Show of hands… how many of you can actually get one of your cars in your two-car garage? I know how easy it is for our stuff to creep into our garage bays and turn those spaces into storage units. The day Lisa Yorkand her staff at Puka Organizing transformed my garage was nothing short of amazing. That evening, as I pulled into my garage for the first time in many months, I thought… it’s the little things in life that make a difference. Now I know many ofyou are saying, “Yes, but organizing my garage is no little thing.” I agree. It’s why I really recommend a call to Lisa and her crew. Even if you’re not ready to commit to a visit from the professionals, there are still a few things you can and should do toget your garage car-ready. If you’re listing your house, this is even more important. Even though potential buyers might soon fall into the same garage as storage unit trap, they want to pretend – via your beautifully organized garage – that they’ll park cars and still have room to spare!
The first thing you need to do is decide what you’re going to keep and what you’re going to donate, recycle or send to the dump. If you haven’t opened that box in three years, you’re probably not going to. Spend an hour dividing the garage clutter into a “keep” and a “dump”pile. Ideally, your dump pile should be as large as your keep pile. Follow the rule of “something in, something out” and you’ll create a great deal of space in a short amount of time. Further divide your dump pile into useful items for donation and ask for a receipt when you drop them off. Most charitable donations are tax deductible. Here in Williamson County, our local dump has a Goodwill truck on site! Talk about one-stop organizing!
Once you’ve determined what you need to keep, get everythingout of cardboard boxes and into clear, stackable bins. Wheeled and adjustable wire shelving can be placed anywhere, moved easily and holds those bins while maintaining accessibility. Use erasable markers to label the bins and stack them in a way thatmakes sense to your brain. While a friend stores her bins alphabetically, I like my life stacked in zones… one zone for important household records, another for sporting goods, and another for seasonal items.
Bicycles need to be stored off the floor to keep them in good condition and out of your way. Check out several great options for storage here and here. I’ve even seen an incredible rack that doubles as a garage wall rack and a car rack! Check it out here.
You can take your garage organization to the next level with installed garage cabinetry. While it serves the same purpose as wire shelving, it’s a neater, cleaner option and allows an extra level of protection with closed doors. Most home stores have cabinetry packages that you can install yourself. Before investing in cabinetry, take inventory of what you’re trying to store. Make sure you have enough height and that shelves are adjustable and have adequate depth. Keep your vehicles in mind as you measure floor space. You want to have enough space to park a car in front of the cabinetry and still be able to open the cabinet doors.
The final frontier in garage organization is conquering tool clutter. Slat-wallpanels are perfect for holding tools, landscaping equipment and even sporting goods. Peg-boards offer a less expensive option. Both can hold custom hooks, brackets and baskets that are moved easily. Remember to install slat wall panels into load bearing studs. Once you’ve gotten those cumbersome tools hung on the wall, you’ll probably find enough room to install a shallow counter to increase workspace.