How to Organize the Garageback
Summer Mission: Garage Organization!
To accomplish this goal we are going to take you through our step by step organizing process on how to organize the garage.
First you need to assess your garage. Other than your vehicles what would you like to store in your space? Do you have gardening supplies, sporting equipment or tools that call your garage home?
Once you decide what you want to place in your garage it is time to create zones. Organizers use zones to create flow in a space. Zoning is to separate an area with a particular function. (Encarta) For example, you may need to create a sporting zone, camping zone, and a home improvement zone. Keeping things separated by zone makes them easier to find when you need them!
After you establish what the purpose of your garage is you need a plan of attack! Schedule time with your family to go to battle! If you are all involved it gives you priceless family time coming together to make your home more functional. It also allows each of you to give your input on what you would like to achieve.
Here is how to get started:
Step 1 in zoning your garage is to combine like with like. For example, put all athletic equipment together in a pile, all fishing items together, and all tools together. It helps to get the items off shelves/out of bins as you do the sorting! You need to see what items you have and how much. Sorting your items is an easy way to start.
Step 2 is to allow yourself to let go of unneeded items. Some of your items may no longer serve a purpose in your life. There are many ways to let go. You can throw away, donate, sell, or even at times return items back to their owner! Reducing your items will help you to see that you do not NEED all of the stuff you are hanging on to.
Step 3 is the actual zoning. You now know not only what you have, but how much. You can decide where to put your items. Assign a place for everything. Go through the large U your garage creates naturally. Assign one area for gardening and yard tools, one area for tools, one area for sports and outdoor fun and so on. Fit your U to meet your family’s needs.
- Another fun idea is a loft. A loft can be built above your cars creating extra zoning space for storage. This is helpful for many people who own smaller homes or homes with little or no storage areas. Use the loft for items you only get to once a year (ie. holiday decor).
Step 4 is to obtain functional containers for your garage. Your items do not need to live only on the ground or on shelves, and having a designated container will help the rest of your family put things back where they go as well.
- There are many tools to bring items up onto the walls of your garage. You can now hang bikes, ladders, and many other big items.
- Think outside the box. There are items such as canvas shoe hangers that can hold mittens, scarves or even tools.
- There are many tips and things to keep in mind for your garage storage. One thing to remember when storing items is to make sure they are in containers that seal and that are water resistant. We recommend plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes, which also means your belongings are protected against bugs and rodents. If you are storing old clothing or any kind of keepsake item be sure to keep this in mind.
- When using your wall space be sure to use shelving and hooks designed to hold the weight of the items you are storing. They will usually come with anchors to keep a sturdy hold.
- Also, remember the extremes of heat/cold the garage will experience. Be sure you are not storing items in the garage that can be damaged by excessive heat (ie paint, photographs, etc).
Step 5 is to maintain it! The easiest way to do this is to simply stop bringing in items. Assess your needs before you go shopping so that you do not come home with items that will again clutter your garage. Keep everything in its place. This is a team effort that all family members need to be aware of. If everyone is on board things will run much more smoothly! Also, set up regular “tune-up” times to touch up the garage in small chunks of time instead of one big job when it gets too bad!
Now you can rejoice in the ability to park in your garage! Allow yourself that luxury from this moment on! You will also find yourself less stressed when it comes time to do yard work or grab items for outdoor fun! And as your garage becomes organized you can focus on family fun!