Day 24: Garage
Professional organizers estimate that only 30% of people are able to park their car in their garage.
Too much, for too long, with little elimination.
If you’re like me, I’m not a fan of climbing into a freezing cold car in the winter, or a hot car in the summer. I like to park in the garage. It’s safer, it’s better for the investment of your vehicle, and more convenient when company visits.
While this is admittedly a big job and one that is much easier with a partner… it’s doable. You just have to have a plan. An elimination plan… and a floor plan.
You can do this! And the reward of an organized and functioning garage for the whole family is well worth the effort.
Best Garage Organization Tips
Label every container – most important tip.
Keep everything off the floor as much as possible.
Consider renting a storage unit for seasonal items.
Have a lined trash/recycle can in the garage for quick car cleaning.
Equipment Every Garage Needs
A Fire Extinguisher
A locked storage cabinet to store chemicals and fertilizers
What Not to Store in the Garage
Paint – extreme temperatures can ruin the paint.
Propane – a spark can ignite the propane – best to store outdoors.
Paper Plates, Napkins, etc. – paper goods are notorious for attracting bugs. Store indoors.
Pet Food – pet food attracts critters. Store in a sealed container outdoors.
Valuables – safety
Temperature Sensitive Heirlooms – paintings, photographs, important documents, delicate clothing (like wedding dresses)
Objective: to eliminate unwanted and unneeded items, to organize what’s left, resulting in a functioning garage.
• Lay out 3 tarps or boxes labeled: keep, donate, and toss and create distinct, separate areas.
• Quickly sort through garage items and locate either in the keep, donate or toss areas. In the discard pile should be anything that is outgrown (like toys), broken beyond repair or that you haven’t used in a couple of years.
• Bag the discards and box the donation piles. Locate them outside the garage and have a plan on when they will be either picked up by your garbage/recycle service, taken to the dump or donation center. Do this as quickly as possible. The longer they sit, the more likely they will find their way back into the garage.
• Items to be kept: sort into categories like sports equipment, automobile, hand tools, and so on. Box and label or better yet, put in labeled clear, lidded plastic containers.
• Draft a floor plan: Roughly sketch the outline of the garage noting windows, doors, etc. along with dimensions. Add this to your household files.
• Assign homes to everything that will remain in the garage: lawn tools and fertilizers should be kept together, large equipment like lawn mowers, etc in out of the way corners, frequent use items like scooters, bikes near the garage door and seasonal items in hardest to reach areas. Consider
• Create a plan for storage: Use vertical shelves to maximize space for plastic container storage, vertical systems that can be mounted to the wall, peg boards or hooks for the walls, ball bins for sports equipment, and overhead storage racks – perfect for long flat items you don’t use every day (kayaks come to mind).
• Sweep out the garage floor and walls and all its corners.
• Mount or install storage racks, systems, and so on and fill according to your floor plan.
• Park your car in the garage — and get takeout! You deserve it — job well done!
GET THE BOOK:
Easy Steps to an Organized Life in 31 Days or Less (Amazon.com)
Draft a Floor Plan
Utilize wall space
Work Bench Organization