According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 percent of us don’t park our cars in the garage. Why? As a stuff catchall, the garage is typically the last place in the home to get organized and the first to fill up with random stuff.
If your car is regularly parked outside of the motored garage door, try these fixes to free up some space.
1. Throw Out as Much as Humanly Possible
Before you get into the nitty gritty of organizing and floor clearing, it’s best to clean and audit first. Go through your garage and read expiration dates. If it’s past date or almost past date, toss it. Then, ask yourself the big questions about the remaining items, like: Do you really use it? Will you use it in the next six months? If the answer to either of these is “no,” then there is no reason to hold onto it.
If there are any pesticides, paint removers, paint or any unknown labels, it’s probably best to haul the items to a hazardous waste center. To figure out where that is, check your city or county’s website.
2. Elevate the Stuff You Need to Keep
Put the walls and ceiling of your garage to work. Keeping loose items off of the ground helps prevent clutter and keeps your garage neater, longer. Hang a metal pegboard with hooks on the wall and cover empty space with shelves. Then, pick up every loose thing hogging your garage floor and give it a home. The ceiling is a perfect spot for bikes, ladders, faux holiday trees and anything else that you don’t use on the reg.
3. Create Zones
So, your hazardous waste is hauled away and your walls and ceiling are covered. What do you do with the rest of your items? If there’s still stuff piled around, move it all from disorganized piles to organized piles. Put the things into zones like “dog stuff,” “paint things,” and “sports equipment.” Then, find a spot in the garage for each of these zones.
Now, pull in the car! You’ll appreciate the effort next time hail falls from the sky.