Winter is Coming so Make Way
I don’t know about you, but during this whole “Rona” pandemic, I have had to pay more attention to clutter that had been silently taking over my house. I took advantage of this and pretty much cleared it out ~ to the garage! Now winter’s coming and where am I going to put my car? So now my focus is organizing my garage! You wouldn’t believe how it transformed my home into a less cramped, more spacious oasis without forcing me to buy an expensive fix such as a storage building or building an addition on to my house.
Now, during the spring & summer, parking in the driveway was no big deal, and frankly I was in denial of how my garage had become an over crowded & cluttered mess, making simple tasks such as searching for tools feel like I was scouring a haystack in search of a needle. Organizing my garage created extra room in my home while allowing me to now park my car in the garage, protecting it from the Autumn heat and I’ll be able to keep it warmer in the winter too.
If you want to turn your garage into something more than cluttered storage units, then you can employ the following strategies to transform these largely overlooked areas into more valuable spaces.
* Choose the right day. Garages tend to be separate from the rest of the homes they’re a part of, meaning the only way to organize a garage is to first remove all items from the garage and into the driveway. Because items removed from the garage will be exposed to the elements, you should choose a day that’s temperate and sunny to clean their garages. If possible, opt to organize your garages in early fall when there are additional hours of daylight. This protects you from having to work in the dark should the job take longer than they initially anticipated.
* Discard or donate duplicate items. Duplicate items are some of the main culprits behind cluttered garages. As garages gradually become more cluttered, you may buy tools you already have simply because you cannot find the original. When organizing the garage, create separate piles for duplicate tools, placing still-useful items in a pile that can be donated to neighbors, local charities or organizations and another pile for old tools that are no longer useful.
* Host a garage sale. Fall is the perfect time for that, temperatures are cooling down and people are done with vacations now that school is back in session. Those of you who want to organize you garages and make a buck at the same time can host garage sales. Make only those items that are still functional available for purchase, and let neighbors and bargain hunters do the bulk of your organization work for you. Don’t forget to spread the word about your garage sale too-
a great local resource is the Get Local classifieds paper. You can place garage sale ads for free in print and on-line through them, plus they put it on Facebook & Twitter. What is the Get Local paper? It was formerly the Thrifty Nickel and it’s been helping buyers & sellers for over 34 years! Check them out at www.GetThriftyGetLocal.com.
* Designate areas of the garage for certain items. Once the items that won’t be going back into the garage have been sold, donated or discarded, organize the garage by designating areas for certain items, making sure to separate items that can pose safety risks. For example, store kids’ bicycles and outdoor toys in a corner of the garage that is opposite the corner where potentially dangerous items such as power tools and gas cans will be stored. Keep the center of the garage open for vehicles.
* Periodically park cars in the garage. You may be thinking- well isn’t that why I did this in the first place? Yes. But we are creatures of habit and we do have Holiday shopping season ahead of us and if you’re like me, I tend to “hide” things in the garage, so I will stop parking in the garage so my kids will be less likely to notice them. But if you can improve your chances of maintaining your now wonderfully organized garages over the long haul by periodically parking in the garage. Doing so not only prevents the gradual buildup of clutter that can slowly take over a garage, and of course protects your vehicle too.