As we talked about in our last article, it is important to give you garage a good deep cleaning every year. However, once the garage is clean, it is important to have a solid organizational system in place so that your garage remains uncluttered throughout the year. The better your organizational system, the less time you will need to spend on your annual cleaning.
When organizing your garage, the first question that you must ask yourself is what is your garage’s main purpose? Is it to hold your car(s)? Provide a workspace? Create extra storage? A combination? Knowing your purpose will help determine the best way to keep your garage organized.
No matter your purpose, the most wasted space in most garages is found on the walls. You can add a significant portion of storage space or workshop space, and keep space for your cars, by adding shelves or vertical storage units to the walls of your garage. Try high shelves that run along the top of the garage for items that are rarely used (such as seasonal items) and shelving units or cabinets up and down the walls for other items.
With your shelves, it is best to have a clearly marked organization system. There are companies that create organizational materials specifically for garages or you can get bins from your local department store, such as Wal-Mart or Target. Clear bins with lids are a great choice as they allow you to see what is inside. You can also color coordinate the bins (blue bins for seasonal items, red bins for household items, etc.) to make your system clearly defined and easy to recognize. Always make sure that each bin is clearly marked with the items inside so that you don’t have to hunt through several bins in order to find one particular item.
If your garage doubles as a workspace, you can also greatly increase the use of your walls by hanging hooks of different sizes and variety. Tools, cleaning supplies, and other items can be hung so that they are visible and easily accessible, making them convenient to use while working on your projects. Ideally, between your shelves, cabinets, and/or hooks, no items should be stored on the floor of the garage.
The final step in keeping your garage organized is to have a broom that is clearly defined for garage use stored in your garage (and ideally hanging on a hook). Sweep your garage once a month to keep the dust, grime, and other objects from accumulating. A quick sweep will do wonders in making your garage look neat and clean.