Is your garage stressing you out? Maybe you are ready for a garage makeover. Here are a few tips to help kick-start your garage organization:
1. Consider what your storage needs actually are.
For many people a garage is the perfect space for a car or two, plus various yard and sporting equipment. But we don’t all have to use a garage in the same way. What do you actually need in your garage? If a standard garage is not useful for your particular lifestyle or needs, you may want to consider other options. You can repurpose the garage for hobbies or activities rather than storage or cars. You can also utilize a storage shed in your yard or outside of the garage, a basement, or storage unit to free up more space in the garage for what you really need.
2. Recognize your garage’s value and purpose.
I believe every room in our house should be useful and have a clear purpose. Being intentional about how we use the space we have can help us have a more organized, clutter-free home. I’ll admit – I haven’t always given our garage the same attention or consideration as the rest of the house. A garage can be valuable real estate when you have limited space in your home.
While it may feel like we are at least temporarily solving storage problems inside the house by throwing the excess haphazardly in the garage, this is not actually helping us to be organized in our home or life. It’s basically just shuffling the problem to a different area. The garage should not be considered a dumpster for everything we don’t know what to do with. It can be as useful, organized and functional as other rooms in the house. By recognizing how the organization of the garage is connected to how our home functions as a whole, we can make the necessary adjustments so both spaces work together to make our lives more organized.
3. Fit in a pre-winter clean up.
Now is the last chance to tackle that garage before winter. In many climates, garages can get out of control and disorganized during the winter months. When it is cold or rainy out, we may be less likely to spend enough time in the garage keep things tidy or organized. Use the last weeks of summer or the cooler dry days of fall to clear the clutter from your garage and give it more purpose so your garage can be useful all winter long. We’ve declared August to be our own garage clean-out month and we can’t wait to reorganize it.
4. Use every available inch.
When space in your garage is at a premium, the easiest solution is to get things you need up off the floor. It may seem obvious but many times our garage floors are full, yet the walls and ceilings are not utilized to their fullest potential. Walls and ceilings can offer an abundance of additional storage that is otherwise wasted. Peg boards, lattice with “s” hooks, wall hooks, and wall-mounted or free-standing shelving can maximize the space you have and still leave you floor space for the car, craft tables, or whatever you would like to use the middle of your garage for. There are customized garage organizing systems you can buy, but you can certainly find plenty of DIY options to help you organize every available inch for less.
Photo Courtesy of http://flickr.com/clutterbusters
5. Prevent Clutter Drop Spots.
What are the things that create disorganization in your garage? I love coming up with solutions to solve anticipated problems. If tools are frequently put away in the wrong area, try labeling each hook or bin with the item that belongs there, making it easier to know where to put tools when you are done with them. If open shelves invite chaos, use labeled bins and boxes to more easily keep clutter under control. Closed cabinets will give a garage a much less cluttered look since everything is hidden behind the doors. They also make it more difficult to just set a random item down on a shelf. To prevent miscellaneous areas of clutter all over the garage, divide your space into functional zones so related items can stay together.
6. Make it prettier.
Garages are not usually thought of as pretty, but if you can, why not add a little more personality to your space? At my house, if a room is decorated I’m more likely to want to keep it looking good with more frequent cleaning and organization. If your garage is a little dingy, it might be fun to not only clear the clutter and reorganize it, but to paint it and give it a full makeover this summer!