Do you drive into your garage and close the door behind you as quickly as possible to avoid humiliation? Are you missing out on physical activity for simple fact that digging out your gear is too hard, too much work and possibly dangerous due to stuff falling on top of you? It’s probably the most dreaded area of the home to tidy up: the garage. It’s the home’s junk drawer, with everything from lawn care tools to sports equipment, season items, kid’s toys, car tires, accessories and on-an-on. However, when properly organized, the garage can be one of the most functional areas of the house. Below are practical tips to help get your garage in tip-top shape. And who knows – maybe you’ll proudly keep the garage door up when you’re done.
Take inventory – The first step in organizing your garage is knowing exactly what it is you’re dealing with. What’s really in your garage? Despite the surface items you might see, there could be all kinds of stuff lurking behind it. So, the easiest thing to do is pull absolutely everything out of your garage. This will help you itemize as well as see the actual workable space available. Sort through it all, grouping similar things to make putting it all back a little easier. Then you can start to purge – what items are old, broken, or no longer used? Create two additional piles: one for donations and one for garbage. Toys that are still in good condition, as well as certain tools, old bikes, and even clothes can all be donated to charity. Meanwhile, trash can be brought to the local dump or you can call 1-800-GOT-JUNK to have them pick it up. Also, always remember to dispose of old paint, batteries, cleaners and other potentially harmful substances properly. Your town or city can provide more info. Once your garage is completely empty, come up with an efficient layout of the space.
By Jennifer Cox, originally published in The Suburban on March 17, 2010