Is it a goal of yours this summer to organize and clean out your garage?
Maybe you went in to pull out the lawnmower last week and wanted to run away screaming as you looked around at a disorganized mess that’s gotten completely out of control.
Maybe you set out to do it last year only to find that come that first snowfall, your car still didn’t have a spot to live…
An organized garage provides a home for your cars (think less scraping ice off windows come winter), easy access to lawn tools you need, and a safer way to store things that could potentially be flammable or hazardous.
Getting the garage organized, however, can be a daunting task. Garages can often be a collecting ground for years of stuff. Some of it, you may not even know what it all is or why you have it.
Cleaning it out can take an entire weekend if you decide to do it all in one go. If that’s your style, plan ahead to ensure you have a weekend and good weather to tackle the task. Or, go in with a plan of breaking it out into two weekends if you’re more of a slow and steady kind of organizer.
If you have a two or more bay garage, I recommend starting by tackling one side at a time. Once you’ve determined your starting point, here’s where to go next in three easy steps.
Step One: Empty the Garage (or bay)
Your first order of business is to pull out everything and collect it in one place. You don’t need to run out and buy the fancy pegboard yet or figure out how you’re going to put it all back in, you’re simply gathering it all up so you can get an accurate picture of what you really have going on.
Lug out both hoses taking up dust, all those rusty gardening tools, the box full of teacups you pulled out of your parent’s old house ten years ago… all of it.
Once it’s all out, you may even want to use this opportunity to sweep out any dirt, or debris, and do any repairs or painting in the garage, if needed.
Caveat: If your garage is super packed you can start this process by removing things that you will discard or say move to a shed to free some space. This is essential if you have to stop working for whatever reason. The last thing we want is all of our stuff outside of the garage and no time to get it back in time. You can even do this step over a period of weeks.
Step Two: Sort
With everything in plain sight, it’s time to start your sorting process. Go through each item, box, or bag and decide whether or not it’s worthy of keeping, tossing, or donating. You may also want a fourth pile for things that you want to keep, but don’t belong in the garage.
Step Three: Work through the “Keep” Pile
What’s left are the things you want to keep. This is where you want to start thinking about how to store all the remaining items. You want to ensure that everything in the garage is easy to access, leaves room for what you need, and is stored safely.
At this stage, you may need shelving, hooks, pegboard, cabinets, or bins. Consider what you need and be sure to take measurements prior to purchasing your organizational tools.
A well-organized garage is a safer garage and helps you achieve everything you want to in the yard and out in the world.
Is cleaning out your garage on your Summer to-do list this year?
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