Use Spare Time This Summer to Organize Your Garage

garageThough at this point we’ve missed the boat on “spring cleaning,” there’s still hope for your messy garage. Though it is hot outside, the summer months might leave you with evenings and weekends free at least. If you find that there’s no room in your garage, even for your cars, dedicate some time this summer to cleaning up the mess. According to Department of Energy, ¼ of Americans with two-car garages can’t park in theirs and another third can only fit one vehicle.  Though the idea of a sparkling clean, perfectly organized garage may seem ridiculous or impossible, it can be done! Follow these tips from CNN Money to make your garage space more useful and attractive and also to make some room for your cars.

  • Get rid of everything your family doesn’t use. Throw it away, donate it – it all needs to go. Next, group the remaining stuff by theme: yard schools, sporting equipment, outdoor toys and playthings, etc. Store small items in see-through, stackable bins with lids so you’ll know exactly what each bin contains. If you find this organizational task too daunting, for $200 to $1,000 you can hire a professional organizer in your area to help. Or convince a neat-freak friend to help you out. The key to maintaining an organized garage is to sort through and find a place for everything, and the method best suited for you depends on both physical space and budget.
  • Squeeze more into smaller spaces by installing freestanding shelving systems along the back wall of your garage that can be purchased at your local hardware store. Another option is to hang shelves high enough on sidewalls so they don’t interfere with car doors. If you’re extremely tight on space, hang up shelves that suspend from the rafters or simple pulley systems to hoist bikes out of the way. Call a handyman to install a hayloft-like storage area by cutting an opening in the ceiling and installing a pull-down ladder—a project ranging in price from about $600-$1,000).

The most attractive option would be to cover the walls with horizontally grooved paneling that houses various racks, cabinets, shelves, hooks, racks, and more. These shelving systems can be pricey, but your garage space will be changed from chaotic and disorganized to useful and efficient. And, your cars will be put back where they belong.