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Garage Organization Tips: A Great Example

(See the results in the video below…)

So…you want to organize your garage and you don’t know where to start? Here are some guidelines to get you started.

First, establish your overarching goal:  Example:  I want to pull into my garage, park, and not feel overwhelmed by piles of stuff.

Other goals may be:

  1. I want to find what I need when I need it.
  2. I want things clean and neat.
  3. I want only “garage things” in the garage.

Second, ask yourself:  “What do I want to live in the garage?”

Make a list:  gardening tools, recycling, sports equipment, cleaning supplies, tools, camping gear…

Based on those lists, the garage will have zones (you may already have zones and they are currently jumbled), such as: car washing, sports equipment, gardening, tools, recycling, bikes.  The key is to have all like things living together and staying together.

Third, time to prepare to work.  You will need a trashcan or trash bags, boxes/bins, sticky notes, and a pen.   The middle of the garage or the driveway may be your “staging” area. Use sticky notes to label the boxes or bags (if necessary) according to these categories:

  1. Trash
  2. Recycle
  3. Donate
  4. Lives somewhere else-could be another part of the house or something you borrowed
  5. Keep and lives in the garage

Pick a starting place (garage door and work around the perimeter) decide how long you will work (maybe start with an hour) and begin sorting using the five categories above.

Be honest with yourself: are you really going to use that item that has not been out of its box in 10 years?  Do you really need five rakes? Leave 20 minutes at the end of your sorting session to do the following:  take trash out, place recycling in your receptacle, put donations in your car and schedule drop offs this week, take the items in your “live in another area of the house” and return them to their “homes.”

Repeat this process with each zone in your garage.  Wait to purchase organizing bins and shelving units until you have identified the items you will keep.  This will save money since there will be garage organization tipsless “stuff” than when you started.

Often we identify additional projects as a result of “organizing the garage” (something needing repaired, assembled).  We suggest that you map out a plan to tackle these projects separately.

Watch the “trap” of getting side tracked and pulled toward a different project while going through the process of organizing the garage. The box for things that “live somewhere else” is suggested for just this reason.  Stay focused on your zone.  Do not run inside to return something to the basement.  Do all your returning at the end of your session.

Before you know it, you will enjoy the feeling of relief and sense of accomplishment from having an organized space to use just the way YOU want to use it!

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