The garage. By definition, it’s a place for storing motor vehicles. More commonly, it’s a place for storing everything in your house that you’re either not sure what to do with or see no need for in the near future. Theoretically, there’s nothing wrong with that; most garages make excellent places for storing the miscellaneous items in your house. That is until there are more miscellaneous items in your garage than you know what to do with. When that happens, garage organization is in order, especially if you’re planning on moving soon.
Whether you’ve moved before or not, you either know or can guess how necessary it is to declutter beforehand. The more items you have, the more work your move will require. Plus, if you’re working with professional movers, you’re paying for the volume of your belongings as well as for the additional time and labor. At Colonial Van Lines, we’re betting that the bulk of that volume is sitting in your garage. If your garage needs an intense overhaul, never fear. Colonial Van Lines will get you crawling from the wreckage and into a new shiny garage in no time.
Tips for Organizing Your Garage
If you find yourself using your garage as a receptacle, you probably haven’t resolved all of your disorganization issues. It’s also likely that your garage is in serious need of a makeover. While Colonial Movers may not be able to cure you of the former, we can certainly help you with the latter.
Organize your Time
The first step in organizing your garage is organizing your time. Back-to-back days, such as weekends or holidays, are the best times for moving. That way you can work continuously, and sorted belongings won’t have to sit in piles for too long. Aim for a dry weekend so you don’t get stuck in foul weather pulling items out of the shelter of the garage.
Organizing the garage can be an overwhelming chore and not one that you want to abandon halfway through. Recruit family and friends or hire an expert if possible, to prevent that from happening. Be sure to have a plan for directing your crew around from the beginning to the end of the process so things go smoothly.
Take Everything Out
The key to organizing your garage is finding out what’s in it. Pick a section of your garage and drag everything in it into the driveway for you to sort through. Not only will this give you a better idea of what you have, but it will also give you an idea of the amount of space you have to work with, and which storage options might work best for you.
Decide What to Keep
When debating over which items to keep and which to get rid of, ask yourself whether or not the item is in your garage because it’s serving a purpose or because you don’t know what else to with it. If it’s the latter, get rid of it. If you’ve used it more than once in the last year, it’s still in working condition, or it’s something that’s not easy to come by putting it on the “keep” list.
Donate, Sell or Trash
As your cleaning your garage, it’s a good idea to keep a shortlist of places that will accept your donations. The local Goodwill, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity are all good places to start. If you want to make a little money off your garage organization, consider hosting a yard sale or selling your items online. As for the items that can’t be donated or sold, determine the best junk removal solution based on the size of the junk and how much of it you have. If your garage cleanout leaves you with things that are too big for the curb or that require multiple pick-up truckloads, it might be easiest to rent a dumpster.
Deep Clean the Space
If its ever going to happen, this is your big opportunity. Generally, the best way to tackle it is from top to bottom. Start by wiping down or dusting off the tops of the cabinets and shelves, and refrigerator, if you have one. Next, wipe down the walls and the doors of the cabinets and refrigerator using a damp cloth and a mild detergent. Sweep the floor of the dust that’s come loose and finish up by mopping and hosing down the floor.
Determine your Layout
Categorize the remaining items and decide where you want each type of item to live, considering which items you use most frequently and the available space. Keep in mind that shelves at eye level and within reach are considered prime real estate. Less valuable items, that aren’t used as frequently, should be stored on very high or very low shelves or in closets and cabinets.
Once you know what you’re keeping and how much space you have, decide what size containers to use. Consider installing built-in cabinets or modular storage units if necessary. Make good use of vertical space with mounted headboards and wire grids that can hold everything from hand tools to sports equipment. Wall hooks can hold larger tools, such as rakes and shovels. Take advantage of overhead space with sturdy shelves that mount to the ceiling.
Put the Garage Organization on your Schedule
Get your quarterly or biannual garage maintenance scheduled on your calendar. If it’s not on your calendar, it’s less likely to happen. Between maintenance periods, be sure to put things away promptly after using them. Keep in mind, the clutter results from not taking the extra time to put the item back where it belongs.
Colonial Van Lines and Organization
Now isn’t that better? At Colonial Van Lines, helping to organize your garage is only part of our mission of providing the most stress-free moving experience to our customers. When you hire us, we help you organize your move from beginning to end, from planning to packing to transport. Call us today to get our free rate quote and let us take care of the organization.