Here are some simple no cost solutions to clutter clearing the garage and keeping it that way. Just like in the home everything needs a designated place and then it lives there when not in use. Designate areas or zones for all things that do belong in the garage. There are ways to organize a garage without having garage systems or expensive shelving.
Gardening tools: Hang all tools that have handles. Use long nails pounded into the studs or install a 2 X 8 horizontally eight to twelve feet off the floor to hang rakes, hoes, brooms, and sprinkler hoses from. If the handle doesn't have a hole in the top, drill a hole so it can be hung up. This saves a lot of space on the garage floor. Store the tools so they are handy to use. If there is a door leading out to the gardening area, hang the tools near the door. If there is no door then hang them nearest the garage opening. For other things needed in the garden keep them in locked cupboards if they are poisonous like sprays, herbicides and fertilizers. For supplies like sprinkler heads, gloves, small clippers, and other garden essentials store in plastic bins, sturdy baskets, cupboards or drawers. Rolling carts or totes are good places to store tools.
Sporting goods: When it comes to sports gear, Karen Law, of Minneapolis-based Contained Design, follows the mantra: Hang it, hook it, don't prop it. "Everybody loves to prop things against a wall," Law says. Not only does this approach waste both floor and wall space, it invariably leads to damaged sporting equipment. "As soon as someone slams a door, that snowboard will slide down the wall and get run over by the car," she warns. Items should be organized based on what it is, who uses it and how often it is used.
Holiday Items: Holiday decorations that come out for three or four weeks once a year should be stored together, but also out of the way. Storage systems that attach to the ceiling and create remote storage space, makes them ideal for seldom used items like Christmas lights, Halloween goblins and the Thanksgiving scarecrow. Storing holiday decorations in clear plastic tubs with color-coded tops: orange or black for Halloween, green or red for Christmas and red or blue for the Fourth of July is another way to store decorations.
Tools: Keep all tools together, use a tool box to keep them contained and organized. Make use of a vertical storage system where you can hang tools, car-care items like buckets, sponges etc. Particle board shelving and peg board and hook systems work well. Hammers, wrenches and pliers etc. can be hung on the hook system rather than in a tool box. A sturdy workbench is good for those who have hobbies that require a work space. Regardless of the solution, it should include a lockable storage cabinet for all dangerous power tools, paints, chemicals and solvents.
An organized garage does take effort. By organizing on a weekly, monthly and then a larger semi-yearly basis the garage will be a place to park your car. Take care of items before the garage becomes a big dumping ground. Just like everything else with just a little effort there are big rewards.
Marilyn Bohn's Bio
Marilyn is a creative organizer who has been organizing for over 20 years. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and is working towards becoming a Certified Professional Organizer. Professionally she has been organizing homes and offices for over two years. She holds a bachelors degree in Social Work. She has reared five daughters and currently lives in Utah.
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Article Added on Friday, May 30, 2008
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