Spring has finally arrived, and that means it’s time to sit down and strap into spring cleaning. Most homeowners have a list of spaces that are in need of a little attention this spring. The garage is a catch-all space for things that weren’t taken to a local donation center items that need repair, tools, and sporting equipment. The garage can fall into a cluttered safety hazard in the blink of an eye.
Kick start your spring cleaning in the garage. Not sure how to get started? Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be on your way to creating the organized garage you’ve always wanted.
Set aside some time: The first big mistake that many homeowners make when organizing the garage is underestimating the amount of time it might take. Be sure to set aside 1-3 days for this project, depending on how cluttered or disorganized the space.
Take everything out: We mean it. Everything. Set out a tarp if you don’t want to lay your items out on the driveway. Taking everything out of the garage makes it easy to see all your storage items , making it easier to distinguish items you no longer need.
Clean out the empty garage: Sweep out the entire garage with a broom. Once all of the loose debris and dirt have been removed, you may want to power-wash the area to get extra clean. This would also be a great time to remove any cobwebs in the corners. To go the extra mile, paint your garage walls and upgrade your garage flooring to give a renovated feeling to the space.
Sort your items: Separate the items that you pulled out of the garage into 3 groups: Keep, Donate, and Trash. If items are broken beyond repair, they would belong in the “trash” pile, while things that you haven’t used (or even thought about) for a year should go to the “donate” pile. Keep only the items that you actually use or need. Don’t hang onto supplies for that craft you keep telling yourself you’re going to do. If you haven’t done it in the year that you’ve had the supplies, chances are you won’t in the next year either.
Decide on a storage solution: There are many garage storage solutions out there like shelving, cabinets and overhead racks. Shelving is great for seeing exactly what you need at a glance, while cabinets easily store your items away from curious fingers or pets. Overhead racks are a perfect solution for those items that you only use a few times a year, like seasonal decorations.
Start organizing: Put back the items from you “keep” pile. Use clear bins and a label maker to keep things extra organized. Group similar items together and store things you need often at eye-level.
Maintain: Once your garage is organized, keep it up! Implement the “one-touch” rule for items in the garage. This means putting things away right off the bat instead of dropping the item where it doesn’t belong. Yo
u want to avoid the “second touch”, which is finding an item where it doesn’t belong and having to return it.
An organized and tidy garage will save you time and money in the long run because you won’t have to search for items through piles and clutter. Because you will know where everything is, the risk of buying duplicates of lost items will be greatly reduced. Although garage organization might seem daunting, it’s totally possible and completely worth the work!
Bri Lords works for Monkey Bar Storage, a garage storage and organization company striving to give homeowners the tools to create an organized and functional garage. She has a Bachelors in Advertising and Public Relations. When she's not in the office, Bri enjoys snowboarding, all things cinema, and good books.
Check out Monkey Bar Storage's Facebook page for some inspiration!