Organizing your garage is different than organizing any other room in your house. Your garage can be an all-encompassing space to store anything you hardly use, or a place to house items that are too bulky to store in other areas of your home. Unfortunately, this means those items can keep you from ever using your garage for one of its intended purposes – the place to park your car.
Adrienne Hart, an interior designer based in Chandler, Ariz. gave us tips for organizing your garage, so you can park your car and your stuff neatly.
Before you start looking for shelving, go through everything in your garage and ask these questions:
- Do you really need it?
- Is it broken?
- Does it bring you joy?
Don’t do this in a few minutes- it’ll take a while. Plan for an hour or even a whole day. Make it a family or couple or roommate activity.
With kids, give them the option of donating items they no longer want. It might be a little easier for a kid to part with a toy that could bring another child joy. Hart suggests you have a donation bin by the front of the garage. This could keep the giving and decluttering spirits going and can remind everyone to not let clutter rebuild.
You can also declutter your home when decluttering your garage. If you have less inside your home, there’ll be less stuff that’ll flood into the garage.
Create a Landing Zone
For a lot of people, the garage is more often the entrance to their home than the front door. Have some sort of flooring or a nice rug in the area closest to your home.
Outdoor/indoor rugs like weatherproof mats work best, so you can easily rinse off dirty shoes. Shoe racks and hooks for coats are perfect organizational tools for this area.
Think Indoors First
Try not to put items in the garage that you’d keep inside if only you had a better closet organization system.
Often, garages aren’t climate-controlled and aren’t the best place for clothing. If you’re putting clothing in the garage, you’ll need to cedar-line shelves and put mothballs on shelving. Look for closet organization systems and work on storing clothing, etc. more compactly.
Paint cans often end up in the garage, but Hart suggests that under your kitchen sink, you can keep a labeled mason jar with the name of the paint in case you need more touch-up paint.
Bulky Stuff Belongs in the Garage
The garage is the perfect place to store bulky items like tools, sporting equipment and camping gear. Avoid shelving in the three feet closest to the floor. Instead, go high. The top three feet of a garage is perfect for seasonal stuff you rarely use the rest of the year.
There are a selection of garage shelving units than can hang from rafters or from the ceiling. Get a professional to hang shelves, especially ceiling ones. It’s very important they are solidly mounted to avoid falling.
Be careful when measuring shelves to make sure they’re the exact size you need. Improperly measured shelves won’t fit into your garage or could leave too little room to park your car.
Paint Your Garage a Color that Makes You Happy
Little decorative touches set the mood for what is the entrance to your home. Painting your garage a color helps turn the atmosphere from storage unit to home entrance. You’ll be less likely to reclutter that space. Hart recommends you always consult with everyone who lives in your home before making changes!
How have you tackled cleaning out your garage? Let us know your tips in the comments below!
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