Re­claim your park­ing spot

The Dominion Post - - Homed - NATALIA DIDOVICH

Does your garage look more like a rub­bish dump than a place to park your car? A pro­fes­sional or­gan­iser has some tips for you.

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Natalie Jane from Be Or­gan­ised says that de­clut­ter­ing a garage is dif­fer­ent from or­gan­is­ing other ar­eas of the home.

‘‘I call it the place where things go to die,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s the area of the home where you put the items you don’t know what to do with.’’

The first step of de­clut­ter­ing is to de­ter­mine your vi­sion for the space.

‘‘Is it your aim to get your car in there?’’ she says. ‘‘Or do you just want to use the space for stor­age? Your fi­nal de­ci­sion is go­ing to de­ter­mine how much stuff you can keep and what stor­age so­lu­tions you can use.’’

The garage is one of the big­gest and most over­whelm­ing spa­ces for peo­ple to deal with, so, Jane rec­om­mends you ‘‘start some­where small’’ by break­ing the clean down into bite-sized chunks.

‘‘Put a date in your di­ary, get the fam­ily on board, make sure you’ve got a lot of rub­bish bags on hand and fig­ure out a plan of at­tack,’’ she says. ‘‘I start in one area and pull ev­ery­thing out of the space, pair­ing like with like so I can fig­ure out how much I have of one item.’’

‘‘Only keep items that you love, that you use and that add value to your life.’’

In­vest in shelv­ing

When it comes time to plan out your garage stor­age, Jane says ‘‘you’ve got to get shelv­ing in’’.

‘‘I would say get items off the floor and onto the walls,’’ she says. ‘‘You can ei­ther get a pro­fes­sional to de­sign shelv­ing or you can also get re­ally af­ford­able shelv­ing from your lo­cal hard­ware store and just put them to­gether your­self.’’

Go clear

Jane rec­om­mends in­vest­ing in a num­ber of clear, plas­tic boxes in a va­ri­ety of sizes. ‘‘There is some­thing about be­ing able to look in­side and see if what you need is there at a glance.’’

Make it even eas­ier to find what you need by at­tach­ing large la­bels to the boxes out­lin­ing their con­tents.

Gar­den­ing gear

When it comes to gar­den­ing equip­ment and tools, Jane says ‘‘you might de­cide to have one main tool­box with your key items and then split your re­main­ing tools into other con­tain­ers, eg, hand tools in one con­tainer, prun­ing shears in an­other’’.

‘‘I’ve done all sorts of things with gar­den tools, from bud­get­friendly op­tions such as putting them in big black rub­bish bins with­out the lid, to the other end of the spec­trum when I got some­one to build a pal­let so the gar­den­ing tools could just slot into the wall.’’

For keen handy­men (or women) who want a work­bench or the garage but lack space ‘‘you can de­sign one so it is at­tached to the wall and folds down af­ter it’s been used.’’

Treat it like Bun­nings

Once you’ve or­gan­ised your garage, Jane rec­om­mends you ‘‘treat it like a Bun­nings store’’.

‘‘Cre­ate zones for your items so you know where to go to find some­thing.’’

If you’ve spent time cre­at­ing a func­tional space, let your fam­ily know where things are and how they should be stored. ‘‘It’s im­por­tant you make sure your fam­ily knows that if they use some­thing, they need to put it back in it’s place.’’

PHOTOS: MEDIAWORKS / THE BLOCK

Want a work­bench but lack space? ‘‘You can de­sign one so it is at­tached to the wall and folds down af­ter it’s been used.’’

‘‘Keep items that you love, use and add value to your life,’’ Natalie Jane said.

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