Garages are usually low priority when it comes to cleaning and organizing. After all, it’s a room for the car and trash pails, isn’t it supposed to be a little bit rough? As a storage room, garages get low marks due to the humidity and dirt that can infiltrate boxes causing damage to the contents. As a car park, it’s often a crowded space with mixed priorities that can take over. If you’re ready to organize your garage, read on.
Organizing is really about making decisions on what to do with stuff you haven’t used in a long time. Thankfully, there are a number of places that will take your junk, no questions asked. ReStore, created by Habitat for Humanity, is a retail outlet for recycled building materials. They will take a half-box of nails, that old brass chandelier, and whatever else you can find that tends to cause instant procrastination when you don’t know what to do with something. Value Village is another place that will take household items no matter how awful you may think they are. The only rule for donating garage junk is that it should be clean and in working order. Everything else can go to the curb for scavengers or in a dumpster.
Once you have removed the junk, the next step is to figure out where the remaining stuff will go. For this, you’ll need shelving. Ironically, the previously mentioned ReStore may have some nice used shelves. If you’re installing bracket shelves, make sure they’re wide enough for the boxes of decorations and large toys. The idea is to move everything off the floor. Build or install right up to the ceiling if you can. Closed metal cabinets are a nice safety upgrade if you store flammables in the garage. They can be locked to keep children from playing with paint remover or insecticides. You can never have too much storage space.
When hanging shelves, be sure to use the right hardware for installation. Screwing brackets directly into studs is the safest method. If you must use drywall anchors in some spots, be sure to use the correct size and style for the amount of weight the shelf must bear.
Designate areas for certain things such as the mower, recycling, kids’ toys, etc. Use big, friendly labels so everyone knows where to put things away. Making labels is a fun rainy-day activity and will solicit organizational buy-in from young artists. Sparkle letters? Why not?
When everything is up off the floor, and you’re happy with the overall effect, you might want to consider taking it to the next level. Epoxy floor paint with mica chips is every man’s dream garage floor. Easy to clean, dust-free, and professional-looking, this high impact finish can only increase the value of your home and neighbour envy.