By Guest Author: Rick Dynek
Are you tired of having to walk through a messy and unorganized garage and wish you could get more valuable use out of it? There are a number of things that you can do to improve the cleanliness and usability of your garage. Here is a simple 7 step guide to garage organization that you can use to get back the great looking garage that you were once used to.
1. Clean it up.
The first thing you need to do is clean up the mess that you and you're family have created over the years. There are a number of things that you can do to clean up your garage including sweeping, dusting, moping, or any other type of cleaning activity that will help remove the dirt and grime that has built up for who knows how long. Garage organization will become much easier if you have a clean slate to work with.
2. Keep it, or dump it.
The hardest thing to do in most cases is decide whether or not you should keep something or throw it away. This is perhaps one of the reasons why garages, or any areas of the home for that matter, become so cluttered with possessions over time. Often times people have a hard time parting with things that they collect, so they resort to stashing them away somewhere in a corner until they can deal with them later.
If you want to be successful with garage organization, then one thing you have to force yourself to do is decide if are going to keep something or get rid of it. If you choose to only keep the things that you absolutely need, then you'll find that your organization goals will be much more achievable.
One thing you might consider before throwing something in the trash is whether or not it can be donated. Often times items can be donated so that someone else may use them. Old tools, car equipment, sporting goods equipment, yard tools, and more are great examples of things that can be donated to others. The best part is if you donate enough, you may be eligible to receive a tax credit for the items that you gave away.
Once you have completed the process of sorting and sifting through the things that you need and don't need, then you'll want to categorize all of the remaining garage items so that you can organize them all in a manner that makes sense for your needs.
You might consider categorizing everything by usage, so you might have categories such as hand tools, power tools, automotive equipment, yard work items, sporting equipment and outdoor gaming equipment, fishing gear, and more. Remember to organize the items in your garage in a manner that makes sense to you so you know exactly where to find a particular item when you need it.
4. Choose your storage equipment
There are a number of options that you can choose from when it comes to storage needs. If you're looking to save a little money on storage, then you can build your own shelving out of wood, metal, or plastic. This option is more time consuming because it will take some commitment from you in order to build the shelving properly.
If you don't want to bother with building your own shelving, then you also have the option of purchasing pre-made or even custom made shelving from either a local home improvements store or online through a number of different retailers.
The storage equipment that you build or purchase should be flexible enough to allow for a number of different storage options. There should be shelving for larger items that you want to keep off of the ground, drawers for smaller items that need to be kept together, trays for hardware pieces, and cabinets with lockable doors for items that you want to restrict access to. All of these different storage options will help make your garage organization efforts much more feasible.
When you've made the decision of which type of storage you are going with, organize and install it according to your particular garage layout. You should have some sort of conceptual plan for how you want your garage to look once you have everything in place, so your shelving, cabinets, drawers, and other storage facilities should be installed in a manner that will accommodate that plan.
6. Arrange for convenience
Perhaps the most important purpose of performing the task of garage organization is the purpose of adding convenience to your space. This means that you'll be able to quickly and easily access something when you need it, instead of having to sort through a mess to get what you need.
During this step you can address each item that you have decided to keep and position it in a spot close to similar items. This way when you need something in particular, you will at least know the general area that it will be in if you don't know the exact location. For instance, if you're looking for a power drill, then it will most likely be located where the rest of your tools are, perhaps near your work bench.
7. Review and reorganize.
Garage organization is a critical process that you will want to go through if you don't want to have to deal with a cluttered mess all of the time. After you have completed the process, don't be afraid to take a glance over the space you have created for yourself to see if there is something that could be reorganized differently to provide even more convenience.
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