By Birmingham Garage Shapeups Guest Author: Jessi Moyle
How do you know it's time to get the garage in order? When people marvel that you're able to get the car into that narrow pathway in a wall-to-wall sea of boxes, tools, ladders, fertilizer bags and holiday decorations, aka ''the garage,'' it might be time to organize. When it's December and you finally locate the Halloween decorations...again, it might be time to organize the garage. When the squirrel family is looking for new lodging with more square footage...it's definitely time to organize the garage.
Take everything, repeat everything, out of the garage. This includes every can, every bottle, every last nail. Sort things on the driveway in three labeled piles: KEEP, TRASH and DONATE/SELL. Be sure to get rid of anything you no longer use. When you have two children, do you really need eight bicycles? Donating to a charity is a great way to teach children to share their possessions with less fortunate children. If you have a family heirloom that you love too much to throw away, find a new use for it. An old wagon that Grandpa built can be painted and taken into a bedroom for displaying stuffed animals or storing books and toys. Once everything is sorted, the process will move more quickly.
The next step is a fresh coat of paint on interior surfaces. A lighter color paint will create the illusion of more space; a light, metallic gray, for instance, on walls and ceiling will brighten the area. The floor can be painted with a heavy-duty garage floor coating, or covered in thick vinyl/rubber sheeting made specifically for garage floors, applied with two-sided adhesive tape. Another flooring option is modular garage floor tile.
Garages are meant for cars, but the space serves many other roles, including workshop, potting barn, auto supply station and year-round storage area. The secret is to utilize vertical space. Storing as many items as possible off the floor is the best way to create a clutter-free garage.
A wall-mounted track, screwed to the wall, is an ideal system. One track can be installed approximately 7 feet from the floor for long handled items such as a broom, shovel, rake, electric trimmer, lawn furniture and ladders. Another track can be installed approximately 3 feet from the floor. This is a good place for hoses, sprinklers, dustpan and brush.
Tracking systems can be equipped with hooks, shelves, drawer units and baskets for hand tools, garden supplies, cleaning essentials. Designate one basket or drawer for carpentry tools such as hammer, pliers, wire clipper, jars of nails and screws. A metal receptacle can be included for trash, and another could be used to keep rock salt handy for icy mornings in the winter.
Slat wall with hooks and accessories is another good wall system. Any wall-storage method that keeps items of the garage floor is a valuable organizational tool.
Open-frame walls are perfect locations for small shelves. Ledges can be installed over windows and doors for seldom used items such as lanterns and other seasonal garden items.
Find a convenient corner to use for a potting station. An ideal spot would be near a sunny window that overlooks the garden. Near a doorway is also a good location for easy hauling in and out of heavy potted plants. A potting station also needs to be close to a water supply, either use a long garden hose connected to an exterior spigot, or a four-gallon metal watering can that can be transported easily. The area will be busiest in spring and summer, but when the weather is cold, the area can be used for tending to houseplants, storing bulbs or planting and cultivating seeds.
Hang metal buckets or wire baskets on walls to hold garden twine, scissors, and plant markers. Larger items, such as hedge clippers and pruners can be hung on the wall on hooks. Equipment such as rotary spreader and wheel barrow can be hung on large hooks and held again the wall with bungee chord, with the lawn mower stored beneath on the floor. Bins on casters, either galvanized metal or plastic, are perfect for storing bulky quantities of fertilizer, grass seed and potting soil.
A potting station needs a work surface. A table or desk is one option; another is a table-top without legs attached to the wall with a hinged bracket. When the surface is not being used it can be dropped down against the wall, out of the way.
Create a storage wall for holiday decorations, bulk grocery purchases, seasonal items and sporting equipment. A long, high shelf is the perfect place for the picnic basket and cooler or fishing tackle and rods. Shelves on the wall can be used to store household items bought in bulk, such as bottled water, rolls of paper towel, cleaning supplies, and dry food. A substitute for shelving would be a metal cabinet. Another cabinet without shelves, or a portable closet, can be used to store golf bags.
Underneath the shelving (or alongside the storage cabinet), a painted, pine storage chest with bins inside is perfect for balls, roller-blades, or helmets. Equipment can be sorted by family member or season. This is also a good location for recycle bins for plastic, metal and glass, plus a wire basket and twine for newspapers.
Bicycles can be hung on hefty hooks on the wall; or suspended from ceiling-mounted hooks. Another good location for the hooks is on a center support beam; one support beam can accommodate two bicycles.
A separate closet or metal cabinet can be designated for holiday decorations, stored according to season. Shelving is also an option if everything is stored in separate bins.
Finally, with a place for everything and everything in its place your garage will be a daily convenience and source of pride. There'll be no more wasting precious time searching and not finding. Instead, you'll know exactly where to find what you need for work or play. Once organized, you can say farewell to clutter and hello to a more pleasant lifestyle....and you car will finally no longer feel like an intruder in its own home.
''Clean Out Your Garage,'' Real Simple Home & Organizing, Real Simple Magazine, Time Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10020 (877) 747-1048
"Get Organized, Expert Tips & Ideas," The Container Store, Coppell, TX 75019 (888) 266-8246
"Organize Your Garage," Lowe's Home Improvement, Lowe's Home Improvement, Lowe's, North Wilkesboro, NC 28656, (800) 445-6937 www.lowes.com Visit Homefacts.com for more tips and advice on Real Estate, Home Improvement, Insurance and more. Educate yourself with our community profile for your city at http://www.homefacts.comArticle Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jessi_Moyle/349566Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2626