Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here!
Well… March isn’t exactly going “out like a lamb” as these last few days have been frigid!! I do look forward to the April showers and all the May flowers!!
That being said – Now that the weather should be warming up – it is time to tackle your garage!! April is the Official Month for Organizing your Garage!! Yes -they really do have a designated day and month for everything!! But really-it does make sense… Think about it-there is usually still a little chill in the air (so you won’t be working out in the hot summer sun) -and possible showers- you are still outside but you are sheltered… April is the best month to do it!
So let’s do it? Where to begin?? Take a look around you. What is your garage filled with?
Is it already neat and tidy with your car parked in it and ample room to maneuver around your car? Totes or boxes neatly stacked? If so – good for you!! If not-well, that is where I come in!
Start by Separating
Start going through the items in your garage and separating them into piles. This is where the fun starts!! You will have a few piles- Keep, Toss, and Donate. However, the Keep pile will not just be one pile-while we are separating our items-we are also going to separate our items to keep.
You will break down your keep pile into different groups. What is your garage stored with? Camping/fishing items? Sports items? Tools? Gardening Tools? Leftover Pantry items? Pool supplies? The categories are endless-it all depends on what you keep in your garage (remember-every person and project is different!!).
Purge it all out
You made your piles… now what?? Now it is time to get rid of the items that you no longer need, use, and/or want. Now you can get all your garbage bags tied up, and your donation boxes itemized and set aside. Take a peek at your garage.. Does it feel more open? Do you have more space?? Unless you kept everything you went through – I bet you do!!
Now we get down to the real business.
Organizing all your stuff!!
How many keep piles do you have? Can some of them overlap or work together? How much storage space do you have in your garage? We are going to create work/storage zones within your garage. Take a minute and go grab a sketch pad-I’ll wait! We are going to lay out your garage zones….. it will make this a little easier-especially if you are a visual person! (I suggest grid paper if you have it-it will help you put a scale to your drawing)
Ask yourself these questions regarding your items and your garage:
Once you have answered these questions it will help you layout your garage zones. You may have a workshop/bench area, a storage area, holiday decorations area…and that’s just to name a few.
By identifying the items you use the most vs the least – it will help you decide where to store them, obviously things that you use the most and need the easiest access to will be stored in an area that you can easily get to – while items that only get used 1 or 2 times a year can be stored on a top shelf or in another area that is out of the way.
See how this works?? Things you need/use the most will be in areas that are in your viewing and reaching space… and the less and less an item is used – the more out of reach it is in the storage.
By laying out the zones on a notepad – you can get an idea of how much stuff will be stored and where. Now if you are using that graph paper – you can use one square to equal 6” – and you can guesstimate the sizes of totes, boxes, bikes, etc to allow you to sketch out a layout and really understand the amount of items you have as well as the amount of space you have-which will help you to decide if you need additional storage totes, shelves, etc.
Put it all back
Once you have an understanding of how you are going to organize everything you can start putting everything back in their new homes!! Get creative here!! Re-use your storage totes and shelving systems. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box……Peg boards aren’t specifically made for tools – you can use them to hang up other items you have laying around, Go vertical with your storage totes, Magnets are your friends, hang bikes on the ceiling instead of the wall.. A few ideas to think about!!
Have fun- and do what works best for you!
Hope this was helpful for you all and that it gives you the encouragement you need to tackle your own garage!! Until next time!