There’s nothing scarier than an out-of-control garage! Oh, the cobwebs, the piles upon piles, the bugs, the critters, and no room for a car! Well, Halloween is around the corner so it’s a great time to face your frightening spaces! (You can reward yourself with Halloween candy after….)
Remember the adage, “a place for everything and everything in its place?” Yes, all your stuff needs to have a home, a place to “live” that is easily accessible to you and yours.
Think about how you use your garage, and then you can figure out where your stuff should live. To start, take everything out, organize by type, and in the process get rid of anything too old, broken, unneeded, or hopelessly out of date.
1. Gardening/Lawn Tools. Depending on how green your thumb is, you may have a little or a lot of these. A great way to store most of these is with a wall-organizer – it keeps them off the floor, and is easy to grab a tool when you need it. If you have room for an outside shed you may want to consider keeping your lawn mower, edger, leaf blower, shovels, all those larger items there.
If not – designate an area of the garage close to the door for this section, so you can get them outside without a lot of trouble (and can put it back without stumbling over something and hurting yourself).
2. Sports Equipment. Keep bikes off the floor with a wall-mounted bike rack – still convenient to take down and ride, but not in the way. There are some great vertical ventilated bins or wall shelves available to hold balls, hockey sticks, baseball bats, etc., You can even get stadium lockers so each family member can keep all their gear in one place. Store outdoor games like slip ‘n slides, volleyball, croquet together – industrial shelving works great for these.
3. Auto-related Maintenance and Repair Items. Put these in heavy-duty plastic bins on your industrial shelf – try and keep any other tools you need to for these kinds of repairs all together (also specific “car tools” like screwdrivers wrenches, hammers, etc. – get duplicates of what you usually use and don’t waste time looking for them elsewhere). Make sure you clearly label each bin!
5. Camping Gear. Camping gear is big – tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear, etc. Keep everything in a storage trunk or cargo bag that lives on a top shelf in off-season, and just load the whole thing onto the top of your car for easy transport.
7. Paint. Have a shelf designated for paint cans, and a plastic bin to hold painting equipment,brushes, dropcloths, buckets, etc. (unless you just hire this out!). Be sure and dispose of old paints responsibly, through your local hazardous waste disposal center.
8. AND The mother of them all – an overhead storage rack! This is the best way to store tons of stuff without taking up floor space. Although a little pricey, the moveable one will make your life so much easier! Keep labeled bins with off-season holiday decorations, suitcases, coolers, canoes, whatever.
Don’t let Halloween come and go without you de-scarifying your garage!
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