Last week I worked on a garage/work shop and thought I'd share some really useful tips.
- ASK: If the garage or shed is your husband's work space or the only place in the house he considers "his" you might want to ask permission to mess with his stuff before you dive in. (A friend of mine recently learned that her idea of a favor and her husbands idea of a favor differed when it came to organizing the garage--oops!)
- PLAN: Have a general plan for the space before you start moving things around. Decide where you want to set up various zones. Consider proximity to doors, open wall space, and where you already have shelves, racks, and storage space. Your zones might include: Gardening/Lawn Care, Tools & Parts, Sporting Equipment, Household Repairs, Summer/Beach Gear, etc.
- PREP: Get your garbage bags, brooms and dust pan ready. Your going to need them. Enlist the help of your children if they are old enough and get a notebook ready to write down things you might need to buy to finish the job.
- CLEAR A SPACE:Open your garage door, move your car if you need to and use your driveway to sort the items you pull out. Who cares what the neighbors think, they'll be jealous when you're done!
- PURGE: Get rid of anything really old, broken beyond repair, things you've never seen before in your life or that you know you will never use again. You might want to make a pile of the "unknown use" items until you are done. A friend and I almost threw away an attachment to her mini-vac because we didn't know what it went to until we found the mini-vac 20 min. later. Make a trash pile for your family members to go through later if you are uncomfortable throwing something away that isn't yours.
- FIND "HOMES"/HANG/CONTAINERIZE: Put things away in their "zones". Use storage containers (with wheels) and drawer systems for loose items like tape sand paper, gardening supplies, etc. Hang as much as you can! Use bike hooks to hang bikes and get them off the floor. Use tool racks like this (if you have floor space to spare) or hang rakes and other long handled tools from something like this. Use peg boards for hand tools. Use rolling drawers or drawer chests or boxes for small parts or items and label the drawers (even if they are see through). For sports equipment and balls use something like this. Check out these links to Stacks and Stacks , Target or Home Depot where you will find more great ideas for organizing all your zones. If you are looking to save money, use empty buckets and boxes you already have for storing items. It is, after all, just the garage! :)
- ENJOY! Step back, take a long look and enjoy having a place to put all your "stuff". Once you've done that you can gather up all your summer/beach gear and head to the beach. Just make sure you put everything away when you get back!
If you are still looking for more guidance here's a book I would recommend.