Many of us would be crippled without a car, especially if your public transit options are limited and you live far from a city. A car allows us to participate in society and access essential services. Without it, we would be essentially disconnected from the world. However, cars also require a lot of resources and upkeep. For many people, a car will be one of the biggest purchases they will ever make.
This is why many people go to great lengths to bring their car with them wherever they go. If you’re moving somewhere far away, you might be tempted to leave a few things behind in the interest of saving space. But not your car. If we can’t drive it ourselves, we’re going to find a car-shipping company to transport it safely to our destination.
However, many people don’t even have a garage or lack enough space to store their cars indoors. The main reason? They have turned their garages into an impromptu storage room. Here are a few tips to help you organize your garage. A good organization system goes a long way in keeping your home neat and organized.
1. Prioritize cleanup
Schedule a day or a weekend for garage cleanup and organization. To prepare your garage for your car, the first thing you should do is to declutter the entire space, and this requires a group effort.
You can ask your family to help out. Feel free to invite a few friends over with the promise of cold lemonade and sandwiches. This is the only way to make the process faster without resorting to hired hands. Leave no box unopened, no drawer untouched, and get everything out of the garage. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast for that day. You don’t want your belongings to get drenched in the rain.
2. Sort the items
Once you have moved everything out of the garage, you can begin sorting through all your belongings. Sort the items into three categories: keep, give, and toss. Assign a corner of your yard for each item category and place the items there.
Sort the items you have decided to keep into general categories such as sports equipment and seasonal decorations. Put them in storage containers such as cardboard boxes or, even better, stackable see-through containers that can be reused. Once you have sorted through all the keepers, put them back in the garage for now.
Some items are an automatic toss, including broken items, expired chemicals, discarded toys, and anything you haven’t used in the last five years. Now is not the time to be sentimental, but some items warrant saving. Your broken lawnmower can be thrown out, but your heirloom china should be displayed in your dining room instead.
Once you’re done with the cleanup, you can then donate the rest or schedule a garage sale to earn a quick buck. Anything that wasn’t sold or donated should also be thrown away. Make sure to follow local disposal guidelines.
3. Safety first
Due to safety and security reasons, some items cannot be stored in the garage. For instance, paint is susceptible to temperature extremes and can easily be ruined. The cans have to be transferred where the temperatures are more moderate.
Meanwhile, Propane tanks have to be stored outdoors. A single spark could ignite the tank and burn your house down. Paper goods such as old newspapers and paper plates have to be recycled or stored somewhere else. They attract pests such as cockroaches and other insects. If possible, throw them away or have them recycled as soon as possible.
Finally, pet food should be stored somewhere secure since they attract wild animals such as raccoons and possums. Make sure to keep the bags in a sealed container.
4. Prepare for the worst
Many homeowners store volatile chemicals in the garage, which is why we have to be prepared for the worst. Get a fire extinguisher and place it in an easy-to-access area away from the chemicals. The fire extinguisher should carry an ABC rating, declaring that it is suitable for fighting oil, wood, and electrical fires.
Another safety feature that should be added is a carbon monoxide detector. Even if you open the garage door before turning the car on, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, check the garage door opener and make sure that it has an auto-stop feature to prevent the door from shutting if a pet or child tries to crawl underneath.
A final word
These things will help you prepare your garage for your car. Garages are for cars, not storage, and neglecting to clean and organize regularly means you’ll have no place to park your car.