For many people, garages have a habit of becoming the dumping ground for household junk. From gardening equipment to holiday decorations to power tools, the garage is the dumping ground for it all. At Annadel Builders Inc., we know that an organized, well-designed home is an indispensable aspect of both workflow and peace of mind. Here are some of our tips for maintaining a well-ordered garage.
- Start with a clean slate – Start by clearing absolutely everything from the garage, thoroughly cleaning the floors, and repainting the walls as needed. Sort items into piles to keep, donate/sell, or toss and keep the piles clearly delineated. Throw out expired household chemicals, outgrown toys, damaged tools—anything that hasn’t been used in the past two years or more, then divide items from your “keep” pile into general categories such as hand tools, yard equipment, sports, etc. that are stored together. Place bulky equipment in corners far from where you plan to park the car.
- Utilize vertical and ceiling space – Save your stuff from mildew attacks and water damage by storing as much as you can off the floor. This is especially important if you plan on parking your car in the garage. Great options include pegboards, cabinets, and a ceiling-mounted platform for overhead storage. You might even consider installing an entire slate wall like the ones used in retail stores. Different sized hooks and shelves can fit into the horizontal slots, making your storage space both customizable and easy to remodel. Bikes, shovels, tools, rakes, and sports gear can all be hung from the walls, up to quadrupling your storage capacity. Arrange items vertically from most to least frequently used, so that the most regularly used items are accessibly stored in the lowest shelves.
- Label everything – Although it may sound tedious, taking the time to label each bin and drawer will pay off the next time you’re searching for a miscellaneous item. Use a label maker or simple peel and stick labels to create categories such as “holiday decorations,” “fishing gear,” “gift wrap,” etc., making each item easy to locate and access.
- Items to not store in your garage – Avoid storing highly combustible items, such as propane, in the garage. Instead, store propane in a temperate, outdoor storage location and always keep a fire extinguisher close by. Also avoid storing paper goods in your garage, since they can act as a magnet for roaches and other insects.
- Keep it clean – Keep your garage clean for good with regular maintenance. Use pesticide to keep your garage insect-clear and keep kitty litter handy to quickly clean up oil and grease spills. Set aside a garbage box to collect items that require special recycling or disposal, such as paint or motor oil. Finally, make it a habit to weed through your belongings at least once a year to cut down on clutter.