If you’re like most busy people, you hurriedly put items you don’t use often in the garage and promise yourself that you’ll organize them all later. Only when you find yourself wasting half a day searching for one of those items do you realize that later has finally arrived. You also realize that many of the things you encountered while searching for that item haven’t been used in years. If you’ve accumulated so many things over the years that you’re overwhelmed by just the thought of organizing the garage, there are a few steps you can take to make it more manageable.
Plan a Garage Sale
Although it may be tempting to consider putting the whole garage up for sale rather than organizing it, selling those unused items will put some cash in your pocket while freeing up space. It’s also a great feeling knowing that they will continue to be put to good use and enjoyed by others. As with any big project, breaking it down into small steps gives you a sense of satisfaction after accomplishing each step. The first step in planning a successful garage sale is making sure the garage is safe for all of your potential customers.
Since garage sales are an enjoyable family activity for many people, you should remove any toxic substances or place them on high shelves out of the reach of young children. Most people don’t think about it, but regular inspections and maintenance of your garage doors is also an important safety measure. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that approximately 20,000 injuries are caused by garage doors every year, and many of them are suffered by children. Garage sales are a great way to meet new neighbors and your community will appreciate your consideration for their safety. They’ll also appreciate your generosity when you donate those unused items that don’t sell to one of your local charities.
If you find that even after your successful yard sale, there still isn’t enough room in the garage for your car, it may be time to consider additional storage space. After celebrating your success, you can use the remaining cash from your yard sale to buy an external storage unit or two. Your backyard is the perfect place to store all those treasured items with sentimental value that you don’t use but can’t bear to part with. Having all of the things that mean the most to you in a weatherproof storage unit designed to be an extension of your home will also encourage more frequent family strolls down memory lane.
Storage units can now be custom built to your size specifications, so even larger family heirlooms such as paintings and unused furniture can be stored in them. Being able to store yard maintenance items like lawn mowers, shovels, and gardening tools separately creates more space for doing what people love to do most in their garages—pursue their hobbies. Whether it’s wine-making, rock polishing, or playing in a rock band, replacing items you don’t use with items you do use can make life a lot more enjoyable. It may even lead to a new career.
Storage lockers are another great tool for organizing—and staying organized. Each family member having their own storage locker can provide added security and greater sense of privacy while encouraging responsibility. Besides organizing, they’re also a great tool for teaching children the importance of properly caring for their possessions. Items not put away properly after use can be locked up in the “common” locker for a time as a reminder.
As a bonus, private storage lockers can also reduce the number of potential conflicts between siblings. Every parent has heard “Mom! Dad! He’s getting into my stuff again!” Organizing a garage can be a major undertaking. If it’s done well, it may never have to be done again. Selling unused items, creating extra storage space, and making each family member responsible for their own things can help make this garage organization the last.
Time and money invested in organization reaps the most valuable return on that investment possible—more time– and time is the best gift we can give ourselves and one another.