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6 Steps to Organizing your Garage

6 Steps to Organizing your Garage

Home and office organizing

Get your garage cleared and see what you have

Many clients I work with struggle with their garages–overstuffed with too many things they don’t even know they have: boxes, packing materials, garbage, broken and outworn items and more. My job is to pull all that stuff out into the bright sunlight and look at it with new eyes. My job is also to get them out of those boxes and bags where things are hidden so we can see what’s there and what needs to be eliminated and what needs to be kept. So, if I were to coach someone through the process, the 6 steps would look something like this.

First pull it all out especially if things are piled on top of other things and there is no system for order. Everything needs to come out so it can be clearly seen and evaluated. Sweep the whole space so things are replaced into a clear area.

Once things are pulled outside and if there are no shelving units, get those set up. Too often I find garages with inadequate “hardware” or shelving systems in place so there’s no where for things to go. Instead they get piled on top of each other and no one can find what she needs. It does the client no good if we sort and organize things and they have no where to go when we are done. Measure your space and see what will work best for the space allotted. There are easy to put together shelving systems that don’t require tools, except a hammer. If you have the budget, there are all sorts of fancy shelving systems that can are custom built for your space with doors so you don’t see things once they are put away. With a lesser budget, DIY systems are fine.

Sort it. Get rid of anything that is broken, unrepairable, or that is dated: old magazines–not collectibles, computer/phone/electronic equipment. Let go of old clothing that you haven’t  worn in years. Make piles for things that can be recycled, discarded, given to charity and sold. Get rid of the trash! I constantly find piles of cardboard boxes, plastic bags and more that don’t belong in the garage. Replace all the boxes with clear bins. Humans have the “squirrel factor” whereby they bury and hide things in bags within bags within boxes.

Contain it. Once you have kept what you want, now group your items in specific containers so like items go together: office supplies, camping, outdoors items, hardware, holiday decor, gift wrap, party supplies, exercise equipment, etc. If you find things in their original boxes that you’ve never opened, you probably don’t need it and would never miss it if it were gone. Pass it on, regift it, just move it out of your space.

Zone it. Once things are contained and labeled, then start creating specific areas or zones for your things so you know where they are and can access them. Holiday decor can go up high and to the back while backup paper products need to be more accessible. Keep things grouped together so it makes sense to you and you can get to it when you need it.

Replace it. Once you’ve used certain items, put them back where they belong. You’ve created a specific home for these things so let them live there. Teach children and other family members that everything has a home and when things are done being used, they don’t get thrown on the floor or tossed anywhere. They go back on the shelf from whence they came.

These are some easy steps to helping you get organized in your garage. If you need additional help and support, call Creative Space Organizing at 510.501.1213