Your garage is an excellent storage space. There is plenty of open room all around your cars in which you can stack boxes, pile up garden tools or wedge a lawnmower. However, a lot of people treat their garage like one big closet. Instead of putting things away in their own special place, most people just put items down wherever there’s room and forget about it. Over time, their garage starts to look like a junk room piled high with trash.
Not only is it unsightly to allow your garage to become so cluttered and disorderly, but it is also unsafe. All those boxes piled high can fall over on you or your car. Rusty tools can cause an infection if you step on one. The dirt and dust can cause allergies and attract pests.
It is important that you keep your garage neat and organized to ensure the safety of your home and to protect its value. Dirt, grime and pests can all damage the cosmetic and structural components of your garage, then spread through to the rest of your house. Here are a few tips for how you can keep your garage organized and clean to make better use of the space and to protect your house:
Clean Everything Out
Before you can get started organizing, you have to clear out all the junk first. Take everything out of your garage – and we do mean everything. You should be looking at blank walls and bare floors when you’re done. Take this time to clean your garage from top to bottom. If you own a pressure washer, go ahead and spray down everything. If you don’t, you’ll have to do the job by hand, cleaning the walls and mopping the floors.
Look for any signs of damages or pest problems once everything is cleaned. Do you see any cracks in the foundation or the walls? Do you see any signs of pests, like droppings or chewed wires? Now is the time to address these issues before you put everything back.
One of the best ways to get organized is to take advantage of the vertical space. You may not be able to expand your floor space, but you can get more into the garage by going up. Most people try to do this by stacking boxes. However, stacking creates safety issues and makes it hard to get into boxes to get the things you need. By hanging shelves, you can store boxes vertically without the safety issues, and you can easily grab a box of the shelf to get what you need.
When you are hanging your shelving, be sure to think about what you need to store. If you have large boxes, you’ll need wide shelves with a lot of support. If you have a lot of tools, you may also want to put up hangers and hooks. If you have a lot of small items, you should opt for solid shelves instead of wire shelves. Be mindful of shelves that you will hang near the garage door to make sure they don’t block its use.
Clean and Sort
Before you put everything back on their shelves, take the time to sort through what you have. Pull out any old and dirty items and clean them. Set aside any items that need repairs, and repair them before you put them back in the garage. Give away the things you don’t want anymore, and throw away the things that cannot be repaired. The more you can minimize the amount of things to store in your garage, the easier it will be to get organized.
Take what’s left and sort them into sturdy cardboard boxes or plastic storage containers. Label each box or container clearly, and then put them back on shelves in groupings. For example, you should put all your Christmas decorations in one place and all your sporting gear in another place.
Create Innovative Solutions
With a little creativity, you can take advantage of the full space available in your garage and can find ways to store even small or unusual items. For example, hanging a net or a series of ropes across the ceiling of your garage can give you a space to store items like surfboards or ski poles. (Just make sure they don’t get in the way of the garage door!) Hanging gutters on the walls will give you a great place to store items like pieces of molding or stakes. Mason jars can be an ideal way to store and sort small pieces of hardware like screws or bolts.
The key is to find a place for every item in your garage. Simply stacking items or throwing them in a bin shouldn’t be your solution. Everything in your garage should be easily accessible, and with a little creativity, you can find the storage solutions to ensure that it is.
Your garage isn’t just a cold, dark place where you park your car and throw your old college trophies. It is a valuable storage and work space. With the right organization, you can greatly expand the storage area of your garage and can ensure that you can easily find the things you need when you need them. Proper organization can also help you to prolong the life of your belongings and protect the integrity of your garage and your home. Follow these simple steps to create a neat and organized garage that you’ll love.