How organized is your garage? Has it become such a dumping ground that you're unable to store your car? Or does it just need some reorganization? Either way, here are some tips for getting things in order – and maybe getting that nice car out of the elements and back in the garage.
What’s the first step to any big organization project? Cleaning out! Before you can organize you need to toss or donate the things you really don’t need. Set aside an entire day or even a weekend to give your garage attention. Go through everything and put items into one of three piles: keep, toss or donate/sell. What should you toss? According to This Old House, throw out outgrown toys, items that are broken beyond repair, expired household chemicals (which may need special disposal), and anything you haven't used in two years or more. Sort the items you are going to keep into categories like sports, tools, etc. for storage.
Draft a Floor Plan
According to This Old House, most manufacturers of garage-organizing systems offer free space planning, so use their services as you research how to store all your gear. You’ll need to record your garage's dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches and receptacles, and how much space your car(s) need. As you plot your layout, plan to store items used together (like sports equipment) close to one another. Place bulky equipment like lawn mowers and snowblower in corners where they won’t get knocked into. Place frequently-used items close to the garage door and store seasonal/rarely used items in harder-to-reach locations. And most importantly, as you plan your garage storage, keep items off the floor whenever possible to avoid sloppy piles and provide more room for your car.
Must-Have Storage Products
So now that you have your floor plan ready to go, it's time to select storage items. We recommend stackable, clear, plastic bins with lids for all types of items and clear jars for smaller items – these can be food jars you clean out and save after using. It’s important to have a lockable cabinet for storing chemicals and other items you don’t want kids to get into. Be sure all storage units have legs to allow you to easily clean underneath. For easy access to your belongings, get open shelving that allows you to see what you’ve stored and prevents you from quickly stashing items. Finally, This Old House suggests a number of vertical organizing systems, like pegboards, that are easy to install and perfect for garage storage.
TIP: Once your garage is organized, don’t forget to use WD-40 Company’s 3-IN-ONE Garage Door Lube on your garage door’s hinges, door tracks, chains, pulleys and latches to prevent rusting, corrosion, sticking and squeaking.
(This was originally posted in January 2016.)