Can’t fit your car into your garage? Can’t find where you put what you need? Follow these 8 steps to get a cleaned and organized garage this weekend.
Step 1: Decide What to Keep
First, you have to decide what to keep. When sorting, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it a duplicate?
- Is it in good enough condition to use safely and effectively?
- Will it be useful to me in the next year?
- Will I miss it if I don’t have it?
- Will someone else get more use out of it?
If you’re honest in your answers, you’ll be able to let a lot of things go, giving priority to what you actually need. Give yourself more open space rather than adding more storage space.
Step 2: Clean Surfaces
It is surprising how much dust, dirt, and debris collects inside a garage. You may even find insects and rodents that have moved in. Don’t skimp on the cleaning.
- Sweep corners, steps, and floors.
- Wipe down the doors.
- Use a hose or a few buckets of water and a squeegee to mop the floor.
- Set up baits or traps if you have critters.
Now that you’re all cleaned out, you’re ready to start putting everything away.
Step 3: Create Zones
Make your space work for you rather than the other way around. Create zones according to what makes the most sense to you and your activities. Sometimes it helps to sketch a layout. Leave sufficient space for parking, opening car doors, and walkways.
Step 4: Choose a System of Organization
Choose a system of organization that works best for your personality. If you’re an aspiring neat freak choose closed cupboards, drawers, and labeled boxes for everything. If you’d rather have everything in view with easy access choose open shelving, wall hooks, magnet strips, and bins.
For extra space, use the ceiling but try not to store anything on the floor of your garage as it is a tripping hazard, a hiding spot for insects and rodents, and an easy way to get water damage.
Step 5: Optimize Your System
Next, optimize your system. Decide if there is a better location such as your attic, basement, or shed to store a specific item. Group seasonal items together. Leave items that are used often within easy reach and store infrequently used items higher and out of the way.
Step 6: Don’t Skimp on Safety
Here are a few safety reminders:
- Use shelves that are strong enough for the weight of your items. If using hooks, screw them into studs.
- Store heavier objects underneath lighter objects.
- Use a sturdy ladder to access harder-to-reach areas.
- Always use proper safety technique while lifting and reaching.
- Install locks on your windows and doors, including the garage door.
It’s never worth it to skimp on safety.
Step 7: Upgrade
Think about upgrading your garage from a dark, cold box into a fun and inviting room. Consider installing brighter lighting, insulating the garage door, add mats or epoxy the floor, and paint the walls and ceiling.
Step 8: Enjoy Your Clean Garage
Now that your garage is clean and organized, you can park your car inside of it, find whatever it is that you need, and walk into your house without tripping over everything. Enjoy!