30 Days To Organizing Your West Cobb Home – Day 27

If you don’t have a garage, these tips still apply to you—just move the directions here to your basement, storage shed, or wherever else you stash bigger things.  If your cars don’t live in your garage, we’re going to change that!  Get ready to take small steps and make your parking area liveable again! This is yet another step in organizing your West Cobb home.

Let’s take stock of your garage.  Are there things all over the floor?  Do you have a path picked out to the house?  Have your cars even lived inside your garage in recent memory?  If not, get ready—we’re going to wave the checkered flag on gettin’ to work!

First, we need to clean up your floors.  If they are particularly cluttered, we’ll make a way, but it will take lots of small steps.  Start by putting all garbage (trash) in a trash receptacle.  I don’t care if it doesn’t have wheels or it doesn’t have a bag— just do it!  If you’re not sure if it’s trash and don’t recognize it, put it aside and ask a member of your family.  If they can’t identify it, pitch it.

I know it sounds harsh, but you’ll thank me later.

As you’re sorting through things, you need to make a pile of “keep” and “sell.”  I recommend using old large flat sheets for this purpose—to keep things separated.  Determine what you absolutely cannot do without (and why you love them!) and get rid of the rest.  Chances are good that if the things are in your garage and you haven’t been out digging through the boxes and piles, you won’t miss what you get rid of at all.

Now that you’ve sorted, let’s talk about shelving.  If you don’t have shelves in your garage, you’re wasting valuable space.  You will be amazed at what some plywood and brackets can do to get stuff up and off the floor!  If you need to install shelving, now’s the time to determine how many and how long they should be.  Then call your local lumber store and have some wood cut for this purpose.  Plywood (at least ½” thick) will do the job.  Put brackets at least every 2 linear feet.  Then use a level and install the brackets.  For added security, put a wood screw in at the edge of the bracket and wood—this will stabilize your shelf.

Hooray!  Your shelves are up!  Now start putting things that you’ve stored on the floor up on the shelves.  I recommend an area for car-care things (oil, soap, antifreeze, etc.), one for gardening supplies, painting supplies, and another for general house-items that you use once or twice a year.

If your kids aren’t riding their bikes in and out on a daily basis, consider hanging them upside down from the garage ceiling.  Hardware stores sell large hooks that screw in to the wall or ceiling and are wonderful to hang bicycles by—simply use the hooks to catch the inside of the tire, one for the front wheel and one for the back wheel.  This will maximize your floor space considerably.  These hooks also work well if you have a fertilizer-spreader sitting on the floor—put the hooks in the wall and hang the spreader up and out of the way, especially since it’s only used a few times a year.

You can see your garage floor, good!  But how bad is the dirt-level?  Take a shop-vac (wet-dry vacuum) and empty out whatever is in the tub.  Put some bug-killer in there, preferably the powered sort.  I recommend using a powered Sevin formula—it will kill whatever is live that you might suck up and is approved for gardens.  Now that your vac is ready, section your garage in to quadrants.  Move everything away from the walls in one quadrant and start vacuuming.  Hit the edges, the concrete blocks where the walls meet the floor, etc.  Don’t forget the crevices where the concrete quadrants come together.  Once you’ve vacuumed it, spray whatever bug-killer (liquid form) you’d like at the perimeter of the quadrant.  Put things back where you had them and take a break.

When you’re ready for your next small step, attack another quadrant and repeat the steps until the whole garage has been vacuumed.  This will prevent tires from being punctured by loose nails or screws, and keep you from tracking all of outside in your home!

Okay, your garage is organized, swept out, and ready to receive its inhabitants.  Move your cars inside and enjoy the lack of frost, ice, & snow in the winter, and the lack of scalding hot steering wheel & seats in the summer!

There you go!   Think of how delightful it’ll be to have everything in your garage organized and at your fingertips!