Does your garage resemble a warehouse after a bomb went off? Has your garage parking space been taken over by everything else you own? Take a quick look in the dictionary and you’ll see that a garage was meant to be, “an indoor space in which to park a motor vehicle”. As long as we’re talking definitions, did you know that the word garage comes from the Norse word for protection? The garage was meant to be a place to store and protect your car. Without a car, most of us wouldn’t be able to go to work, pick up our kids at school, or accomplish any number of other things that fill our daily to-do list. On top of that, cars are not cheap; on the contrary, they represent a major expenditure for most people. So how can you protect your car? Well, there are a lot of things you can do to protect it and keep it running and looking it’s very best; washing it, waxing it, changing the oil regularly, and installing an alarm to name just a few. One of the easiest ways to protect your car, however, is by simply parking it safely within your garage when you’re done using it.
Well, what if I don’t have room to park a car in my garage you ask?.. With the constant flow of items in and out and the semi-hidden nature of this storage space, Garages are notoriously difficult to keep organized. If your garage has taken on a life of it’s own, if you don’t have any room to park a car inside, or if its just gotten a little too messy, it might be time to clean out and organize your garage. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to show your garage whose boss!
Step 1: Empty Your Garage
- Empty the contents of your garage to the driveway or lawn. Make sure to take note of what you take out of the garage.
- The task is easier if you concentrate on one side at a time. If you are short on time, you can tackle each side on a separate day.
- Separate everything into categories such as type and frequency of use.
- Think about where it makes sense to place each category.
- If you run into unnecessary items that have sentimental value you can always put it in storage.
Step 2: Cleaning
- When the garage is empty, start cleaning by sweeping the floor.
- You can also use a pressure washer to clean the floor, especially if there are any oil stains.
- You may want to paint your garage floor with a special sealant coating to keep the floors clean and protected.
Step 3: Planning And Organizing
- Before you start putting everything back, take a minute to plan out and map each space in the garage. This will help you to determine how to use the space most effectively. Don’t forget to leave room for your car!
- Buy or build shelving to store large items (Try this do-it-yourself shelving project at www.diynetwork.com).
- Purchase storage bins to store smaller items. You can store the bins on shelves or stack them on top of each other. Make sure to label the bins so you will know what’s inside them.
- Make sure to maximize vertical storage space by hanging bicycles, larger camping items (such as canoes), or lumber overhead.
- Wall hangers are inexpensive and are perfect for storing tools such as rakes, shovels, and garden tools.
- A workbench and tool drawer work well for storing your tools and provide a place to work on your household projects.
These tips should come in handy when you are ready to clean and organize your garage. Just remember, of course, to leave a place for your car in there. A place that is safe and protected from the elements by four solid walls and a roof. Your car works hard for you…make sure it gets the very best in return!