When was the last time you parked a car in the garage? Has there ever been a time where both you and your spouse could park your vehicles in the garage?
Despite the fact that garages are meant for parking cars, only a percentage of American households are actually able to use this space for its intended purpose. Roughly 1 in 4 Americans say their garage is too cluttered. And while 92 percent of homeowners describe their home as somewhat or very organized, 25 percent say they keep their garage door closed because they’re too embarrassed about the mess.
In other words, you aren’t alone. Your messy garage is actually pretty normal. But why be normal? Wouldn’t you like to use your garage – either for parking vehicles or as an extra space for hobbies? Proper cleaning and organization can help you accomplish these goals.
4 Tips for Tackling Your Garage
If it’s been months or years since you paid attention to your garage, then chances are it’s a total mess. You might not even be able to walk through without bumping into tools, boxes, yard supplies, and junk.
Don’t be dismayed. The following tips will help you make your garage functional again:
- Keep, Recycle, Junk
As is this case with just about any room in the home, the best way to start a deep clean/purge is by taking an inventory of every item. From those scrap 2×4’s in the corner to the lawnmower and yard supplies, you need to go through and sort every item into one of three piles:
- Has the item been used in the past few months? Is it something that you find useful and/or adds value to your life? If the answer to these questions is yes, set the item aside to keep.
- Is the item something you no longer need or use? Does it still have some sort of functional use or aesthetic value? Items that fit this description should be recycled.
- Have you used the item in the past year? Does the item have any value or use in your current stage of life? If you aren’t keeping it or donating it, you need to junk it.
While it might seem like a lot of work to sort items into three different categories, this is the only way to truly purge your garage of the items you no longer need or want.
- Find Additional Storage Space
You’ll find that there are certain items that you need to keep, but simply take up too much space in your garage. Finding additional storage space for these things is critically important. The best option is to install a portable building or shed in your backyard.
“Buildings come in a range of sizes, from a relatively tiny 8-foot by 8-foot structure to considerably more massive 14-foot by 28-foot buildings,” explains Woodtex, a leading supplier of portable buildings. Moving things like lawnmowers and long-term storage items into a building like this will free up a ton of space.
- Develop Zones
Since the garage is such a versatile, catchall space, it’s helpful to find some sort of method to the madness. One of the best strategies is to split the garage into zones. Each zone should have its own purpose – such as lawn care, tools, holiday decorations, etc.
When you have zones, you no longer just dump things into the garage. You know exactly where they go and are prepared to find a home for each item you encounter.
- Use Vertical Storage
Don’t have enough floor space to create zones? The awesome thing about a garage is that you can utilize vertical storage. This means you can build shelving into walls, suspend large items like strollers and bicycles, and even create storage above the garage door itself. Take advantage of this and do your best to keep the floor clear of clutter.
Reclaim Your Garage
It’s time that you start viewing your garage as part of your home. Just like you clean and organize other rooms in your house, the garage needs to get the same attention and focus.
The tips and tricks discussed in this article should make the process a bit smoother.