes, and bicycles are best stored by hanging them on the wall.
- Rarely used: Holiday decorations, extra tires, and other rarely used items can go in labelled bins and be placed on higher shelves or in a ceiling storage system.
Maintain your garage
Now that you’ve put all this work into your garage, the next step is keeping it that way. Schedule mini cleaning sessions (perhaps at the end of each season or every six months) to purge, clean, and reorganize things. Remember to keep the floor space as free as possible, check for pests from time to time, and sweep the floors regularly to get rid of dirt.
Do you have any garage cleaning tips? Share them with us in the comments below.