With warmer weather here and the school year nearing its end, now is a great time to clean out and organize the garage. Taking a proactive approach to this dreaded task (let’s face it, not much fun for most people–I get that!) will keep you on track so the next time you want to go for a bike ride or play a little soccer in the backyard, you and your family are able to find what you need when you need it!
During the winter, it’s easy to toss various items into the garage, leaving other things blocked by stuff that actually needs to be permanently removed from the space. For example, recycling and donations and outgrown toys and sporting equipment. Here are some simple strategies to get your garage space quickly organized so you can get out and enjoy family time together:
- Take a trip to the dump or recycling center. Make room in your vehicle or borrow a neighbor’s truck if you have lots to remove. Load it up with anything you can recycle or dispose of, including old paint and chemicals (or lawn fertilizer you’re no longer using). This may take a couple of hours on a Saturday morning, but when it’s done, it’s done!
- Corral all outgrown toys and games. Here’s your opportunity to make other kids happy by giving the items to friends or neighbors. If you don’t have any in sight, donate to a local charity. If the items are still in good condition—meaning you would buy them used from someone else—sell them online through a service like Storkbrokers.com, the nationwide service for bargain-minded parents. This is a great way to fund future purchases or a family outing!
- Create Zones. The best way to find what you need when you need it is to create spaces for particular categories. Here are suggested zones: Sports, Gardening & Lawn Equipment, Automotive, Tools, Household Items (overflow purchases such as Paper Towels and excess items purchased from big box retailers like Costco), Beach & Pool, and Holiday Storage (put out-of-season items up in the rafters, if you can).
- Strategically place zones If your kids play in the driveway and front yard, make sure their play stuff is near the garage door and they have easy access to it. Place gardening items that contain chemicals out of way of children at the back of the garage. Better yet, purchase a cabinet that locks and load it with anything that is poisonous or sharp to avoid a mishap with the kids.
- Utilize Vertical Space Hang ‘em high when you can. The best way to maximize your garage storage is to access the vertical space. Put rarely used items on shelving and hang or place items that could be of danger to children.
Once you’ve removed the obvious purge items (mentioned in step #1), use the GOPACK Method to further organize particular categories of items such as gardening tools, holiday items, sporting equipment, etc. It works!