Are you one of those who shuts the garage door and never looks back? Many homeowners use their garage as a “storage unit” but this is not what they are for. Why pay for a car you can’t live without and park it out in the harsh outdoors left for damage. You’ve all heard of the phrase “everything has a home” right? Your garage is your cars home and it’s begging to live there! Now…how do you get started you ask?
GETTING STARTED. This is not a kitchen drawer that you’re jumping into. Be sure to set aside enough time to complete the job. Depending on how much stuff you have – this may take a full day or a week. This will be exhausting, but WORTH IT. Make it a family event or hire an organizer to help 🙂 I see many of my clients try to start a job but become overwhelmed halfway into it. This is normal, but organizing can be fun when you have the right motivation and people by your side to help. I promise you, the gratitude you will feel after completing the job will be SO satisfying.
(Before) (After unpack from a move)
(After) (Everything assessable)
THE CLEAN OUT. You’re going to want to make sure you have plenty of room to make a dent so don’t be afraid to use your whole driveway if you need to pull everything out as you go. I always warn my clients: it always gets worse before it gets better (this is usually the time I see overwhelm setting in). Go through absolutely everything. By the end of this process you are going to know every single item in your garage, without hesitating. Make 3 different piles of toss, donate, or keep. The hard part is over.
(Sports & Beach Categories)
Schedule a donation pickup/drop off and discard your toss pile right away. You should be feeling 100 times lighter at this point 😉 High five! But you’re not done yet. You still need to get those “keep” items organized in a way that is functional for you which will then help you not to compile your garage back to how it was. Give your garage a little sweep or a deep clean, if needed, then go through your keep pile and make categories. I.e. tools, sports, camping, electronics…whatever there may be.
THE LAYOUT. Your garage might be tiny and fit your car perfectly but if your things are organized properly, you can make it happen. Take measurements before purchasing or putting anything together. You want to make sure to use as much vertical space as possible. No need for cabinets, we don’t have room for that. Open shelving is great for a garage – metro shelves are a favorite go-to item. Use hooks for anything that can be hung: bikes, hose, brooms, latter, kayak. Decide what needs to live in a bin and get yourself the perfect sized bin for that item. A clear, stackable bin for each category is recommended. Last but not least…label! I use large white sticker labels and write with permanent marker. Everything should live off the ground if possible except obvious heavy items like the lawn mower, etc. Put items that you’re going to pull out often (for instance, your bike) close to the garage door for easy access.
Don’t be surprised if you have total inspiration at this point and really want to get detailed. If so…go ahead, open the tool box.
There. Now, go park that car where it belongs because everything has a home 🙂