Organizing Your Garage

By
Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Realty 100 Milwaukee Wisconsin

Since today is June 1st and Father’s Day is right around the corner, I thought we would reach out to the men in our lives and talk about cleaning out the garage.  We are getting pretty organized on the inside of our homes, now it’s time to step outside.

When someone is looking to purchase a house usually on their wish list is some sort of garage or outside building.  Lets be honest, it’s nice to park your car in the garage in the frigid cold winters and in the sweltering hot summers.  Especially if this move is not your first, you have probably accumulated a lot of stuff and you need a place to store some of it. 

A garage can be a wonderful asset to your home or it can be your worst nightmare when clutter and trash get out of control.  Hopefully by following these simple steps you will be able to have the garage of your dreams, or at least one you aren’t afraid of.

Step 1: Clean It Out! 

Are you sensing a theme?  All organization starts with cleaning.  Utilize all your outdoor space for this for this step.  Make 4 piles: Keep, Donate, Throw Away, and Recycle.  Good items to recycle would be newspapers, magazines, chemicals, old electronics, etc.  Find a drop off spot in your area and also see what their policies are on hazardous waste and paint.  Keeping chemicals like these in your garage can be dangerous if you are not paying attention.  If something spills and you are not aware of it and it happens to get on a child’s toy, or a dog walks through it, this can lead to a very serious situation.  If you need to store chemicals, paint, or gasoline do so in a safe way and in a way that is out of reach of your kids and pets. 

While you are cleaning out your stuff, also make sure to literally clean, too.  Take the time to either mop your garage floor, or at least vacuum it.  Wipe things down; wash your mower or snow blower.  Take the time now to make things look nice and neat. 

Step 2: Invest In Storage

This is the time to truly get the right racks, hooks, hangers, and shelves for all your tools, lawn equipment, bikes, etc.  This step may seem costly, but it’s one not to avoid.  If you truly want a functional garage where you can find what you are looking for, then you need to make the investment.  One suggestion would be to buy big tubs for children’s toys.  Have one for bubbles, chalk, sand toys, etc.  Have one for athletic equipment, this way the basketball will end up in the bin and not under your car.  Use bike hooks to hang up bikes especially during the winter months.  Any wall space you can use to get tools or equipment out of the way, use it!  Install shelving and use clear plastic bins to store your items.  This way you can see what is in each of them.  You can buy packs of plastic shoeboxes at big chain stores that come with lids.  You can use the lids and containers to store lose objects like screws, nails, or washers.  Make sure to put the lose objects in plastic bags and label them.  Then they won’t get all mixed up. 

Make sure when organizing you make it functional for you.  If you try too hard you may end up getting discouraged and not keep up with the plan.  Get the whole family on board so they know where things go, too. 

Step 3: Maintain

This could be the easiest step for some or the hardest for others.  There will be times life gets crazy and the screwdriver does not go back in the right spot.  Try and keep these crazy times to a minimum, easy to do, right!  Maybe you schedule an impromptu clean out/put away on a monthly basis.  Then the items that didn’t get put back in the right spot will find their home again. 

A clean, functional garage makes for a happy man, and a happy man makes for a happy family.   Happy {early} Father’s Day!

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