Are you one of those people that can not fit a car in the garage? Do you close the garage door quickly hoping that no one sees all the “stuff” in the garage? If you answered yes to any of these questions or if you just need to get your garage organized this article may interest you. I think it is time to “Clear the Clutter”!
I realize if you can’t find a home for some of your “stuff” it is going to end up in the garage. And if you are like me, I don’t have attic space in my home to hide some of that stuff. So let’s see if we can’t organize the things you have in your garage so you can at least get one car in the garage and maybe even have a little space left to walk around.
Take everything out of your garage and move it out on the front lawn (make sure rain is not in the forecast). By removing everything when organizing your garage, it will allow you to take really good look at the space. You will be shocked how much bigger it looks.
Take out the trash, recycling and donations Decide what items are no longer useful, damaged, or missing pieces, etc. and fill up garbage bags. Recycle all the things you can like newspapers, magazines, glass, aluminum, and paint need to be recycled or disposed of properly. If you take off the lid of a paint can and let it dry out completely you can throw it in the trash. Look around for a few items that are in good shape but you just don’t use anymore. Maybe you have gently used children’s items you want to consign at the next JBF Sale in your area.
Clean your garage from top to bottom. Wash the walls, scrub the floors, and if you have windows…pull out the Windex! Sort items by categories. Think of your garage as you would the inside your home. These are categories I would start with: sports equipment, lawn and garden, automotive supplies, tools, recycling, tote for shoes (“on-the-go shoes” I call them or outside shoes: old sneakers, flip flops, taking dog for walk shoes, etc.)
Time to figure out where things go in your garage. If you have the budget and the room to buy shelves or hooks for some of your things to help organize everything, that would be great. If not, grab some totes from inside your house and some extra garbage cans and some nails. I have used totes to keep the boy’s basketballs, footballs, and other sport stuff to keep them separate. Another idea is to use an old laundry bin that has three sections. You could have one for balls, one for bats and the other for accessories. I had an old entertainment center that I couldn’t give away with a “free” sign attached to it as part of my organizing solution. It now holds my husband’s fishing supplies, lanterns, baseball gloves, chalk, and a bunch of other things…all while looking very attractive! LOL! Use an extra garbage can to hold rakes, shovels, and other lawn equipment. If you can, hang any squirt bottles that are used to kill weeds or fertilize flowers. It doesn’t have to be pretty it just has to work for you. If you like tools hanging on the wall and now is not the time to go out and buy something, use nails as a holder. Nail two nails into the wall to hold hammers, one nail to hold wrenches, two nails close to hold screwdrivers (you get the picture).
Organizing your garage gives you a great feeling of accomplishment. In most cases it’s the first thing you see when you get home and the last thing you see before you leave. A clean garage is the perfect “hello” when you get home!
Want to read more of my “Clear the Clutter” posts? You can find them under Organizing and Cleaning Tips.
Author Michelle Lehman of Organizing Solutions “Clear the Clutter” Michelle is a Professional Organizer in the Tulsa area. Her articles have been featured in the Tulsa World, The Oklahoman, and The Chicago Post-Tribune. Michelle appears on Fox23 News DayBreak giving organizing tips and recommendations.