Organize Your GarageSometimes, I am inspired to work in my garage; sometimes it is just too hot.  If you’re like me, this means that cool weather is indeed a good time for garage organizing.  Perhaps I am inspired by my Dad’s garage, which although it housed quite a bit of tools and supplies, was organized and uncluttered.  Perhaps it is a desire to make sure that my Christmas ornaments are properly organized when they are put back in storage this year.  In any case, I am inspired.

Start by grouping like items together, if they are not already.  How can you decide how many vases to keep, and which ones, if you don’t look at them as a group?

Next, identify the excess.  You may have a couple of boxes of your child’s school papers, an accumulation of bubble wrap, shopping bags, vases, cleaning supplies or recycling.  Break the project down into smaller pieces if you need to, such as the laundry area, wall storage, boxes in the corner, etc.  For each type of item, sort out the keep, donate and discard items.

Once you have reduced your items to those you will use and can store, look around your garage.  Look up the wall, and above the car.  Are there volumes of space that are not currently being used?  When choosing a home for your items, remember to keep your most frequently used items in the easiest-to-reach spots.  This includes cleaning supplies, dog food, paper towels, gardening supplies and the like.

For things you use only occasionally, there are some amazing products on the market to maximize your garage storage.  These would be great for items such as archive file boxes, outdoor furniture, big tools, large toys, canoes, kayaks, holiday ornaments, tires, ladders, lumber or third-row car seats.

Here are some products which have caught my eye.  (I have not tried them; if you do, please email me with your comments!)

1.  Storage platform with a hoist, which you can raise or lower with either a hand crank or by attaching a power drill.  According to the website, this 4×4 platform holds up to 250 pounds.  For more information, click here:  http://www.mygaragestore.com/detail.aspx?ID=777.

2.  Take a look at the space over your garage door.  Is it empty?  If so, check out these racks that fit nicely in that spot, or just about anywhere you have unused space near the ceiling.  Two product lines designed for this purpose are http://www.saferacks.com and http://www.tuffrax.com.

3.  Hyloft is a brand that carries both ceiling-mounted and wall-mounted storage units.  Special hooks and racks are available for hanging large things like ladders, tires and bicycles.  Check out their website for more information:   http://www.hyloft.com.

Remember that when storing heavy items, you need to anchor the shelving to your wall studs.  Also, be sure your over-the-door storage does not interfere with your garage door opener.  Once you have your new system set up, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to move about your garage.  I can’t wait!

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