If you are like most homeowners, your garage serves multiple purposes and tends to get overcrowded with items you may not use very often. As well as housing your car your garage may be the location of a workshop or laundry room. Keeping the spaces distinct and uncluttered can be a matter of labeling boxes or can involve extensive shelving systems and sectioning off the different work spaces.
Tip 1: Evaluate How the Space Is Used
Understanding how you actually use your garage space can be the key to becoming more organized. Since homeowners often use the garage for several different purposes, the most effective method of evaluating the space is to make a list prioritizing the most important tasks for the space. For example, if the space is used primarily to store rarely used items, but it is also used for home entertainment space, then organizing the space for these two purposes would be the priorities.
Tip 2: Decide on a Budget
Garage organization can done cheaply with ordinary boxes or may require a dedicated budget to buy a commercial or custom system. Elaborate organization systems may include installing cabinets, which come with optional drawers, shelving space, locking closets and even space to hang items. In contrast, a very simple garage organization system may only involve using plastic tubs that are labeled with contents and then stacked against the walls. Once you know your budget, you can begin to make decisions about the type and degree of organization you want to utilize.
Tip 3: Organize and Clean at the Same Time
It is easy for a garage to become cluttered over a year’s time. Many professional organizers recommend that the garage be cleaned out at least once a year by removing everything stored in it. With everything outside of the garage, it becomes easy to sift through everything and decide what the keep and what to toss.
Take the items you are going to keep, and begin to place them in the garage using the new organizing system. Label all boxes and keep a running inventory of what you have placed in the garage and what box it is located in. This way you will have immediate access to where all of your items are located should you need to retrieve anything.
If you have a large collection of small items or an assortment of screws, nails or other materials that are used in your workshop, organize them in small jars. Label each jar and if you place the jars in a cabinet, make a list of the jars and their content and tape to the cabinet door.
Tip 4: Clean Periodically
Once you have your organization plan in place, it is still a good idea to periodically clean out your garage and remove items that have become obsolete like tricyles and winter clothes the kids have outgrown. One good motivator for this activity is to plan a quarterly or semi-annual garage sale, either as a family or with several neighbors. Not only will you get rid of items you no longer need, but you will make money in the process.