summer garage cleaning

Get Your Garage Ready for Summer Activities

by Ronique Gibson

The school year is winding down and the temperatures are getting warmer.  That means summer is around the corner! And summer brings summer vacations! The thought of spending more time with the family is always exciting, but attempting to find everyone’s suitcases, athletic sports equipment and beach toys is not. Before the summer officially gets underway, take some time to assess your garage and get organized. Follow these simple tips to help organize your garage before the summer mindset takes hold and your eager family members start asking, “Are we there yet?”

Get a handle on your summer plans now.

While you may not need a completely planned calendar of your summer months, it will help if you start putting your mind into vacation mode. (Doesn’t that sound appealing?) When it’s time to go on vacation, we all know that getting organized, finding suitcases, and packing can be very stressful. Determine what places you want to visit and what mode of transportation will best get you there. Think about how long you’ll be away what activities you want to do during your visit. This will help you and your family decide what athletic and leisure equipment you will need as well as what type of luggage and carry bags will be necessary.

Once you have a rough idea of what your summer plans will be, you can move on to tackling your garage organization.

Sort seasonal items from everyday items.

In most garages there is a “prime real estate area” for storage and convenience. This could be on your wall shelves or in overhanging hooks and wall racks. Sort through your seasonal household belongings—such as holiday decorations, winter and fall tools, and kids’ cold season toys—and place them on the shelves or in storage bins to make room in convenient  areas for the warm weather athletic and leisure equipment. Kiddie pools, life preservers, beach toys and beach gear can take up a lot of room. You can maximize your garage storage options for summer needs by sorting out cold-weather, seasonal items that won’t be used for a few months.

Family walking on cliffside path holding hands and smiling

Utilize ceiling hanging storage area.

One of the most forgotten and underutilized areas of most garages is the ceiling. Even though your automatic garage door and opener take up space, most garages still have space in front and to the sides to install hanging shelves, customized peg wall boards (for hanging tools), and hooks for bikes, skateboards, camping equipment and more. You will be happy you organized your summer gear in the ceiling storage, as you’ll be able to see it quickly and get on to packing. The added bonus of this approach is that, when you return from vacation, the items will be easy to store away.

Making room for family luggage and traveling gear.

If your family luggage seems to crowd out the cars, here are some helpful tips to consider. The average family only replaces luggage once every 5 years, if that! Determine if you still use your entire luggage collection or if older pieces can be given away, repurposed into another use, or thrown away due to disrepair or age. Maybe the attic, basement, utility closet or some other storage area in your home could house luggage. In your garage, choose an out-of-the-way corner to stack luggage or consider putting in wall shelving organizers. Many garage organization brands sell custom wall systems to match the exact items you need help storing. Remember, when it’s time to go on vacation the last thing you want to think about is, Where is all our luggage? Also when you finally decide to vacation, airports and travel clubs often offer discounts on luggage that may help you consolidate your antiquated luggage for your next vacation.

As the summer season approaches and you start making vacation reservations, remember to prepare your garage now. This will help keep down your stress level when packing and will help in future seasons to rotate what is needed. Remember the summer months are for enjoying your vacation and family, so let these tips help get your summer organization underway!

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