Has your garage become the proverbial dumping ground for items you think you may need one day? Is getting out of your car becoming an exercise that resembles a game of Twister? Worse still your car no longer fits in the garage and spends every night in your driveway.
It sounds like it's time to declutter your garage.
The thought of this can be overwhelming. Where do you start? What stays, what goes? Is there a better way to store the stuff that stays?
However, before the sighs take grasp and you decide to close the garage and put off this job for another day, let's look at some simple action steps you can take to get back your old garage and make it a more user-friendly space.
Select the time to start
Firstly, assess how long you think this might take. Will it be a quick spring clean and reorganize or will you need to move 'Mount Everest' before the job is properly done.
If needing more labour for the project, this is the perfect time to get the kids in to help. And if they buck up at the idea just point out the junk pile that will be going to the dump especially if their skate board, bike or cricket set is part of that pile.
Think in space zones
Take a long hard look at the area and work out where everything will go. Space for the car, storage areas and maybe a work bench.
Will you require to add more storage units to be placed on walls? Will the interior need a fresh lick of paint?
Determine what stays
Outside your garage set up four areas. Keep, sell, charity, rubbish tip.
The idea of a declutter is to get everything out of the garage and only return the stuff you are keeping. That's why you do everything outside either on the driveway or front lawn.
There is an extra motivational point here also to ensure the front of your house doesn't look like a junk pile. You don't want to be 'that neighbour' in the street.
Clean as you go
As you free up space, clean it. A little bit of elbow grease along with some sugar soap will have your garage walls looking brand new.
Alternatively, if the scratches are to ingrained, it's probably a good time to paint. You didn't throw out the paint brush and paint, did you?
Time to get out your containers, tubs, bins and start packing items away.
1. Small items
Categorised containers are the way to go here. Put all your screws, nuts, bolts, washers and drill bits into labelled containers. Not only will they be easy to find but they'll save you another trip to the hardware store
2. Toolbox or pegboard
One of the big dangers with storage is out of sight, out of mind. You don't need a gazillion tools that you cram into your toolbox. A hammer, screw driver set, pliers and a drill will be fine for most jobs.
If you've got some great wall space, a pegboard is visually the way to go so that your tools are never forgotten. Place the tools vertically on the board supported by a peg or clip to hold them in place.
3. Large tool storage
Your favourite sander, saw or grinder need to be out of the way of everyday passing foot traffic. Nasty cuts need to be avoided.
Best place to store these larger items is on a work bench or a shelf above the bench. This way you'll have easy access for when they are needed.
Decluttering your garage will free up a lot of space. It can be a simple hour or two job, but it may require a couple of days.
Plan the project out. Avoid burnout by do the work in small batches like two to three-hour slots. Take small breaks to keep your motivation going.
Work out what's staying, how it'll be stored and what's required to store it.
The rest needs to be donated to charity, thrown out or sold. Make sure you are compliant with your local council laws for disposing of items into general waste. Paint tins generally can't be thrown into your wheelie bin.
Clean inside your garage to welcome back your car which has been sitting in the driveway for the past year.
You'll be surprised how much extra space you'll have once you've done this simple declutter of your garage.