The secrets to keeping a clean and organized garage begin with simple sorting and storage.
Before you determine what type of storage you need and where everything will go, sort through everything in the garage and organize the items into different piles based on a category type. Here are a few examples of common category types:
- Kids’ Toys and Sports Gear
- Holiday Decorations/ Seasonal Items
- Camping/Outdoor Gear
- Tools (Household and Auto)
- Gardening Supplies
Once you have everything divided into a category, it’ll be easier to determine which pile will require more space and what kind of storage you will need. It’ll also help you determine the best spot for everything as well. Garages come in very different shapes and sizes, so consider the following tips for each category to best organize your garage.
Just like kids need toy boxes and storage bins for their toys inside the house and their bedrooms, they also need storage available for their toys that live outside if you want to maintain a clean and organized garage. Otherwise, the toys and sports gear will end up just thrown in the garage, often all over the place, and usually broken after you pull the car in and accidentally run it over. For this category, cheap plastic bins or drawers are the way to go! Every item should have a place it belongs. If there isn’t enough room, either you need more storage, or you need to purge some items.
No reason to store these “used once a year” items inside the house! Keep them out of the way but easy to find by using (and labeling!) heavy duty storage bins that have a lid that can seal, and that are stackable, and that will last you over many years. Even if the heavy duty ones are little more expensive, you only want to buy these once, so it’ll be worth it in the long run to pay for the better quality.
Although these items will be considerably different as far as their size and shape, they should always be stored together in the same section of the garage. There’s nothing like getting ready for a camping trip and running all over the house looking for matches, flashlights, cooking spatula and tongs, bug spray, playing cards, hand sanitizer.... you get the point. Keep these smaller items together in a medium storage bin with a good lid. Then when you are ready to camp, you can just take the whole bin with you. Consider a large plastic storage bin with a good top to store sleeping bags, floor mats, and tent as to minimize their exposure to dirt and dust during the off seasons. Hang whatever you can, such as lawn chairs, fishing rods, etc. The more you can get off the floor, the better for your space and organization.
The number of tools you have will greatly determine the type and size of the storage you will need. However, before you purchase the latest and greatest tool box, go through all your tools and sort them into four piles:
- The “I use often” pile,
- The “I don’t use very often or have never needed to use but happy to have it when I need it” pile,
- The “why do I have 15 of the same tool that are the exact same size, we should probably donate some of these” pile, and
- The “it’s so old and rusted, it doesn’t even work probably, let’s trash it” pile.
For the tools that were not deemed to be trashed or donated, pull out and store the more frequently used, common household tools in a small toolbox that can be easily carried and stored inside the house for easy access for quick jobs. The rest of the tools should be stored safely and properly in a tool box or tool shelf stored in the garage.
A sturdy metal rack with shelves is a great storage place for your garden and yard supplies. This can include small shovels, pruning shears, leather work gloves, a hose, and even bags of mulch. You can also use hooks on the metal rack to hold your ladder or larger shovels to keep as much floor space available as possible. Additionally, if you get a metal rack with wire mesh shelves, any dirt that is still stuck to these tools when put away will just fall to the ground making clean up an easy sweep, versus the dirt gathering on the shelves requiring a regular wipe down.
Follow these garage organizing tips and you’ll find maintaining a clean and organized garage easier than ever before (and ample space for your car!) For more home cleaning tips visit http://www.thecleaningauthority.com/