3 STEPS to an Organised Garage

3 STEPS to an Organised Garage

Wed, 31 Oct 2018

Step 1:

CLEAN and PURGE

It’s probably right down at the bottom of the list of jobs you’d like to do during a precious weekend, but a massive haul out of everything, dust off, scrub down and hose out - then let dry thoroughly, is the best way to start. 

Now that you can see the area empty and clean, it’s a good time to consider the space and how it could be utilised. Perhaps you’ll go as far as to paint, lay down new floor covering and/or install storage systems. 

Next job is to sort your garage items and get rid of those you don’t need to put back. A useful rule of thumb is to have three piles:

The KEEP pile ; the DONATE or DUMP pile ; the CONSIDERATION pile ;

Then go through the Consideration pile and ask yourself • Do I love it?  • Do I need it?  • When was the last time I used it?  • If I donated it, could it be safely used by someone else?

That Dump/Donate pile (including the detritus from the Consideration pile) - don’t hesitate, get rid of it so that it doesn’t end up cluttering your newly refreshed garage space.

Start at the top: Don’t forget the ceiling as a storage area. Walls can be utilised to easily house clunky and difficult equipment such as bikes and golf gear.

Step 2:

Create Zones

Plan for storage items, frequent usage items and spaces to be used for hobbies, maintenance and recreation.

Use as much vertical and ceiling space as possible. Storing items on the garage floor invites mildew and water damage, and makes it easier to let things get messy again. This is particularly important if you're planning to actually park your car here! 

Consider adding tall shelving units and a ceiling-mounted platform. Wall-mounted storage is awesome too! It can be as fancy as a custom storage system or as simple as a pegboard and a row of wall hooks. Bikes, tools, shovels, rakes and sports gear can all be hung on the wall, avoiding the dreaded floor pileup.

For kids’ items and sports equipment, open shelving is a great option. When it comes to children and tidiness, any barriers (such as lids or cupboard doors even) seem to keep them from putting things away.

For items that are often stored for long periods, the opposite is true and having a designated spot in a cupboard or container is a good idea. This means there is a place to put those items and no excuse to dump them on any open shelf available.

Storage companies have some super-handy solutions; Drop Zone / Grab Zone: Give the kids no excuses to be messy or forget gear!

Step 3:

Organise for Easy Access

Seasonal gear and seldom used items like camping equipment, snow gear and Christmas decorations get stored high up or at the back. Frequently needed equipment like tools, garden supplies and bikes need to be in places that are easy to access without having to move anything else and without damaging things such as the family car.

Professional Organisers suggest you take the time to organise each individual piece by type and label accordingly. Tedious? Yes. Worth it? Heck yes. Use colour-coded labels to identify the contents of bins and cupboards.

Transfer items from oddly shaped containers or falling-apart cardboard boxes into sturdy plastic bins. Remember that rats and other rodents can easily chew their way into cardboard storage and use any soft material they find inside to make a nest.

Use easy to open bins (like lidded rubbish bins) to organise gardening products and recycling.

Don’t mix contents. If you start with a box of childhood memorabilia, don’t toss in swimming suits at the end. That will make it impossible to find things later!

Here’s a simple idea: Have an area next to your internal access to keep frequently needed items at arms reach, such as cleaning products, shopping bags, school sports equipment, toilet rolls, drinks etc. Arriving home or leaving the house, grab those tennis rackets and go! 

Encourage kids to be organised by having their own hook for coats and perhaps a box underneath for shoes and boots.

The neat-freak’s ideal: beautifully organised and labelled storage.

Ongoing Maintenance:

Wipe up oil spots as soon as you notice them and sprinkle on kitty litter to soak up the most of the stain before it sets.

Keep a box in the garage to collect items that need to go to a special recycling or waste centre (like motor oil and paint) and make a trip there whenever the box is full.
Set a date for once or twice a year to give your garage a thorough clean and sort.

Follow our steps and you might just get to this level of organised bliss!:

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