It's amazing, isn't it? The garage was originally designed to house our one family vehicle. Now, not only do we usually have more than one family vehicle, more often than not, it won't even fit in our garage. These days a garage is used to house everything but a vehicle, consider yourself lucky (or very organized) if you are actually able to park the car in your garage. I am not making any guarantees that you will be able to park the car in the garage by the time you are done reading this, but I do promise some helpful tips for organizing it better.
First, determine what activities you would like to occur in the garage or what types of things will be stored in this area. For example, is your goal to park your car or simply to park your lawnmower? Do you use it as a workshop for home improvements or does it need to serve as a laundry room? Do you need to store your gardening supplies and materials or just your tools or that and the kids toys and sporting equipment, etc.? Write it down. By going through this exercise, you will be able to identify zones for your garage space that work for you and your family.
Next, set aside some time to start sorting small areas or containers within the garage. Break this one seemingly endless project of organizing the garage into small, manageable tasks. Set a timer for 15 minutes or 1 hour, whatever works for you. I highly recommend against trying to do it all in one day or less- you may be setting yourself up for failure, unless you have help.
As you sort through, ask yourself these questions. Do I love it? Do I need it? When is the last time (or how frequently) it was used? Is it outgrown, broken, otherwise obsolete? Consider donating or selling items that someone else could get use out of.
Store items off of the ground. The garage can tend to be damp and accidental spills happen. Protect your belongings by storing them off of the ground.
Use Vertical Space. When you can't expand out try expanding upwards. Use the walls for storage. This is where those great products come in...there are slat systems, grids, shelves, cabinets, etc. to help you make better use of your wall space.
Be kind to the environment. Be sure to dispose of hazardous materials properly. Check out your local recycling guidelines.
Assign items a home. Now that you have sorted items into their prospective zones or categories, try to store them accordingly. Children's toys should be stored within their reach. Make it easy to store- the easier it is to put something away the more likely it is to get done.
Create Tool Kits. Use various sized containers or buckets as tool kits. The home improvement stores sell jackets for buckets to store different types of tools efficiently and you can pick up your 'Fix it' bucket and take it where you need it. You can create a: 'Car Wash' bucket with soap, sponge, towels, wax, window wipes, etc.; 'Wall Repair' tool kit containing a drywall knife, spackle knives, tape, etc.; Electrical Repair' tool kit containing your wire clippers, an outlet, switch, etc. Do not go crazy and create one for any and every job around the house, just the tasks that you perform most frequently.
Label Everything. Do yourself and your family a favor and label everything. Not only will this help you and others identify what is in boxes and containers but labeling shelves and cabinets can also help encourage others (& you) to put the item back in it's home.
Use the ceiling. There are many tools on the market that utilize the assistance of a lift mechanism, whether it is a bike rack or shelving unit. These can be raised when not in use and lowered to provide easy access.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on garage organizing but they are great tips to help you get started. Remember, these tips will not help you if you simply read this- You must take action!
Lauren Halagarda is a Certified Professional Organizer® and Jacksonville, NC-based member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), its local North Carolina Chapter and currently serves as the NAPO Website Chairperson. Her local involvement includes the Jacksonville/Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Jacksonville Chapter (In-formation) of Business Network International (BNI).
You can sign up for her FREE organizing eZine simply by visiting her website: http://www.2OrganizeU.com Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lauren_Halagarda Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/595403
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