Remember back to when you were walking through your house deciding whether this was the home for you. The Realtor mentions how there’s a garage with plenty of extra storage. You walk out into the empty garage and nod your head approvingly imagining how great this extra storage will be. Finally, Organize Your Garage is achievable. Fast forward to now…where did that “extra storage” go? Perhaps you are like many where the garage has transformed into the central catch all for everything that doesn’t have a home. It might be so bad that you can’t even park your car in the garage or if you can it’s a major acrobatic feat to get in and out.
Whether it’s spring cleaning, winter’s fast approach or just an overall feeling of ENOUGH, never have there been such a multitude of garage storage solutions to help get you back on the path to an organized garage. Besides, you might even have bigger plans for this lost square footage maybe this is going to be the new center for your fitness and workout goals. The biggest challenge right now is simple…where to begin?
Here’s some simple tips to help jump start this daunting task. I like to use a basic kitchen timer to help me stay on task without getting sucked into intensive sorting (like when you find that box of high school momentoes that now seems absolutely essential for you to go through completely). Get the timer out and set it and go through each task.
1. Make a list (30 minutes) Wind that timer up to a half hour and then you are off. Use a clipboard and just start writing down the biggest items you see. Leave a blank column on the right of your piece of paper (we’ll get to that in a minute). Now you’re off to the races…Bike, tent, power tools, rake, work bench, etc. Don’t worry about grouping items together or sorting out what to keep or toss just get the big stuff down on paper. Also, make sure you keep it to the big stuff. Once you start writing down items like hand trowels, you’re done. One page is also plenty so if you write fast then this can be done in significantly less time than 30 minutes.
2. Create Garge Storage Solutions Categories (15 minutes) Now take a look at that list and create broad categories that would group the big stuff together. Remember that blank column on the right side of your sheet of paper? Yes, you guessed it, this is where you jot down your categories. Camping, Sporting Goods, Gardening, Tools, etc. Take advantage of this task to go back inside and do this outside of the chaos that may be your current garage. Finally, place a 1 next to any categories that you access at least once a week, a 2 next to those that you use once a month, and a 3 for everything else. Remember you are just adding these ranks to just the categories.
3. Make a Garage Storage Map (15 minutes) In the next step we’ll dive into all the nifty storage gadgets that can make our garage super organized and beautiful but for now we just need to decide the broad storage zones. To make things even easier, don’t worry about any categories that have a 3 next to them. This is where you decide broadly where you will keep the tools vs. gardening supplies or whatever category 1 and 2 you have on your list. Why you ask are we ignoring the category 3 items? Category 3 items are the ones that you infrequently access so they are the best candidates for overhead garage storage or fitting in above the other categories (such as the top shelf or hanging).
Congratulations! You did it. You got through the toughest part…STARTING! Look for my future Garage Storage Solutions articles on what to do next. For now, reward yourself for a job well done. Just because you are not 100% completed doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your successes along the way. If you are looking to complete the entire garage make-over in a weekend, then continue on and complete the next steps back to back. However, I still strongly encourage you to reward yourself for each part completed. Maybe its just an ice cold glass of lemonade. Doesn’t matter, just as long as it is a reward for you.