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