Nearly one-quarter of Americans don’t park their vehicles in the garage. Instead, it serves as convenient storage attached to the house, cluttered with anything that doesn’t belong inside. We depend on our vehicles, though, and given the investment that they are, should shelter them when given the opportunity. With these garage organization pointers from Devon Self Storage, you might be surprised at how much more you can maximize your space.
Getting Warmed Up
If you’re like most people, “clean the garage” has likely been on your mental to-do list for a long time. However, it’s easily placed on the back burner because no one really sees it besides you, right? Even so, reorganizing will make your life easier and run smoother for the long-term. But a feat this worthwhile will require some mental preparation if you want to do it right the first time.
First, don’t go into the task with dread; no one ever said you can’t have fun and be productive, too. Dedicate an entire weekend to only this chore so you don’t feel rushed. Turn it into a bonding time for family, friends, or even yourself, and put on some upbeat music to set the spirit. Once you start making progress, you won’t want to stop until it’s done.
You should also decide on an action plan for any items you don’t want anymore. Whether you hold a garage sale, sell them online, donate them, or leave them on the curb for the taking, the ultimate goal is to create more space for the things you truly need.
When you’re ready to get started, go through everything — even those old boxes you haven’t touched since moving — and eliminate what you want to get rid of. Once you form that pile, put it to the side. That way, you’re only working with the things that actually need to be rearranged.
The Game Plan
Any successful reorganization project is methodical; know where you want things and how you’ll use them. This will help you form a strategy when organizing and make your life easier. In the garage, that means your most-often-used items should be placed in a more practical and accessible area. Anticipate your own needs while you clean and think about what you do in there most often: You might be searching for tools, preparing for yard work, or taking out the trash. Whatever it is, you’re usually on a mission and not in the mood to dig through miscellaneous junk. Let these steps guide you through the process.
Regroup and Assess the Space
Move most of the contents of your garage outside, or as out of the way as possible. It helps to have a clean slate to envision what should go where.
While doing this, separate items by type and how you’ll want them grouped together. These groups can be dictated by whether you’re keeping the item, its category for use (i.e. all the gardening supplies go together), and how frequently it’s used.
When everything is sorted into piles, decide where you want to put them. Keep in mind when and how frequently you access certain belongings.
You want to keep long-term storage items (like documents, keepsakes, or old clothes) stowed the farthest away, either toward the back of the garage or simply out of the way.
Next, arrange your seasonal stuff, such as lawn care equipment and holiday decorations, so you can reach it only when you need it.
Lastly, your most-used items should be quickly available and easy to reach. You’re much more likely to succeed at maintaining an organized garage this way.
Do a quick sweep and scrub off any stains or scuffs on the walls. This is the emptiest your garage will be for a while — take advantage of it. By keeping it clean, your garage will appear even more organized, and for longer.
Floorspace is key to a tidy garage. If you want to be able to fit your car — or two — stack whatever you can. Get it off the floor if you can help it. Bulky shelves will only save so much space before they consume your floor space, too. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your wall and ceiling space with these tips and ideas:
Take advantage of corners: To get the most of your square footage, install shelves or racks that fit snugly in your garage corners. This is also a smart place for heavy-duty equipment that you don’t want to bump with your car.
Tool tower: To avoid drilling holes in the wall, consider a free-standing tool storage unit to keep your outdoor tools like rakes and shovels from falling and getting in the way.
Clear plastic bins: Again, stacking is crucial. Not only will these keep your stuff clean and protected, but you can also see through them so you don’t have to rummage through the entire container. Label each bin for added convenience.
Pegboard: These are easy to install and can be cut to your preferred size. Although it can’t handle anything too heavy, pegboard hooks can hold lighter items like cords, ropes, or sports gear.
Bike mounts: Kickstands don’t always prevent your bikes from tumbling over, and leaning them against the wall can turn into a mess. Consider a wall mount to keep them upright and out of the way.
Recycling bin racks: Throwing trash bags and recyclables into the garage seems like a good idea — until one day your cardboard, glass, and plastics are all in disarray on the floor. You can make your own bin hangers with a few 2×4’s and screws, or find them at your nearest home improvement store. Install these racks right by your inside door so you can quickly place empty containers where they belong.
Ceiling track storage: Slide your storage bins into place so they’re no longer crowding your floor and shelf space. This is another cheap and potential DIY option requiring only some screws and wood planks, and it’s perfect for holding light- and medium-weight items like decorations or camping gear.
Car care cabinet: Don’t let car fluids and cleaning products get lost in the depths of your garage; with a small cabinet or set of shelves, you can ensure they’re all in the same place.
Oversights to Avoid
Storing paint: Leftover paint doesn’t fare well in extreme temperatures, so you should keep your cans somewhere that never gets too hot or cold.
Storing pet food: Your dog likes to eat, and so does any critter that can gets its paws on an easy meal. Possums and other pests can sniff out pet food in your garage, so store it inside in an airtight container.
Storing an extra fridge: Particularly in the summer, having a garage-designated refrigerator can seem like a great idea, yet this is actually the worst time to keep it there. In non-air-conditioned spaces, a fridge will have to work harder to stay cold, making your energy-use skyrocket.
Cabinets with swinging doors: Not only are shelves cheaper and easier to access, but their lack of doors doesn’t require additional clearance to swing them open. Unless you need to protect something, use cabinets sparingly, as they can give you an excuse to conceal and ignore messes.
Self Storage Can Clear Out Your Garage Fast
Don’t let a disorderly garage dictate what you can use it for. Even if you try to keep it clean, cramming everything into one space sets you up for disorganization. Luckily, self storage can provide a place for what you don’t use on a regular basis and give you the freedom to personalize your garage again. Devon Self Storage offers security features and a range of unit sizes to best fit your needs. Contact us today to reserve a unit at your nearest facility!