Updated on October 7, 2016
We’ve all been in this situation. After putting off a daunting project for as long as you possibly can, you’ve decided this is the weekend you will absolutely get it done. There’s just one huge problem standing in your way. Your jumbled garage, which just happens to have your tools hidden in it somewhere. Sure, you could look for the tools, but in the time it takes to find them, you could have already completed the job.
There is no reason to let your messy garage prevent you from getting stuff done. It’s time to conquer the mess in your garage. Below you’ll find several tips designed to help you clear out the mess once and for all.
Why is Organizing Your Garage So Important?
If your garage is so packed with stuff that you wouldn’t dream of trying to park your car in it, you have a problem. Sure, parking outside may give you more room to store your things, but it also exposes your vehicle to the elements, including snow, rain, sunlight, and even sap dripping from trees. Parking in the garage eliminates these possibilities, leaving your vehicle safe.
As an added bonus, an organized garage means there is no reason to put off weekend projects. When you know exactly where the things are you need, you can get a job done quickly, leaving you with a feeling of accomplishment.
How to Get Organized
A messy garage can easily leave you overwhelmed, which is why you need to go ahead and mark off a couple of days on your calendar specifically for the task of cleaning it out. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to help out. Create three piles: “keep,” “sell/ donate,” and “throw away.” However, keep in mind that there are certain chemicals and paints that can only be disposed of in certain ways, so you’ll need to check on this.
After you’ve designated your piles, measure your garage, including the garage bins and doors. This will help you create a floor plan for exactly how you are going to store things. It’s always a good idea to store like items together, such as all your tools in one spot and all your gardening things in another. Designate corners for bulky items, such as lawn mowers and put seasonal items in a spot where they won’t be in the way. To make more room for your vehicle, take every opportunity to get things off the floor.
What Do You Need?
Obviously, organizational tools are a must during this process. Mickey Goodman from This Old House has several useful suggestions, such as investing in clear plastic boxes with lids that can be stacked. While the lids will keep bugs and dirt out, the transparency will make it easy to see what’s inside. For smaller items, such as screwdrivers and nails, use empty clear plastic containers or glass jars.
Goodman has admitted that he’s a fan of shelving units without doors because you can’t hide clutter behind the doors and you’ll be able to see what’s on the shelf. If you have things that shouldn’t be exposed to too much air, cabinets with a door may be more beneficial. To hang up lightweight object on the walls, opt for hooks and pegboards, while larger, heavier items, such as bikes, will need something sturdier.
It’s All About Safety
Goodman is also quick to point out that it is crucial to keep safety in mind when cleaning out your garage. For example, garage doors are a safety feature, yet they can become a hazard when they are not properly maintained. You need to make it a habit of inspecting cables, pulleys, springs, and rollers every month for signs of deterioration.
Since 1991, an automatic reverse system is required on all garage doors. This just means that the door is equipped with a sensor that will automatically make the door go back up if it detects something in its way. If your garage door is a bit older, Goodman wholeheartedly recommends investing in a new one. It’s just safer.
If you aren’t certain just how effective your automatic reverse system is, put a roll of paper towels in the door’s path. The door should reverse before it hits the paper towels. If it does not, it’s time to get it checked out by a professional.
Once you have finally organized your garage, make every effort to keep it that way. Don’t fall back into the habit of just throwing stuff out there or putting things anywhere you can find an empty spot. It may be difficult, but you can do it!
It can be a real challenge to come up with a great home improvement project to undertake, mainly due to the fact that there always seems to be something that can be done. Nearly every homeowner takes the time to search for a project that will bring them a big return on their investment. However, there’s a bit of good news regarding this, as a replacement garage door is one of the best things that provide the best return investment than any other type of home improvement project.
However, the big question remains: how do you know when it’s time to actually replace your garage door? Here are some signs to make note of to help let you know when this needs to happen.
If your current door seems to respond slowly whenever you try to raise or lower it, this is a definite sign that you will need a replacement. Generally, it should only take a split second or so for a garage door to respond whenever you hit the button.
A garage door that’s brand new is much more quiet. As these door get older, there are all sorts of factors that can cause them to become louder and run a great deal more rougher. If this is something that you’re beginning to notice, this is a surefire sign that you will need to contact a professional to replace the door.
It’s no secret that garage doors are prominent areas of your home that always face the street. When the original door was installed, it may have looked stylish; however, it’s important to keep in mind that no style lasts forever. When you make the choice to install a newer door, you’re essentially enhancing the curb appeal of your home, as well as complementing the existing architecture of the home itself.
A new garage door will help to keep everything contained inside your garage completely safe and secure from factors such as burglaries and inclement weather conditions. Furthermore, newer doors include all of the latest in technology in terms of safety, which includes the door itself being able to automatically reverse in the event that the door comes into contact with any kind of an object. If your current door is unable to provide anything like this, you may need to consider a replacement or you’ll be looking for the best products for back pain before you know it.
While garage doors with decorative windows near the top panel may look amazing, we wouldn’t recommend them unless your area is completely free of crime. It just gives thieves a way to go window shopping without much effort. That new mountain bike you just bought? The thieve could get a lot of money for. That new jetski or wakeboard life vest you have hanging up but don’t live near a body of water? It just tells the intruder that you like to vacation and will be away from your home for a while at some point.
One major factor that can call for the replacement of a garage door is any kind of a malfunction. While you can always invest in many replacement parts, there will come a time when the entire unit will need to be replaced. If you find that your garage door is constantly in need of repairs, this is another definite sign that you need a replacement.
