As we celebrate Fathers’ Day, why not help Dad get organized? Whether he has a workbench area, gardening and lawn equipment, sports equipment, or fishing gear, Dad probably has an interest in getting the garage straightened up this season.
What Do You Want to Store in the Garage?
First, consider the functions of your garage. Typically, people want to park cars inside it. But one of the funny quirks of human behavior I have witnessed in my work as a professional organizer is how many people spend tens of thousands of dollars on a car, yet they park it out in the elements daily while their garages protect heaps of unused, lower value items.
Here are some suggested uses for your valuable garage storage space. Use this list as a guide for the zones you’ll be creating in your garage at the end of your project. You can sort into these categories as you go:
- Space for parking cars
- Bikes and kids’ toys
- Automotive care/car washing
- Pet care
- Trash and recycling
- Camping gear
- Swimming gear or pool toys
- Lawn furniture/spectator chairs
- Gardening and lawn care equipment and supplies
- Sports equipment/golf/fishing gear
- Seasonal storage (holiday decorations and memorabilia)
- Permanent storage (tax records, spare furniture)
Check the weather before starting your project, as you may need to sort things on the driveway. You may want to use tarps to cover certain items if you need to take a break. You also should consider working in the early morning hours to avoid the heat.
Gear up with your gloves and work clothes, and make sure you keep yourself hydrated, too! Add some fun to the project with your favorite music to pace you and keep you energized.
One of the big mistakes we see in garages is a lack of any kind of shelving or cabinets. The main purpose of the garage is storage, so make that official by having the right equipment. You can often find shelving and storage items in Goodwill® stores or used office furniture outlets.
A great trick for adding lots of new storage space to your garage is installing overhead racks, which are sold at major home centers. These racks have helped us many times to finally get someone’s car in the garage!
Don’t Let Your Garage Be the Final Frontier
Garages are one of the areas of the home (along with basements and attics) that tend to be the “final frontier” for clutter. Clutter represents delayed actions and decisions, and once you’ve decided something no longer belongs in the main part of the house, you put it in the garage “for now…”
The key to your success in organizing your garage is being DECISIVE. Make those final decisions and take action on them! If something needs repair, get it fixed. If something needs to be returned, take it back. And if something is no longer needed, donate it to Goodwill. You can find your nearest donation center at http://locator.goodwill.org. Donating allows you to help yourself, the planet and your community!