The past week’s warm weather means one thing: spring cleaning is almost upon us! Cleaning and organizing your home can be daunting – after the insanity of the holiday season and hibernating all winter, it’s hard to know where to begin when pulling your home back together.
As the days of yard work and outdoor spring cleanup approach, we know the perfect place to start organizing: the garage.
Whip your garage into shape with these four easy steps.
Step 1: Purge. One reason it can be so hard to get organized is the sheer amount of stuff we often have to handle. To begin organizing your garage, take inventory of all that you have, and sell or donate what you don’t need. Not sure if you should get rid of something? Hold onto it for a set period of time, like six months or a year. If you use it, keep it. If you don’t, get rid of it.
Step 2: Make a plan. Become best friends with your notebook and start making lists of items that should be stored together in the garage – items that are used frequently, items that are only used once or twice a year, items that need to be left on the floor, and items that can be stored away in a cabinet or on a shelf. Creating a game plan keeps the task from becoming overwhelming and gives you an outline for how to effectively use the space in your garage.
Tip 1: If you have large lawn equipment, store it in a corner so it won’t get bumped by a car door. Just make sure it’s not so out of the way that you have to clean out your entire garage each time you need to mow the lawn.
Tip 2: Remember items that shouldn’t be stored in the garage! Paint can be ruined by extreme heat and cold, and is better off stored in the mud room or basement. If you have an extra refrigerator, the garage isn’t the best spot for it as fridges have to use more energy to remain cool in rooms that aren’t air conditioned.
Tip 3: Don’t forget the fire extinguisher! Keep an extinguisher in an easy-to-reach spot, especially if you store fuel for your lawn equipment in the garage.
Step 3: Start organizing! Take advantage of the wall, floor and ceiling space by installing cabinets, shelves, and even spots for overhead storage. Keep smaller items such as tools and sporting equipment off the floor by storing them on shelves, peg boards and in cabinets. Hang wrapped extension cords from hooks to keep them from becoming a tangled mess. You can even have a professional install suspended shelving for rarely used seasonal items. This is the moment to take your written plan and put it into action!
Step 4: Maintain the new look. It takes a few weekends to fully organize your garage… and two days to return it to chaos. Continue to purge unused items, especially as you acquire new ones, and find space for new tools and toys as soon as you bring them home so you don’t build a “miscellaneous pile” in the corner of the garage.
Do you have any garage organization tips? Share them with us in the comments section!