Who wouldn’t love a streamlined garage? Too many of us are living with garages that serve as a collect-all for items that don’t have a home or that are dumped out of our cars and never re-homed. Our “someday I’ll…” and “eventually we’ll get to that” thinking has clogged our spaces and left us in disorder. While a cluttered garage may seem daunting, there are a few simple things you can do to reclaim that space.
Recently, on More Good Day Oregon, professional organizer Vicki Norris showcased a garage transformation for our clients Chris and Mike.
Here is what their garage looked like when Restoring Order arrived on the scene.
The problems these clients had in their garage are common problems we see out in the field.
- Too much shelving that wasn’t being well used
- No categorization of items – boxes weren’t well labeled and different types of items were inter-mixed throughout the garage
- Too many boxes – many people have this problem. Boxes from large items don’t get broken down right away and end up tossed in the garage. It’s amazing how much space these big boxes occupy AND how quick and easy it really is to break them down and stick them in the recycle bin. Lots of bang for your buck with this project!
- “What if” thinking – in this garage Mike has a box of items that he has been hoping to sell. Many of us have these “what if” items. We hold onto things thinking we will use them “someday”. The key with these items is to be realistic and to keep in mind the amount of space you have to devote to “what ifs”.
- Holding on to unused items for too long. Garages should be “pruned” on a regular basis to keep them from becoming warehouses for forgotten items.
To create a streamlined garage, here are a few simple steps:
- Like many organizing projects, a garage overhaul starts with a large sort. Group like items together so you can see what you have in the space and how much you have of each category.
- Prune! (Read more about this organizing principle here) Evaluate your belongings and shed what you can.
- Be intentional about what items will live in the garage. Think about when and how often you use items.
- When placing items in storage boxes or bins, labeling is important! Use clear, consistent labels so contents can be easily identified.
- Designate specific areas of the garage for certain types of items based on how much of each type of item you have. For example, a “household” area, “utility” area, “keepsake” area, etc.
- Now utilize your shelving! Consider how often you need access to items when placing them on shelves. Lower, easier access shelves should be devoted to items that you use often. Heirlooms and long-term storage items should be stored on the highest shelves.
- Consider creating a “grab and go” area of the garage for items you use often or that you move in-and-out of the car frequently.
- If your family leaves shoes in the garage, create a shoe solution. In this client’s garage a shoe cubby was brought in to free up floor space.
Whether your garage is a small or big project, a streamlined garage will give you peace of mind that is worth the effort! Not only does this project help you let go of some things that aren’t serving you, it helps you actually know what you have so you can enjoy it more.
“It’s such a categorically different experience coming home from my frequent trips now that we’ve been involved in organizing [our garage]. So, thanks so much.” – Mike
Watch Vicki’s segment on More Good Day Oregon below to see the full garage makeover!