Spruce-up plan for
This article sponsored by Whalen Storage.
Whalen Storage designs and manufactures
products to organize your life. From steel
shelving, industrial racks with wire decks and
multipurpose bin racks to solid hardwood
workbenches and garage cabinets, each
product is easy to assemble and provides a
lifetime of storage and organization options.
By Ben Jacobs
THE NEXT TIME YOU DRIVE through your neighborhood, briefly look into
any open garage as you pass by. You’ll see that most of them have little or
no room for a vehicle, let alone for organized storage or a work center for
household projects. However, people are discovering just how valuable their
garage can be.
Garages are becoming an extension of the home instead of just a place to
store things. Modern and classic garage products as well as basic and creative
home improvement ideas can help you get the most from your garage.
It’s no secret that garages are the ultimate catch-all for seldom-used
household items. Before you know it, you’re overwhelmed with piles of
garage clutter that continue to grow. When it comes to dealing with it, the
thought alone is enough to make a lot of folks want to run and hide. An easy
way to overcome this is to just go into your garage, look around for a few
minutes and jot down the things you see.
The list doesn’t have to be very detailed. For example, instead of listing
nuts, bolts, washers, screws and nails, simply list it all together as hardware.
Do the same with tools, auto parts, clothing, kids’ toys, sports equipment, etc.
Once you have the list, the next step is to make it as small as possible by
getting rid of everything you can.
Making clutter go away requires decisions, and that’s where reclaiming
your garage begins. If you can’t decide what to do with any particular item,
put it in a pile with other undecided items and come back to it later. Getting
rid of a few things makes it easier to get rid of a few more.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used it in the last 12 months,
say goodbye. Sell it, give it away, recycle it or trash it. Keep in mind that all
remaining items need to be organized and stored, so the more you get rid of,
the more garage you’ll have. Once your list is reduced as much as possible, it’s
time to make a plan for your garage.
The next step is to group related items. For instance, items you’ll want
to store as groups could include camping gear, blankets, books, automotive
fluids, painting supplies, etc. When you’re finished, you’ll be able to designate zones in your garage for the different groups.
If you actually want to park in your garage, start with a designated parking zone. Another zone could be a work area; this is where the workbench
goes and where household projects get done (or lie around for a while).
If you want lots of storage space, reserve several storage zones. Think
about using hanging ceiling shelves and wall shelving for smaller, lighter
items, as well as stand-alone shelving to get large, heavy items off the floor.
Ceiling hoists are a nice way to store bicycles, wheelbarrows and other bulky
items. Wall cabinets and rolling cabinets are great for storing car tools and
parts, small hardware and other project pieces.