Oh My Garage!

garageLet’s face it – organizing your garage can be a daunting task. There are creepy crawling creatures, dust, surprise findings, and STUFF! If you’re part of the large number of people who could use a garage overhaul, then here are some valuable tips to help you succeed.

1. Imagine your Finished Garage: Before you begin, spend a few minutes imagining where, ideally, your items will have their home. Get creative, and really let your mind wander. It will be much easier to keep the garage organized if the items are delegated a home. Ask yourself these questions:
a) What do I want most accessible?
b) When/how often do I use this?
c) What’s bothering me the most right now?

2. Call in the Troops! Organizing a garage is a much more feasible task if accomplished with others. More hands make for quicker work, but delegate one person as the ‘Go-To Person’. This will typically be the home owner(s). The Go-To Person makes the final decisions on what items to keep, and what to toss. Put on some tunes, delegate tasks, and work together. Start early in the day, and provide lunch for your helpers.

3. Dress Appropriately: Although we’re in the hotter months, try to wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, gloves that fit well, and closed toed shoes. You’re going to be moving, lifting, hauling, and cleaning… Chances are you’re going to be stirring up a lot of dust, so have a mask and goggles on hand just in case!

4. Be Realistic: Split the garage into sections and work on de-cluttering one area at a time. It’s very overwhelming if you pull every-last-thing out of the garage, and if you don’t finish that same day, your things just get shoved back in the garage in an unorganized way!

5. Sort Items: As you pull out items from your sections, sort into 4 piles: trash, recycle, donate, and keep items. If you think you’re going to have a lot of trash, consider renting a dumpster rather than taking truck loads to the dump. Be honest with yourself about the items that you want to keep.

6. Stay Hydrated: We oftentimes forget to drink water and take breaks during these projects. Getting your garage organized is a lot of work, and you need to remember to take care of yourself during this time.

7. Putting It Together – Keep Items: Group similar items together (sporting, holiday, tools), and put in the ideal location. When you want these items, where will you look for them? Arrange your clean garage in the way that you’ve always wanted. Use labeled bins or baskets to contain items. Hang bicycles and golf clubs. Utilize cabinet space.

Look at the garage as an accomplishable task, because IT IS! Plan, prepare, and have confidence!