With fall upon us (I had to turn my heat on) and the weather changing quite quickly to cold (at least in Connecticut), it’s probably a good time to get in the garage and prepare it for winter before it gets too cold. At least for those who will be dealing with the winter months of snow and freezing rain.
Getting the garage organized and tidied up is a worthwhile project for two reasons:
- You are not getting your car in the garage because there is stuff all over the place.
- You are getting your car inside but there is so much stuff it’s hard to move around.
Organizing and creating space to move around is good because as the snow starts to fall and salt or sand gets thrown on the road, we tend to bring that sand or salt into the garage. Many times through out the winter months, we should give the garage a good sweeping so as not to bring the sand/salt into our homes. If there is so much clutter around, it will be hard to sweep.
The best way to start is to completely empty the garage. I know some of you are probably saying, “Yikes that’s a big job!” Don’t feel overwhelmed. This is a full day project but you will be thrilled once you have completed it. By all means petition the whole family to help. There is no reason this should be a one-person job. Everyone in the family probably contributed to the disorganization.
Create these piles as you are emptying the garage:
- Belongs in the garage
- Trash (it’s broken, rusty)
- Doesn’t belong in the garage
- Return to person you borrowed it from
If your car is not in the garage, once it is emptied, now would be the time to pull it or them in. This way you can determine how much space you have for storage. Be sure to take into consideration opening the doors.
Sort the items that belong in the garage by category. Some of those categories could be:
- Power tools
- Lawn equipment
- Lawn furniture
- Sporting equipment
- Seasonal items
Before putting items back in the garage, give it a good sweep. If you can, clean up any oil spots.
Now is a good time to put away the summer sports gear. This is definitely something I would assign to each child whose equipment it is. It’s good to have them be responsible “fully” for their equipment.
Creating a space for easy access for the fall sports equipment is important. Usually it’s these items that just get dumped on the garage floor once a game or practice is over. Enforcing the proper maintenance of their sporting equipment is important. If you can create wall space so it can be hung, all the better.
For those items that don’t belong to you at all, make a conscious effort to return them to their rightful owner. Holding onto borrowed items way past the time you used it is not very nice. Owners should not have to come asking for their borrowed items.
When you begin to put items back in the garage, it’s good to put items that you use very often on an open shelf. But for those items that are less attractive and aren’t used often, store them in a cabinet. Be sure chemicals and flammable liquids are stored in containers with tight caps and if possible on high shelves.
It’s good to have a workbench in your garage (unless you have one in the basement). If your garage is not big enough, then consider having a dropdown type workbench.
Be sure your children’s toys are close to the ground so they can have easy access to and an easy way to put back in it’s proper place when they are done playing with them. Now is a good time to begin teaching them to put things away. Don’t allow them to just leave their toys wherever they are done playing with them.
Lastly, check out your snow blower if you own one. You don’t want to wait until the first snowfall to realize it’s not working. Believe me I’ve been there.
It attempting your garage is too overwhelming or you just don’t have the time, consider hiring a Professional Organizer. We have the expertise to create organizational systems that will fit your family’s needs.
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