Are your kids bored with summer? Do they need some chores? Put them to work by helping you organize and get your garage clean! For urban dwellers without a garage or shed space, consider organizing a closet or storage area.
For this project, Oprah’s organizing guru Peter Walsh recommends “jumping in the deep end” by staging an annual attack on clutter. Remove every last garden shear and mystery electrical wire from the garage to be assessed and (in most cases) eliminated. You may want to consider renting a dumpster for the occasion. Remember never to put paints or any sort of chemicals in the trash or down a drain. Visit these links see how the City of Alexandria, Washington, DC, Fairfax County, and Arlington County handle hazardous waste.
Decide once and for all, the purpose your garage serves.
Is it for parking, storage, and/or a workshop space? Based on your goals, divide the garage into zones for each use. Doing so will help control clutter as Walsh advises “whatever doesn’t fit into its appointed zone is toast.” Walsh also suggests using color (think paint and storage bins) to delineate the zones.
Keep the garage floor clear and think about VERTICAL storage (shelving, pegboard, etc), using the rule of thumb, “the less often a category of stuff is used, the higher up it goes.”
While you’re at it, consider painting your garage floor. This relatively inexpensive transformation will instantly freshen up the space. As an added benefit, painted floors provide extra protection against mold/ mildew and automobile fluids (vs. concrete floors). They are also water-resistant, easier to clean, and eliminate the dust that bare concrete floors produce. Here’s are some tips on painting your garage floor.
Here are a few more genius ideas we loved for tackling your project. They’ll help you get your garage clean in no time!
- Install a set of old school lockers and assign one to each member of your family to store sports equipment, helmets, etc.
- Tape out “parking spaces” on the garage floor so the little ones know exactly where to park their rides (scooters, bikes, etc) when finished with them for the day.
- Hang up a magnetic strip to hold screwdrivers, wrenches, and scissors.
- Store small hardware, such screws and nails, in old gum plastic containers.
- Use cut pieces of PVC pipe to hold your gardening tools upright and in place.
- Store your spray paint cans in a shoe organizer.
- Consolidate leftover paint into small (think Mason sized) jars to save on space.
We find organizing the garage is one of those tasks that is always on the “one day” list. Grab your calendar now and pick a date!
After you get your garage clean and still need to occupy your kids, tackle the attic, basement/crawlspace next. If you have to bribe them with the treats from ice cream truck to get them to help, it’ll be an investment that provides excellent return!
As always, if you need guidance on anything related to your home, contact us! We are always happy to help.
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