The Garage: Storage or Mess?

When putting homes on the market, many people fail to prepare one room in their home. While not technically a “room” as such, the garage is a part of the home that is often overlooked….by sellers. Chances are that if you have been in your home for many years, you have collected a fair amount of “stuff.” Where does most of this surplus “stuff” end up? You guessed it, in the garage.

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For most people the garage is a holding pen for years of accumulated clutter. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but when selling a home clutter can be a big problem. If you are one of those people that tend to be a bit of a pack-rat then cleaning out your garage will be a good project to undertake.

Don’t forget that when your home is viewed, every room including the garage will be under scrutiny. Maybe its time to sort through the stuff and decide what is worth keeping.

Another aspect that is commonly overlooked in garages is the general condition of the garage itself. Dingy walls and stained floors take away from the overall aesthetic quality of the home and buyers will notice this.

Give the garage a coat of paint, or if you are really up to the task there are some amazing garage organization systems that improve the look and organization of garages a thousand fold. Prospective buyers will appreciate the added attention to the overall cleanliness of the home.

Organizing Your Garage

While you are organizing, don’t forget to take a look at your garage. Set aside two successive days for organizing your garage. One day for tearing it apart and putting it back together and the next day for organizing wall space. You will need to take everything out, boxes, bikes, lawnmowers, snow blowers etc. Take this time to sweep out bugs, dirt and more!

Decluttering is just as essential in this space as any other in your home. Once you have made decisions about what you are keeping, it is time to define categories for storage. Don’t disregard the storage room above the overhead doors that can be used for long flat things.

Once you have created your categories, put things that you use the most in simple access and things that are ‘sometime’ things can go up higher. Utilize wall and ceiling space to maximize your vicinity. Put up shelves to place boxes on and label them so you can ‘look and find’. Garage items can be very weighty and need extra support, you might want to add extra supports or make them out of wood.

Metal shelving units are fashionable, but don’t forget to use the wall space at the top of the wall. Shelving can go up here, be out of the way and is great for those things you only use once or twice a year. Well-built plastic containers with lids are an outstanding way to keep bugs and dirt away.

Tag everything you have in containers for easy searching. Being able to actually use your garage and find everything without wasting time hunting for it are rewards for your hard labor. Do you have any idea how much money you are going to save without having to go and purchase new items for the things you lost?

How to Get More Space in the Garage

It doesn’t seem to matter how big your garage is: you can always fill it up with stuff. Sure, you can hire some professional organizer to come help you clear a path to the car doors, but that costs money. How about I just give you some tips instead? You don’t even need to pay me $100 an hour, or whatever it is de-clutter-ganizers are making these days. So, without further ado, here are five ways to clear up space in the garage:

1. Hang things from the ceiling.

Garages usually have plenty of headroom, so that leaves many cubic feet of space you can exploit. Is your family full of sports fanatics? You can buy ceiling-mounted racks designed specifically for outdoor recreational equipment, everything from snowboards and bicycles to canoes and kayaks. You can also get platforms that go up and down with a crank of a lever. These allow you to tuck hundreds of pounds of junk–er, valuable family heirlooms–up amongst the rafters.

2. Make use of wall space.

You’ve probably got at least one pegboard in the tool area of your garage, but there’s no reason to limit yourself. You can attach your own homemade brackets, nails, and pegboards, or you can buy special panels designed to support hooks, baskets, and shelves.

3. Cabinets are for garages too.

Most garages have enough room on the sides or in the back to accommodate banks of cabinets, while still leaving enough space to get in and out of the car. Even if there’s only enough room for 12″ deep cabinets, that’s still a lot of extra storage if you run them from floor to ceiling. Also, cabinets look nice–all your clutter gets hidden behind the doors, where you don’t have to look at it every time you drive inside.

4. If you have too many vehicles, try a car lift.

You’ve got a good 10-12 feet of height in your garage, right? And the average car is less than five feet high, right? Well, there are systems out there that let you stack them. Granted, these are pricey, and raising and lowering the top car can be a hassle if the vehicle is driven every day, but if there’s a car you don’t drive that often but that takes up space, it might be something to look into. Car lifts can make a lot of sense in houses with one-car garages.

5. Think garage sale.

If you’ve tried your hardest to find storage space for everything, but you’re still tripping over stuff, it may be time to clean the garage out. Chances are you have toys, boxes, tools, etc. that you bought many moons ago (and which your family probably hasn’t used in almost as many moons) that you don’t need to keep around. So, clean it out and throw it out, or better yet, have a garage sale. At least then you make some money and are rewarded for your efforts.

