When I toured homes on the market in search for the perfect home, I always wondered how people could have some much STUFF in their garage. Now that I am a homeowner (complete with a garage) I can sympathize. Because no matter how many weekends I spend cleaning and organizing, more STUFF keeps accumulating and things somehow become unorganized once again. Somehow the stair steps and bench next to the stairs have become a catch-all for STUFF! Along with every other open space that I can throw something into.
Here are my top 5 tips to get your garage clean and orderly in a snap:
1) Create areas in your garage for specific things. For instance have a coat and shoe rack near the door. Create a gardening/landscaping area that you can house everything from shovels and rakes to fertilizer and lawn seed. Each part of the garage should have a zone. Of course we will always have to face hard to place items that can be bulky and hard to place such as exercise equipment, large toys, a lawnmower, bikes, and the list goes on.
2) Look up! Always try to utilize as much vertical and ceiling space as possible. By doing so you will add a lot more storage space. Place items that you don’t use as frequently on higher shelves that you can access with a ladder.
3) Clear out the clutter. So many of us have pack rat syndrome where we think that we may use an item someday but have no immediate plans to use it. If you don’t have any immediate plans to use an item then you should consider donating it.
4) Research and plan different ways to organize your garage. While it may not be a sensible choice for you to pull everything out of your garage and then put it all back in starting from scratch with a blank slate, it may be a more reasonable option to draw out specific plans for organizing and look online for tips that fit what you are looking to do.
5) Label items. Make sure to label drawers, shelves, and other storage containers. This will make searching for a lost item a whole lot easier!
If cleaning and organizing your garage seems like an overwhelming task then simply divide it into more manageable sections. I divided my garage into four sections where I focused on ¼ for an hour and felt less overwhelmed and a better sense of accomplishment for what I did get organized. A lot of times visitors enter through a garage rather than a front door plus neighbors and passer-bys will also see your garage organization skills. Don’t let a messy and cluttered garage be their first impression of your home.