When you buy a new home with a nice big garage, you may go into it with big plans to have a nice place to keep your car and bikes and a little workbench in the corner for your messy welding or carpentry projects.
It’s a wonderful idea, but all too often the idea and reality don’t mesh, and people end up using their garages as a storage area for old appliances, tools, gardening equipment, kids toys and anything else that doesn’t have a place in the main home.
A cluttered garage is a dangerous garage. The garage is one of the most common locations for household accidents, and the amount of stuff that is stored in it is a huge reason why there are so many accidents.
Decluttering your garage will make it a much nicer place to work on your car and your other projects, and can make your home feel more spacious too. Here are a few tips to help you get your garage clutter-free.
1. Be Ruthless With Your Clutter
Over the years you’ve accumulated a lot of clutter, and when you’re tidying up, it can be tempting to look through it and to put it away again because it has sentimental value. It’s very hard to declutter by doing that. It’s important to treat de-cluttering the same way you treat bringing new stuff into your house.
- Do I actually need this item?
- Will I ever use it again?
If your answer to either of those questions is a “no”, then you should get rid of the item. Try to do this in an environmentally friendly way:
- Sell the item online
- Give it away on your local Freecycle
- Hold a garage sale
- Donate it to a charity store
- Recycle it
- Dispose of it in a skip
If you prioritize selling of giving away items, then you’re putting less “stuff” into landfill.
2. Use Every Inch of Space for Storage
Storage doesn’t have to mean cupboards and shelves. Hanging pockets can be useful for small tools, and hanging racks and other vertical storage solutions such as the wall storage systems from Gladiator Garageworks help you to make the most out of your space. You can hang everything from helmets to bikes and kids scooters so they’re not taking up floor space. The same applies to tools. A tool board for bigger tools that won’t fit in a box can be a brilliant solution and will save space while keeping your most frequently used tools within arm’s reach.
You can get storage boards that you can put hooks into, and customize to store the items that you want to store based on their size and shape. This makes it easy to make the best use of every inch of space.
3. Have a Place for Everything
Finally, when you’re putting your newly emptied-out garage back together, try to have “zones” for everything. Tell yourself that the back corner is for your woodworking bench. The front opposite corner is for the kid’s scooters and bikes. Your gardening gear is kept near the entrance, and you’ll have space for the car, with a lift, if necessary, kept in the middle.
Lay out the garage so that everything is in a convenient place. Why put your pressure washer and gardening supplies at the back so you have to try to maneuver them around the car every time you want to mow the lawn and wash your drive?
Use home planning software if you have access to it, because this will make it easier to figure out what goes where. Better Homes calls it’ getting in the zone’, and it’s good advice!
Take some time to “spring clean” your garage, and you’ll feel like you have an entire extra room in your house, making your hobbies and projects so much more fun to work on each holiday weekend.