The garage is where you toss everything that doesn’t have a place in the house. If you find yourself using your garage as a receptacle, it’s likely that you haven’t resolved all your organizing challenges within the home and that your garage needs a serious overhaul. Restore order with this to-do list.
- Set aside enough time to get the job done. Back-to-back days are recommended so items being sorted won’t have to sit out in piles for long. Try to plan for a dry weekend because you’ll have to put many items out of the shelter of the garage.
- Don’t tackle it by yourself. Hire an expert or round up a team of friends to help. Be sure you have a plan for directing others through the process from start to finish.
- Categorize all items. Typical categories include seasonal decor, sports equipment, automotive, garden tools, etc. Evaluate things like luggage and paint to see if you can store them elsewhere. It’s much easier to tackle a garage after you’ve organized the rest of the house. You’ll find that many garage items can be relocated.
- Begin grouping the items that will live in your garage. A few cardboard boxes will help keep smaller items contained. Don’t buy storage bins just yet. You may discover that you don’t have the correct sizes or sturdiness.
- Trash or donate items that don’t fir the categories. Place any random items to the most similar category or put them in a visible place so you remember that you have them. Otherwise, start your donation and trash piles now.
- Determine the best garage layout. Decide where you want each type of item to live, considering its frequency of use and the available space. For instance, recycling should live near the entrance to the home, and tools should live near the workbench. Parking space and shelves at eye level or within reach are “valuable real estate.” Very high or low shelves should be reserved for less frequently used items.
- Now that you know what you’re keeping and how much space you have, determine what containers to use. Make the most of vertical space with well-rounded pegboards and wire grids.
- Relocate items to their new homes within the garage.
- Set an organizing schedule. If it doesn’t make it onto your calendar, it’s less likely to happen.