Leaf raking and snow shoveling season is here. Meaning, it is time to confront the garage. You know, that part of the house that can sometimes be a dangerous jungle of machinery, gadgets, tools and sporting equipment. This area is—if you live at my house anyway—the garage. Cleaning, or even contemplating cleaning the garage can be a tiresome, fleeting thought for many homeowners. It’s the one place that we all seem to love to be disorganized. However, with approaching messy weather, a serious overhaul of the garage should be considered. On a freezing cold day when you just need to find a shovel and ice scraper, you’ll be grateful you tackled this project in warmer weather.
Start by separating everything into categories. Place all lawn maintenance tools together, sporting equipment, electric tools, etc. Once you realize how much stuff you actually have, you can determine the best ways to organize and store everything. Also, if there are miscellaneous items that ended up in the garage by mistake, return them to their proper place. If your garage is overflowing and is beyond organization, sort through everything and decipher what should actually be in the garage and which items could be stored in the basement or attic—or better yet—gotten rid of at a fall yard sale.
Get your handyman to install a rack to hang lawn maintenance tools to keep them accessible yet out of the way. Anything that is used on a regular basis should be kept in an easy to reach spot. Keeping the approaching winter months in mind, place snow shovels, snow blowers, ice scrapers, etc. out in the open. Along these same lines, if you have skis, sleds or other snow toys, group these items together. Have a tall storage cabinet built for a perfect place to stash these items. This could also be a great place to store warm clothes like hats, gloves, scarves and boots. For other sporting equipment such as tennis racquets, baseball bats, rollerblades, etc., solid wooden or steel shelving units are an excellent choice. If your family has multiple bikes, buy large, sturdy hooks at your local hardware store and hang them.
For anyone who has a lot of tools, a pegboard and a sturdy tool chest will work wonders. Have the board hung above the workbench with each tool’s resting place clearly marked. Make it clear to anyone who uses the tools to return them to their proper place when finished. Being organized is a definitely a family effort.
Gardening and Toys
If you own a large riding mower or any other space consuming equipment, consider getting a separate shed. When you can no longer park your car in your garage, it’s time to contemplate larger alternative solutions.
Another solution that keeps everyone happy is designating certain corners of the garage for certain activities. The family gardener can keep all of his/her supplies in a closet, cabinet or shelving unit in one corner of the garage. Children’s toys can have also have a designated area.
A trash or recycling area could be sectioned off near the entrance. Car washing supplies should be contained in a storage bin or bucket.
Now, it’s time to get busy. Hire a handyman or carpenter to have cabinets, closets and shelves all built right into your garage. Additionally, invest in some good storage units as mentioned above and start organizing. The rewards will be worth the hassle.