Oh, the garage! I let my husband handle this area of our house. It is the one room he actually loves to organize. Is it a dream of yours to pull your car into a clean, organized garage at the end of a long day? You can make that dream a reality with a little organizing and maybe a lot of tossing. If you currently cannot fit your vehicle in the garage, you probably have too much stuff. Consider recycling, selling or moving items to a separate storage shed.
The obvious functions of your garage are parking and storage for garden supplies, outdoor toys, sports equipment and pet accessories. But if your garage is organized and open, you’ll also have a covered area for outdoor parties at your home, a place to work on your vehicle and a play area for your children during bad weather.
• Use open shelves to store everyday items and cabinets to keep less attractive items out of sight.
• Every garage needs some sort of workbench so you have an area to work on home improvements and basic fix-its. If your garage is small, consider a drop-down or fold-down bench.
• Store flammable liquids such as gasoline, paint thinner, turpentine and cleaning supplies in metal containers with tight caps.
• Place all chemicals and dangerous items on high shelves so children and pets cannot reach them.
• Store children’s toys close to the ground so they can reach them on their own. Consider giving your kids their own area in the garage so they know where to find their toys and sports equipment and where to return them when they are done.
• Label all containers, especially if they are not clear containers, so you know the contents at a glance. Color-code when necessary based on category or family member.
• To increase the lighting in your garage, paint the ceiling with light-colored, high-gloss paint.
• Hang tools on a Peg-Board. Use a marker to trace the outline of the tool on the board so everyone knows where each tool belongs.
Once a Month
• Sweep out the garage. Clean up any oil spots.
Every 3 to 6 Months
• Check your lawn equipment, lawn furniture, toys and other garage items each season. Toss damaged or worn items and donate or sell things that you’ve stopped using.
Once a Year
• Check the screws and nuts on the overhead garage door and the auto reverse functions. Thoroughly clean the entire garage.
Read the original article How to Organize Your Storage Spaces.
Excerpted from Organize Now! A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry
The garage is meant primarily to house your car. Everything else in the garage is probably worth a lot less, so organize this space so your car fits in its “home.” Follow these steps to make room for your car:
1. Take everything out—yes, everything. Donate, toss or sell items you never use.
2. Pull your car in the garage and mark off how much space it takes up, including when you open the car doors. Leave this area open when you return items to the garage.
3. Group like items together when putting them back.
4. Divide the space in your garage into different storage zones for all things stored here.
5. Attach shelves or cabinets to the walls or set up free-standing, heavy-duty metal shelves for storage.
6. Find new homes for items that no longer fit, or continue purging. This will be easier if you’ve already organized your other storage areas.
Excerpted from The Easy Organizer: 365 Tips for Conquering Clutter by Marilyn Bohn
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