Getting Organized – Garage Storage

It can be overwhelming, where do you begin?

I recommend that you start small. Assess the whole project and then try to break it down into more manageable parts.

Take the garage for example. Typically, they hold much more than just our cars. For most families, the garage is one of the main storage areas. As a matter of fact, some people park their car in the driveway and use the garage space exclusively for storage.

You can start by mentally dividing it into sections. There may be a section for tools, a section for yard/gardening supplies, one for holiday decorations, the bikes, etc. Lets not forget the misc boxes and bins …

Depending on how much time you can spend (and on how unorganized it is), you can schedule the job into two or more work sessions.

One of the hardest parts of organizing is getting started. Another hard part is deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.  Some of the things you’ll be sorting through can be very sentimental. I suggest doing the more straight forward sections first … straighten out the tool bench area by putting all the tools where they belong and can be easily found the next time you need one. Drag out all the bikes, sweep the floor and put up some hooks to hang helmets and chains.

The holiday decorations can be emotionally draining, especially if you have pieces that were passed down from generation to generation. Many of your family’s traditions may revolve around these heirlooms. I suggest storing these items carefully wrapped and in plastic storage bins.  Sadly, some of my grandma’s handmade decorations got ruined when mice got into the cardboard boxes we had in our garage. Many of my childhood memories were associated with those keepsakes.

For the more general items (clothing/old toys/pieces of unused furniture) as well as those MISC boxes, you should devise a system where you question each piece: Do we really need this?  When was the last time it was used? Is it still in good condition?

I like to donate as much as possible.  I really don’t like to throw something away when it is still useful. There are many charitable organizations that will accept your donation and give you a receipt for your taxes … some will even pick it up for you (check in your area).

Sometimes its good to have someone there who can help you decide what you truly should save/store and what you should give away.  Someone not emotionally attached … a friend, neighbor, or Tracy Helps You 🙂

I just love a clean garage … don’t you?  

photo by: joguldi