Do you drive by your neighbor’s house and they have their garage door open; and inside is a clean, well-organized space? Now, when you get home do you not even want to open the garage door for fear of seeing the cluttered opposite of your neighbor? Will boxes and furniture fall out if you raise them up?
If so, then you probably need to do something about it. If you want to mimic the look of your neighbor’s garage, then you are going to have to put in some work to get it that way. In the end, all of the effort you put into the project will not only accomplish your goal of gaining space, you will also declutter your life. Here are a few tips you can use to clean up that garage.
Garages are used for various purposes other than what they were designed for. In smaller homes, they tend to be used for additional storage. Sometimes it is to store yard tools and lawnmowers. Other times, we will leave boxes of clothes and knick knacks that the rooms inside could not hold. This will create clutter and junk up your garage.
Rule of thumb: if you have not used it in the past year, you do not need to hold onto it. Get rid of some stuff. Any clothes that are boxed up, just donate or sell them in a garage sale (appropriate enough). If you have pieces of furniture just stashed away, put them out for sale.
If you are claiming something as sentimental, then it should not be out in the garage where the heat and cold can ruin them. Something that is important to you should be in the temperature controlled interior of your home. It should be out on display. Rework your rooms to fit whatever it is into your house. If you cannot make it work inside, then you should probably give it to someone who could use it.
The original purpose of the garage was to store your car, protect it from the elements. Although this is becoming less of the case, there are still people who use it as such. But between the car and the other items stored in the garage, is there enough room for everything?
If the car in the garage is broken down and in need of repairs, you may have to work around it to clean up your garage. Otherwise, back your car out to give yourself some space to maneuver. Take everything and put it all in the center of the garage. Based on the storage tip above, determine what you actually need and what can be sold or donated. From there, you can create little areas of your garage to store things in.
There are a variety of wall mounts available for you to hang your yard tools up with, getting them out of the corner and out of the way. Shelving units can be purchased at any home improvement store. These will allow you to get your boxes out of a stack and organized along the walls. This will free up space for you to repurpose or give you additional space to walk around the car once it is inside.
Some people like to convert their garages into additional living space for their home. On those beautiful sunny days with the breeze blowing, sitting out in the garage with the door up can be an appealing concept. The concrete slab can be covered over by carpet, the roll-up door can be replaced with windows and a standard door; pool tables or work benches can be placed inside. Whatever room you can imagine, you can do with your garage.
Before you get to the point where you are ready to make the physical changes to your garage, you first must declutter. It is even more important to do so because, by converting the space into another use, you are reducing the amount of storage space you have in your home. You will have to do some serious reduction of knick knacks and boxes.
Getting a storage shed would be a good solution, but you would just be transferring the stacks of clutter from one location to another. You would still want to go through it all and decide what you truly need to hold onto. The other option, and the least expensive, would be to utilize the attic more.
Some people do not like having to climb up and down a set of thin, seemingly-cheaply made steps, but the storage space in the attic is probably enough for holiday decorations and other items. Do not be afraid to put your stuff up there. And if you are afraid, it will give you incentive to reduce the amount of stuff you have so you go up there even less.