Organizing the Garage

by April Reinhardt
(last updated August 23, 2012)

I organize my garage about once every two years. I'd do it more often, but the other people who live in our house are clutter mongers, and refuse to stay organized. Since I am the one who has to organize and maintain the organization, it's easier for me to start from scratch less often. Last week I stumbled through my garage, past the wheelbarrow full of baseball bats and gloves, around two uncoiled garden hoses, two old box springs, myriad containers of hardware, and three beat up garbage cans, simply to find my hedge clippers lying on the floor underneath two sets of heavy duty extension cords instead of hanging from the peg board, where they were supposed to be. Trust me; I know it's time to organize the garage.

As with organizing any room in your home, there are five basic steps to create organization: sort items, get rid of things you don't need, organize space, store it, and maintain the organization. Follow these guidelines to complete each step, and organize your garage:

  • Sort. Start by sorting items. It doesn't matter where you begin. Do not become overwhelmed with the amount of stuff you have. Look no further than two feet around you, and start sorting. Shove all of the hardware over to one side. Move all of the yard implements to another side. Gather all sports equipment together and place it in one general area.
  • Dispose. Once you've sorted everything, determine what stays and what goes. I arrange online for The Vietnam Veterans to come to my home to pick up stuff that I don't want. Use this rule of thumb: If you haven't used it in over a year, you don't need it. Get rid of it.
  • Everything has a place. Now that you've removed everything from your garage that you don't want, make a space for everything that you keep. Organize by category. I have my lawn mower, garden tiller, snow blower, leaf blower, weed eater, and electric hedge trimmers in one location. Next to them I have a large trashcan holding all of my rakes, shovels, and brooms. On the other side of the garage I have shelving units housing hardware and small hand tools. At the front of the garage I have organized sporting equipment such as ball bats, Frisbees, golf bags, golf clubs, and fishing rods hang from a pegboard. We also have shelves to hold canned foods, dry goods, and food storage.

Once you've organized all of your stuff, try to maintain it. If you use the weed eater, put it back in its place. If you buy something new, make space for it in an appropriate space. Never store lawn chemicals or gasoline next to food items.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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