If you’re fortunate enough to own a home with a covered garage, you know how handy it can be to store things like sporting equipment, tools, off-season tires and boxes of holiday decorations. But if your vehicle is permanently parked outdoors because your garage has become a disorganized catch-all for countless boxes of unused items, it may be time for an intervention.
Heading into the fall, this is the perfect time to clean and organize your garage. Ideally, your garage can be a place where only necessary items live and everything has a home. Most importantly, it’s where your vehicle can be parked, away from extreme cold (and extreme heat), inches of heavy snow and thick layers of ice, which is an inevitability during Canadian winters.
Follow these helpful tips to get your garage in order before the cold weather hits!
- Set aside a reasonable amount of time (you’ll probably need an entire weekend) to purge and clean out your garage. Categorize items by those you will keep, donate or sell, and toss.
- Once your things are organized, give the garage a proper cleaning. Sweep and wash the floor and wipe down the doors and walls.
- Everything from tools to golf clubs to household items should have their own designated spot, and proper storage solutions are imperative to maintaining an organized garage. Measure how much space you will need to park your vehicle and safely open the doors.
- Once you know the depth you have to work with, install appropriate shelving or cabinets for organized storage. Keep items in clear bins on the shelves for easy access and safe keeping. Install wall hooks or peg boards to hang things like shovels and hoses. If space is limited, use overhead storage racks to keep items you don’t need to access often. Do your best to keep items off the ground to avoid water damage.
- Remove any items that should not be stored in a garage, like old paint, propane, unsealed food items that can attract animals, or important paperwork that can be destroyed by moisture.
- To ensure your garage stays clean and organized, make a point to ‘spring clean’ the space at least once or twice each year.
Stay in the habit of parking inside the garage. If you know the space in the centre is always occupied by a car, you will not be tempted to fill it up with miscellaneous items. Plus, parking inside can actually extend the life of your vehicle by protecting it from the elements.