How many garage bays do you have? How many of your cars are actually parked in them? That’s what we thought. Garages are a catch-all when it comes to storing everything from toys your kids have outgrown to moving boxes you never unpacked. If your garage is overflowing, we have some tips for getting it organized. After all, your cars need a home, too.
Set Aside Some Time
Tackling the garage is a big job. You can’t do it all in one day. Set aside the weekend. If it’s been years since you did any type of organizing, set aside two weekends. Enlist family members to help. Many hands make for light work. They also let you know if it’s okay to toss their stuff.
The Three Tarp Plan
When decluttering a room, people set aside three boxes. One for “keep,” one for “donations or garage sale” and one for “toss.” For a garage, you want to set aside three tarps. Why? Have you seen your garage? A lot of stuff is already boxed up and bigger items won’t fit in a box. Divide your garage into sections. That way if you get tired, you aren’t leaving everything in your garage on the driveway overnight.
What to Keep, What to Toss
This is where it gets hard. You stored your stuff because you wanted to keep it. Some things might have sentimental value, some things you might be saving for future grandchildren and some things you are sure you will need someday. As a rule of thumb, get rid of things more than five years old since you probably will want to replace them with new models anyway. Ask your children if they even want the old crib or highchair you’ve been saving. As for those moving boxes. If you can’t remember what’s in them, chances are you don’t need them.
Finish Your Garage
A finished garage is a blessing. A finished garage with built-in shelves and cabinets is even better. Before hauling your stuff out, check into polyurea garage floor coatings. Polyurea is durable, water and stain-resistant and makes your garage look great. It’s quick to install, too. If you have room, install cabinets, shelves and even a countertop. You can study storage solutions at home improvement stores like Lowe’s. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, get estimates from reputable contractors.
If built-in cabinets won’t work, take to the ceiling. Overhead storage is great for getting things you don’t use often out from underfoot. If you decide to install them, make sure they are strong enough for your heaviest items. If possible don’t install them over your car since accidents sometimes happen.
Install Equipment of the Walls
The best place to store sporting equipment is on the walls. Bike and kayak racks keep those large (and often expensive) items from taking up too much space. You also won’t have to worry about accidentally running over your bike.
Keep It Tidy
Now that your garage is beautiful, keep it that way. Make time to put things where they belong. Weed through your garage once or twice a year. Reorganize as you see what you need close at hand and what you aren’t really using. Keep track of cleaning supplies and throw out expired chemicals.
Buy a New Home in Lago Mar
We aren’t saying you need a new house to have an organized garage, but you can talk to a Lago Mar builder about creating a garage that’s easy to organize. Most builders can finish your garage and install cabinets as an upgrade.