This summer, you might have a bit of spare time on your hands to tackle a big project—and if you’re like many of us, the garage is probably one of the spots in need of the most improvement. Our garages can accumulate lots of clutter and miscellaneous items over the course of the year… but a clean, tidy garage can serve as a game room, children play space, and so much more! Here are a few tips for getting your garage ready for use.
Start early. Here in Florida, the summer sun can make you especially hot in the afternoon hours. Because garage cleaning is bound to be a long task, you may want to start early in the morning to beat as much of this heat as possible. This is practical—you’ll be able to start and finish earlier—as well as helpful for your productivity. You’re likely to get much more done when you feel comfortable!
Sort everything out. Too often, we dive head first into big garage cleaning projects without a game plan in mind. To combat this, sort everything into three designated piles: keep, throw out, and sell or give away. You can use your driveway or backyard to create these piles. Further sort out items within these basic categories—for example, group gardening tools together in the “keep” pile. You may also find that several items in this pile would be better off in a storage facility, so sort them accordingly.
A helpful tip to remember while deciding what to keep and what to get rid of comes from closet organization. Just like you’re advised to get rid of clothes that you never wear, you might want to consider tossing or giving away items that you haven’t seen in months or years. Sentiment is one thing, but don’t keep clothes, small appliances and knickknacks you never use because you might use them one day. Make space for the things you truly care about!
Look at everything. A simple brown box might be labeled “winter clothes,” but if you haven’t opened it in months or years, who knows what surprises might be shut inside? Open up boxes and containers and you may be surprised at the amounts of sentimental finds you discover.
Find smart storage solutions. Once you know what you’re keeping, find storage solutions to hold everything in. What solution works best for you depends on what you’re stowing away. If you have lots of holiday decorations and home décor, consider picking up color coordinated containers to store along your walls. Wall shelving units can keep clutter from accumulating in the center of your garage.
If you prefer more floor space, go vertical! You can install a ceiling rack to store those boxes you don’t need to access regularly.
Stay tidy. A clean, clear garage is the product of lots of hard work, so you naturally want to keep it that way! Stay organized by designating boxes for specific items that often find their way into your garage. When you store your car or place a kids’ game table in the garage, you’re creating a purpose for the space and making family less likely to toss their trash and miscellaneous items into the garage.