When garages were originally created, they were actually meant to store just vehicles. But these days, homeowners will use their garage to store their old trash, Christmas decorations, enough sports gear to field a professional team or they may even place their at home working area inside their garage, namely a spot for a home mechanic. If you’d like to have a work place inside your garage and also have room to place and store your tools and toolbox for when you’re working on car repairs, read on for a few pointers on a good setup.
You need to clear the space. A lot of clutter seems to accumulate over time on one single person’s garage whether it’s because they stored old washers and dryers out there or maybe their lawnmower or toys from their children. You have to clear the space out in your garage to place a dedicated workbench, a toolbox for repairs, and also be able to park a car in there with plenty of room to work around it. In order to be comfortable in your garage with all these items you want to have enough room so you have about 4 feet of clearance all the way around the vehicle so you can maneuver and be comfortable while wrenching or doing body work.
Since your workbench will be the hub of all your tools, make sure it’s very sturdy and has a lot of space to actually lay your different tools out on and be able to view them and keep them organized. This way it will not really be so easy to misplace something you may really need. Also, if you have a large toolchest or two, consider placing a sturdy top on it to have it function as both your toolbox and workbench. It’s a two in one deal.
Things you use often, such as your mechanics creeper & topside creeper should be withing easy reach.
You need to make sure you have top notch lights for both small, tight areas as well as large open ones. LED flashlights and lamps may even be helpful when having to be in a confined space like under your dash board. If you have a drop light that is even better for small spots to reach and also LED flashlights can help you see when you are in an even more closed off area like underneath your dash board. Large flourescent lights overhead are still the best option to light up the entire garage.
Make sure you keep cleaning products where they’re easily accessible. If you were to only purchase the cleaning essentials, a push broom, standard broom, and a dust pan should be at the top of your list. After that, make sure you have bought rags and some type of degreaser to clean oil off the garage floor and have it where you can access it quickly in case of a spill. When you know the job will make a complete mess you should always lay out some cardboard you have laying around so you can easily throw that away and have an easy cleanup once the job is done. If you don’tt clean after a mess you have made, you’ll have a lot of stains that will be a pain to remove and become a safety hazard, so clean up as soon as the job’s done.
I could tell you a million ways to be organized but everyone has their own way of doing things. You need to have a toolbox already organized and ready to go, and many methods exist for you to try. Pinterest is actually a great way to find various toolbox organization ideas. One day I’ll even get my own account but for now, I’ll just use my wife’s. 🙂
You can use various plastic trays to separate your tools such as your wrenches, pliers, etc. or you can buy wall mounts to put each type of tool in and separate them. The latest fad are custom made foam inserts for your toolbox drawers. You want to be able to grab something as soon as you need it so each tool should have its own spot. If you have to look for it you will eventually just get frustrated and mad. The best OBD2 scanner in the world won’t do anything for you if you can’t find it.
Most people use hand tools if they’re doing a job on their own to fix something on their car because those tools are so much more cheaper when first starting out. Investing in power tools would make for a faster job experience though. Air tools and cordless tools are definitely a good investment when you have a weekend business or obviously if you’re a professional mechanic in the field. One of your first purchases should be a good compressor along with an impact wrench. If your budget is an issue, make a quick stop at Harbor Freight and pick up a Central Pneumatic compressor and air impact wrench to get you started. The time savings you’ll get from this combo is unbelievable.
Regardless of what you use your garage for, there’s a good chance that everything you have contained within it has a great deal of personal value. Whenever it rains outside, it’s important that you do everything that you can in order to make sure that these items are protected from what could become serious flood damage. Whenever a garage floods, this can potentially results in thousands of dollars in damage being created to all of the items inside, as well as damage to entire garage itself.
Generally, homeowners tend to make the mistake of thinking that their garage is protected from flooding because they think they don’t live in an area that is affected by this issue. No matter what kind of an area you live in, water will always be able to find its way into your garage and create all sorts of issues. No matter what, it’s always important to take all of the necessary steps to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen.
Even if you don’t live in a flood plain, water damage is still a possibility. You have a water heater right? What happens when there’s a tank or water pipe failure and the water heater leaking is out of control? For this specific issue, proper water heater maintenance goes a long way. But what about when nature has a say in it?
For starters, remove everything from your garage and take the time to carefully inspect both the walls and the flooring for any cracks, which can enable water to leak inside. If you do find any cracks, seal them up. This step may seem stressful, especially if you have a lot of items in your garage; however, in the end, it will be well worth it, especially since it will result in all of your possessions remaining dry.
When you’re sure that your garage is secure, take the time to inspect the garage door next. This is the area that will be the main point of entry for any water. Begin by examining the door’s bottom rubber strips and sides. If you find any broken rubber, holes, or cracks, have them replaced as quickly as possible. Whenever any of these areas are broken, especially the rubber strips, your garage will be at a higher risk of being flooded.
Here’s a good video on installing a garage door weather seal:
After you’ve examined these key areas of the door, take a look at the entire door itself. If you have an older door, chances are either the metal, wood, or both may have started to wear down and develop holes and/or cracks, both of which can create much larger issues. If you notice anything like this, this is a sign that you will need to replace the entire door.
When you take the time to fully inspect both the interior and exterior of your garage, you will be able to take all of the necessary steps to protect both yourself and your family from any flood damage that could prove to be costly.