Updated on October 7, 2016
Is Your Messy Garage Keeping You From Getting Things Done?
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!