Pop quiz! What do these garage organizing statements have in common?
- “This chair doesn’t fit in our dining room, so I’ll put it in the garage. We’ll bring it in if we have a party.”
- “Just put empty moving boxes in the garage, we’ll figure out what to do with them later.”
- “Tools go in the garage, just put them wherever, it’s fine.”
What these sentences all have in common is that they are all lies. That chair is not coming back inside—the garage is where things to go get dusty and be forgotten. Those towers of moving boxes will hang around until your next move, unless you unload them on someone else who moves first. It’s not fine to put tools wherever, unless you like playing find-the-screw-in-the-nail-stack.
If you think of your garage as a dumping ground for things you don’t know what to do with, or as a temporary storage space until you think of something better, you set yourself up for frustration. I don’t want that for you! I want your garage to be a useful, stress-free zone. Here’s how.
The screws will be easier to find if they hang out with all the other fasteners. Keeping like with like not only cuts down on search time, it gives you an at-a-glance inventory. As you group things together, you might find that you have three of the same adjustable wrench. Do you need that many? You might if you never know where they are—three wrenches scattered about the house gives you three chances to find one when you need it. When you have a tool station, you only need one.
Create stations that reflect you and your family. Make a gardening station, a sports equipment station, a car care station—and for that matter, a car station. That’s right, I want you to be able to park your car inside the garage.
Make Homes Right Away
It’s fine to store stuff in your garage. That’s what it’s for! Maybe you do want to keep moving boxes, because you’re on a short lease and will need them in six months. Pick a spot in the garage to keep them, and as you unpack and break them down, put boxes there. Designating homes for items from the start saves you from going out to the garage and realizing it’s going to take a lot of work to straighten up. If your garage is in the lot-of-work stage, give us a call and we can help out.
Your garage is just like any other area of your home. Treat it with respect, and tidy up when you’re finished using something. A neat garage is way easier to keep clean, and I want your garage to have as few cobwebs as possible.
Use Appropriate Organizing Tools
Cabinets, slat walls, peg boards, and toolboxes are great ways to store your items. To make room for your car, use vertical space. Make sure containers are appropriate for their contents, too. Your garden shears aren’t going to do well in a plastic grocery bag—hang them on the wall instead.
A neat garage comes from a neat-garage mindset.
What unhelpful thoughts do you have about garage organizing, and what steps can you take to untangle them? Let me know in the comments below!