Today's new homes often come with garages that accommodate 2 or more automobiles, but oddly enough, people don't manage to park their cars in them! Garages have become our spare rooms, the place we dump the stuff we don't know what else to do with. It's time to reclaim that space and return it to it's rightful owner, your car!.When you think about it, you realize your automobile is probably one of the most valuable and expensive investments you own. People spend thousands of dollars on their cars only to leave them parked on the street or in the driveway, while inside the four safe walls of the garage, protected from theft, vandalism, and nature's elements are old, worn out, or broken household items and other unknown or forgotten possessions.If you're ready to reclaim that space, follow this simple, foolproof plan.
First, take a look around and write down what's in your garage. Not every item, but categories. For instance, lawn and garden equipment, tools, chemicals and paints, seasonal decorations, toys, sports equipment, camping or sporting gear, hardware, plumbing supplies, and the like. These are fairly typical contents, but you may also use your garage for some special purpose like woodworking, hobbies or crafts.Also note those items taking up valuable space which haven't been used in a year or more.
Are you storing old books and magazines, outgrown or outdated clothing, household items in need of repair? What about empty boxes, garage sale leftovers, dried up paints, used motor oil and other hazardous chemicals?.Now, take the list of categories you just identified and start sorting through your things. Designate a spot on the floor or in the driveway for each type of item and go through everything. Discard as you go along. You may be surprised by what you find.
As you progress you may hear yourself say "I've been looking for this!", or "I just bought another one of these!" As the piles begin to grow, you will get a clearer picture of the amount of space and types of storage aids you'll need when the sorting process is complete.Wear a dust mask and work gloves for protection and don't move heavy items without help. Take care when climbing ladders and don't over exert yourself. Drink lots of water, especially if you live in a hot climate. Be sure you have plenty of heavy duty trash bags on hand for broken or useless items.
Put all hazardous and environmentally dangerous products you no longer need in an old box or leak proof container and set aside. Do not throw these items away with your residential trash.Find out which items your city will haul away and which items require special handling or prearranged appointments. Load up your car with donation items for Goodwill or if you prefer, call the Salvation Army or favorite charity to pick up your discards. Due to demand, you may be scheduled for a future date, so be sure to plan ahead.After you've completed the sorting and discarding process you're ready to put everything in its place.
Keep like items together. Look at your piles and determine the type of storage and amount of space you'll need for each category. Some common storage options include shelves, cabinets, cupboards, bins, workbenches, hooks, racks, boxes, and buckets.
Since garages tend to get dusty and dirty quickly, it's a good idea to store certain items in enclosed containers to keep them protected and in working order.There are many new and innovative products available today, along with the time-tested ones currently popular and in wide use. Each garage has unique features and challenges that will influence the organizing strategy you use.
You can invest anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars creating a functional garage or the garage of your dreams.Don't expect the garage transformation to take place in one day. It may take a good part of a weekend just to sort and discard. Get as many members of the family involved as possible. The job may be huge, but so are the rewards.
You'll save money in the long run by eliminating the need to repurchase items you already own but can't locate, AND you'll be able to park you car in the garage again..Copyright 2006. Nancy E. Peham. All rights reserved.
Nancy Peham, professional organizer and owner of Helping Hands Personal Services, a Dallas based company, works with her clients to create order, relieve stress and improve their lives. In addition to residential organizing Nancy stages homes for sale, is a speaker, writer, and frequent contributor to the media. Visit her website http://www.HelpingHandsPS.
com and sign up for her free monthly newsletter.
By: Nancy Peham