Winter is coming (inside joke for Game of Thrones fans) – and one of the nicest things about Erie Station Village is that many of our apartments and townhouses include a garage. But if you’re like most people, your garage can quickly become a disorganized heap of clutter. If you’ve ever found yourself not being able to fit your car in your garage, here are four tips to help you get organized.
Have a plan…and stick to it
You’ve probably heard the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Having a plan and sticking to it is the first step in keeping your garage organized. Before doing anything else, measure your garage’s dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches, and receptacles. You’ll also need to determine how much space your car takes up. Your plan can be as simple as a sketch on some scrap paper, but most manufacturers of garage-organizing systems have free online planning tools you can use. Two options to try are:
It may sound obvious, but most people don’t store things in their garage by categories. When you do, it makes it easier to plan for what types of storage equipment you’ll need (shelves, hooks, etc.). Once your garage is organized, it also makes everything easier to find. Some common categories include toys, bicycles, sports equipment, tools, seasonal decor, and automotive supplies. As you think about what categories you have, consider whether those items have to be stored in your garage or can be kept elsewhere. Or better yet, whether you need them at all. Getting your garage organized can be a good opportunity to purge.
Whenever possible, keep items off the floor. You’ll free up much more room for your car and avoid clutter. Ideally, the only things you should keep on the floor are items that are too large or heavy to be stored using hooks, shelves or cabinets. Some things to consider about getting items off the floor…open shelves are less expensive and easier to access than cabinets. Using clear plastic bins or totes makes it easy to see what’s inside each one. Long items (like brooms or snow shovels) and small frequently used items should be hung on the wall.
The garage ceiling is a great spot for hanging things you don’t use year-round. Bikes, camping gear, and seasonal decorations are a few possibilities. Make sure that anything you hang from the ceiling doesn’t interfere with your garage door’s operation or hit the roof of your car.
With a little online research you can find an endless array of specialized storage equipment, but having a tidy garage doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune. Get creative about using things you may already have around your apartment or townhouse. An old dresser you don’t use, that shoe rack you’ve never liked, coat hooks etc., can all be repurposed for garage storage. With a little planning and a free Saturday afternoon, you’ll fit more than you could imagine into your garage – including your car!