Make a plan for garage or­ga­ni­za­tion

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Spring clean­ing plans are on the minds of many once the weather warms up. Many home­own­ers feel a sense of re­newal in the spring, when the de­sire to clean house and get or­ga­nized be­comes a pri­or­ity.

Garages are of­ten tar­gets for home­own­ers hop­ing to tar­get clut­ter. Once a space re­served for cars, garages are no longer strictly for ve­hi­cles, used in­stead to store items that sim­ply do not fit in­side the home or a back­yard shed. Or­ga­niz­ing the garage is typ­i­cally a week­end or sev­eral-day project. Here’s how to turn a garage from a clut­tered mess into a space suited for stor­ing items of all shapes and sizes.

* En­list a helper. Or­ga­niz­ing a garage is a sig­nif­i­cant un­der­tak­ing that is best tack­led with two or more peo­ple. En­list a helper to make the project less in­tim­i­dat­ing.

* De­cide what is im­por­tant to keep. Start the or­ga­ni­za­tion process by clear­ing out the garage and tak­ing in­ven­tory of what you have. Items that have not been used for sev­eral years can likely be tossed. Make a pile of what will be kept and then put the rest at the curb or do­nate use­ful items to char­ity.

* Give thought to where you want to store par­tic­u­lar items. Tools and items that are used more of­ten should be stored within reach or where eas­ily visible, while items that are not used as fre­quently can be stored higher up. Think about how you op­er­ate in the garage. Re­cy­cling bins can be stored closer to the door into the home, while bi­cy­cles and skates can be nearer to the garage door for easy ac­cess.

* Group like items to­gether. Cat­e­go­rize items that will be kept. Gar­den tools, camp­ing gear, sport­ing equip­ment, and au­to­mo­tive sup­plies should be cat­e­go­rized and stored in their own ar­eas of the garage, de­ter­min­ing if cer­tain items can be stored in­side the home to free up garage space. Group­ing items to­gether will make them eas­ier to lo­cate in the garage.

* Move boxed items into clear stor­age con­tain­ers. It’s much eas­ier to see what you have when it is stored in clear con­tain­ers. Some con­tain­ers are in­ter­lock­ing or stack­able, mak­ing it much more con­ve­nient to store items ver­ti­cally and free up more floor space.

* In­vest in ver­ti­cal stor­age sys­tems. Mov­ing items from the floor and putting them on shelv­ing or be­hind cab­i­nets can make the garage more or­ga­nized. Hooks and bins also can be used. Em­ploy a peg board full of hooks for oft-used tools or other items you need at the ready.

* Leave space for hobby and work ar­eas. Garages are where many im­prove­ment projects be­gin or where hob­bies, such as wood­work­ing or craft­ing, take place. Leave space for these tasks and hob­bies.

* Give the space a fresh coat of paint. Some garages are dingy and dark. Bright paint on the walls and floor can open up the space and, when com­bined with more light­ing, can make it lighter and brighter.

Garage or­ga­ni­za­tion is a com­mon spring clean­ing project. But it shouldn’t be re­served for this sea­son alone. Pe­ri­odic checks of the garage and straight­en­ing up can keep a garage clean and or­ga­nized through­out the en­tire year and make yearly spring clean­ing much more man­age­able.

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