What lurks in your garage?
Okay- show of hands. How many of you actually use your garage to park your car? Many folks use their garage as one big storage space/hoarding alley. However, if you deny yourself use of your garage, you’re effectively cutting down on the square footage of your home. Additionally, if you are ever planning on selling your home, having an organized usable space is a huge selling feature. Also- don’t forget the benefits of being organized in all areas of your life in as a means of seeking that elusive work-life balance.
So- here is a plan to transform the garage, so that it works for you (and not the other way around).
Chances are there is more garbage masquerading as other items in this particular space than any other area in the house. Be ruthless and throw out as much as you can. Anything that you think may still be useful or be of value to someone else, box and plan to have a garage sale (a real life one!). You can also donate stuff; try to sell items that might actually earn a little more money (i.e. power tools still in good condition, bikes and sporting equipment in good condition, etc.) through Kijii or other community sites.
In a small space like a garage, you’ve got to be very clever in how you leverage the storage space (because think about it- that is mostly what you are doing in the garage). One way to still store a bunch of stuff while still being able to park your car is to build shelves along the side walls. You don’t need to be able to be Mr. or Mrs. Fix it to pull this off. You can get away with drilling in brackets and then installing appropriately sized boards over top.
One way to create additional storage is to create a mezzanine- or an upper level overhead. This is the kind of thing that is a little more challenging (i.e. you may need to outsource this). Make sure that it is easily and safely accessible with a step ladder. Store out of season, or rarely used items up there.
Install hooks or a rack system for long items, like shovels, brooms and rakes. These things have a way of falling over and getting in the way of everything. Putting them in their place means that you know where they are when you want them- and also keeping the whole place tidy.