If you had to cancel many of your summer plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be spending a lot more time at home and wondering how to stay busy. Like many people, you’re probably looking around your property to see what jobs need doing that you’ve been putting off for months.
One of those tasks could be getting your garage in order. While this project can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Follow a few simple steps to organize your garage effectively.
The first thing is to declutter. Get rid of as much junk as possible, so you more easily fit everything into the space, and bring order to it. You might decide to take everything out of your garage and go through all your belongings in your yard in one session. Alternatively, if you’re time-poor, or if there’s a vast amount of possessions to get through, you could sort items section by section as you have a spare hour or two.
Either way, examine everything you’ve been keeping in your garage to see if you need to hang onto things or not. Some items might need repairing before you can use them again, so take them to a local repairer or DIY. Consider whether you or your family have grown out of the need to use certain things, too, such as bikes, tools, camping equipment, etc. Sell, donate, recycle, or bin anything you won’t use again.
Clean and Seal
Once you’ve pared back belongings, give your garage a thorough clean. Doing this job will help ensure that all the items you store inside stay in good condition. Plus, a clean garage is less likely to result in pest infestations. Give the floor a good brush with a broom, or vacuum up dirt and other bits and pieces. You may want to mop the floor or do some scrubbing to try to get rid of oil or chemical stains, too.
Wipe over shelving or other storage pieces, sweep away cobwebs, and clear out paper and other materials that mice and rats might make a home in. You may also need to seal your garage more effectively to keep the elements out and your possessions safe. Check around windows and garage doors for gaps, and insulate behind the walls and add plaster if you want to use your shed space as an area to work or store items that need further protection.
Next, sort your belongings into different categories. Store items in zones in your garage so things are easy to find and organize. For instance, you could group possessions into tools, gardening, sports equipment, vehicle supplies (for cleaning and maintenance), and spare household belongings.
This latter category might include Christmas trees and decorations, paperwork you have to hang onto for a while, but don’t often reference, baby gear not currently in use, and clothing you only wear on occasions, such as for skiing. As you sort items, think about how you and your family live, too, and which possessions need storing together since they’re used on similar occasions.
Utilize Storage Solutions
A big help in getting your garage ordered is having the right storage solutions on hand. Thankfully, when you read online or in magazines and books about top garage storage ideas, you’ll notice there are all sorts of products to make life easier. Choose storage options based on the types of possessions you must organize.
For instance, you can use racks and clips that go on the ceiling to store bulky items like kayaks or bikes, and clipboards and hanging tools to organize handheld tools on the wall. Buy shelving, racks, drawers, or cupboards for other belongings, and store any dangerous items, such as chemicals, petrol, or sharp or electric tools in a locked cabinet if you have young children.
Give Everything a Set Place
Since organizing the garage is generally a pretty big job, you don’t want to have to keep doing it over and over. To keep the space from sliding into disarray again, give everything a set place. Teach other people in your household where items should live, and have everyone put things back in their chosen position after each use to avoid a continually expanding mess.
The garage is an area where it’s tempting to throw everything in and then get back to it “one day.” Unfortunately, though, most people find they put off organizing their garage month after month, until they may not even be able to fit their car inside or additional possessions. Take a deep breath, start the project whenever you can, and stay motivated by thinking about the final look and feel you’ll achieve when finished.