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Reorganize Your Garage

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We all fall victim to it. Our garages start out as clean, orderly storage spaces and we know exactly where every little tool and item is located. But after awhile, we begin throwing whatever doesn't fit in the house into the garage. The space becomes something closer resembling a zoo, and every time you step foot into it, you feel like a stranger in a strange land.

If this sounds familiar to you, perhaps it is time to reorganize your garage. Or, if you've recently moved, maybe it's time to step up your garage game and kick off your new life on the right foot. Organizing -- or reorganizing -- your garage may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. There are various ways you can reduce the clutter, in turn minimizing the stress that goes along with keeping your garage in order.

Before you get to work

  • Prioritize. Figure out the primary function(s) of your garage. Is it strictly for storage, or do you want to park your vehicle in it? If you want to create a work space for yourself, you'll need to plan accordingly to guarantee the required room.
  • Give the project the attention it deserves. Set aside an entire weekend to work on it. Plan ahead by answering questions like the following:
    • Will you throw away or donate some of your stuff?
    • Should you hold a garage sale to make some extra cash for your old items?
    • Do you need to hire professional movers to help with the job? Or will a family member or neighbour do the trick?
    • Is the job something that can be completed in a weekend? Or should you gradually organize the garage over a month's time?
  • Categorize everything in your garage. Divide every single item in your garage into categories. For example, you have your sports and recreational equipment, your automotive gear, your gardening supplies and tools, as well as your holiday and seasonal decorations. By separating all of your stuff, you'll have a much easier time figuring out where everything belongs during reorganization.
  • Plan an efficient layout. Using your priorities as a guide, create a garage layout that makes sense. If you plan on parking your car in your garage, then it doesn't benefit you to squeeze as much as you can in the open space. Also, consider how often you use each item and store each category of object accordingly.

 Tips for (re)organization

  • Clean out the garage. With little to no stuff in your garage, now is the perfect time to clean. This gives you a clean slate to work off of, providing you the opportunity to make a masterpiece out of a blank canvas. Clear all of your belongings out of the space and lay them in an open area, such as your driveway or front lawn. Then you can sweep the entire open space and wash the floors -- you can even paint the walls if you want to!
  • Construct shelves if necessary. A great way to create space and keep organized is to build shelves in your garage. This lets you take advantage of vertical space by mounting items to the walls and hanging things from hooks. Shelves can be extremely useful, especially if you want to fit your car into that space when you're finished.
  • Get rid of stuff! For this organization or reorganization to work, you actually have to own less stuff when you put everything back into the garage. Donate, take a trip to the recycling center, have a garage sale. Give things away to friends or neighbours. Regardless of how you do it, get it done. This doesn't need to be a complete purge of your belongings, but it can feel liberating to get rid of stuff you don't use.
  • Put everything where it belongs. After you've cleaned out your garage and gotten rid of some stuff, it's time to put your plan into action. With your priorities in mind, establish order in your garage by placing every item in a precise location. Find all of the important items a new home with easy access, and store the rarely-used items on shelves or in bins. Be sure to keep an inventory of your garage's contents and each item's location so you don't lose track of anything. Good luck!

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on February 11, 2015 - Moving Expert
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