Organize the garage in one day and enjoy the benefits for years to come!
Imagine leaving your garage door open on purpose just so the neighbors will see inside. Yes, this can be you!
For some of us this will be a big undertaking. But with a little planning, preparation and scheduling, you can organize your garage with relative ease. Then YOU can be the envy of the neighborhood!
Special Tip: Print out this page and make notes and use the questions as checklists while you organize the garage.
Let's go take a look at what's inside your garage right now? What? NOT THE CARS?! Well, we definitely need to make room for those! That's your number one goal.
I don't know what it is about garages, but they always seem to fill up with lots of "stuff." Where does all this stuff come from anyway? If this sounds like your garage, let's start by creating an action plan.
First, take a few "before photos" before you organize the garage. Seriously! You'll love sharing these with friends and family for years to come.
Items that you'll need before we get to organizing are...
Put these in a designated spot for "Organize The Garage Day." Next, schedule a date and have a family meeting to share your plan. Involving young kids is great as long as you keep a close eye on them around tools and other potentially dangerous items. You'll be teaching them important skills they'll be able to put to use in other areas of their lives.
You may have noticed that I frequently encourage involving children in your organizing projects. Sometimes it may be "easier" to plan for them to be elsewhere but you'll be teaching them valuable life skills which they'll eventually use to manage their own spaces and stuff. Teaching them now will benefit them all their lives. AND you just might be lucky enough to get some unexpected beneifts of your own...can you picture a neat and organized teenager's room? ;-)
Okay, let's hit it! Time to fill those bags and boxes and organize the garage. Start on the left side as you are facing your garage and work around it clock-wise. Go through EVERYTHING! Leave nothing untouched. You may not want to do this again any time soon so let's do it right this time. ;-)
Separate items into...
Donate (to your favorite charity)
Garage Sale (when your garage is organized, you may want to have a sale)
Give Away (to those who want/need)
Someplace Else (does not belong in garage)
Trash (broken, not useful)
Keep In Garage (everything that belongs in the garage)
*Try to sort everything outside so that you can sweep, etc. before reloading.
Label bags and boxes as categories emerge.
All re-energized? Great! Now continue where you left off. You should have some momentum building at this point so try to pick up the pace. I imagine you are looking forward to finishing. Don't get discouraged, this will be SO worth your time.
Once you have completely gone through everything, you'll need to take care of the boxes and bags right away. The last thing you want after spending precious time organizing the garage is to have "stuff" start sneaking back in because you didn't get rid of it.
Throw away trash.
Put donation boxes in car and send someone to deliver.
Put items going elsewhere... well, somewhere else! Be sure these are labeled just in case you don't get to them for a while.
Sweep And Clean As Desired.
Now let's take a look at what is going to go back in the garage.
First and foremost... the cars! Think about the value of your cars as opposed to the stuff you store in the garage. Does it really make sense to keep your cars out in all kinds of weather?
Pull the cars in and evaluate all the space around them. If you still feel like things are too tight, you may still need to reduce what's going back in. Consider some of the following questions...
Your choices will be based on what you want to store now that you know what you want kept in there. Types of storage will vary considerably from family to family depending on needs and preferences.
You can add garage storage very economically. Vist your local home improvement store and check out all the garage organizing solutions.
Once you have added your storage shelves, hooks, units, etc., load 'em up!
Put frequently used items in the more accessible spots such as toward the front of shelves and cabinets and down within reach. (Remember to keep dangerous items out of reach of children).
Put kid-friendly items where they can reach them on their own.
Keep like items together.
Label all areas where it makes sense to do so.
Everything all put back?
How do you like your organized garage?
Try your newly organized garage for a week or so and make adjustments as necessary.
It's time to celebrate! This is a big accomplishment! Treat you and your family to some special time together. You deserve it!
Just think of how much you will benefit from taking this time to organize the garage.
And, remember to take that "After Photo" for the family photo album.