Organized Garage

The garage is that one place where we all seem to love to be disorganized, however the sooner you get organized, the sooner you can make better use of that space. Organizing your garage can be a tiresome task for many homeowners. When you think about organizing your garage you should keep in mind that this activity means to find a designated place for everything while keeping your goods available for everyday use. The following five steps compromise a simple system for garage organization.

Sort your garage items.

First of all sort and categorize all the items in your garage, for this you should empty your garage and start sorting everything into categories. Separate the tools from sporting equipment, electric tools, etc. You will realize how much stuff you have and only then you will be able to determine the best ways to organize and store everything. Misplaced items in your garage should be returned to their proper place. Also you should sort the things that should be in the garage from the things that should actually be in the basement, attic or better, sold at a garage sale. Remember to recycle everything that you decide to throw away.

Separate seasonal items and equipment.

A special rack should be installed to hang lawn maintenance tools and to keep them accessible yet out of the way. If it is near winter place snow related tools like snow blowers, ice scrapers, snow shovels and also skis, snowboards and sleds grouped together. Also the items for warm seasons should be stored in a special cabinet. Near the beginning of every season you should plan this activity and rotate the cold and warm items places in the cabinet. For the other sporting equipment, shelves and drawers should be designed.

Additional shelving and cabinets.

While organizing you should consider adding additional garage storage space to help you maintain the organization. Shelves and cabinets should be mounted on the walls. The basic principle is to store the items that you use on a regular basis in a way that makes them accessible every time you need them.

Create efficient working area.

Installing a bench or a table would be a good choice if you use your garage as a workshop. A sturdy tool chest and a pegboard are great in storing your tools and keeping them easily accessible.

Relocate trash and recycling bins nearby the garage. To easily dispose unwanted items from your garage a good idea is to relocate the trash and recycling bins near to your garage entrance. This way you won’t be tempted to keep certain items because the trash bins are too far away.

Now would be the time to hire a handyman to have cabinets, closets and shelves built right into your garage. Invest in some good storage units as described before and start organizing, sorting and storing.

Improved storage in your garage

One of the most important storage areas of a home is the garage. Because the space it offers is limited it should be used efficiently. So the garage is a prime candidate for storage improvements. Of course you have many options for improving the storage in your garage.

One of the options is to buy a modular storage kit. This can have parts and components that you can mix and match together and can solve many storage problems. Another option would be to build your own storage solution. If you have too many items that you keep in your garage maybe a modular storage kit cannot provide you the needed solution. The improvements made to your storage may help you reduce clutter, store seasonal items in a more conveniently way and improve organization.

Cabinets, shelves, wall-mounted racks and plastic containers are the most popular types of garage storage and organization solutions. Cabinets work well for protecting their contents from moisture and dust. Shelves save space more efficiently but the most affordable solution are the wall-mounted racks. Clear plastics containers help you to store several items and allow you to see the contents.

Garage Organization Made Simple

You’ve conquered your house, your home office, and your car, and you’ve mastered the art of scheduling and cooking in bulk. But your garage is still a cluttered and unorganized mess. As with everything else, a neat and organized garage is attainable with just a little elbow grease and some simple storage solutions.

First, get a handle on the mess by moving everything out to sort through what goes and what stays. Large, clear plastic containers can help you do this. They’re great for clearing away the clutter and then using for storage. Be ruthless with yourself during the sorting and purging process. Don’t keep paint from a project from two years ago, and if you have parts to things you no longer have, get rid of the parts as well.

Consider adding a cabinet to your garage. Look for units that offer keyed locks, so you’re able to store poisonous materials and sharp tools out of children’s reach.
The garage is also where most of your kid’s sporting goods land. To keep bats and balls organized, purchase a hamper-style organizer. Designate a section for each child. Add a bin or shelf outside to store messy, muddy shoes as well.

Find a workable storage solution for all the little things in your garage. Organize bolts, screws, nails, fasteners and other small parts into small clear containers so you can easily see what each contains. Organize into steady stacks or consider installing a shelving unit to house these out of the reach of small and curious fingers.

For long-handled items, such as rakes and shovels, look for storage units to keep everything straight or use a durable rubber trash can. Pegboards can also be installed on garage walls, and can be a simple solution for hanging items such as rakes or shovels out of the way. They can also be hung on hooks. Inexpensive hooks come in a variety of sizes. Large deep hooks are perfect for hanging a ladder and bikes can be hung and kept off the garage floor as well.

Now that you’ve practiced on your house, your office and your car, organizing your garage is a snap with a little creativity, some hard work, and a well thought out plan.

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