Another way to recognize National Safety Month is to declutter dangerous areas of your home to make them safer for you and your family. If you are like the typical homeowner, your garage is full of extra tools, totes of old clothes and other items that you rarely use. Most people keep it all in the garage because there is nowhere else to store it or because of the convenient location. If you invest some time in decluttering your garage, you will find that everything becomes much more efficient.
1. Eliminate Excess
Unfortunately, garages have widely become "dump and forget” spaces. We drop things off in the garage, thinking that we will use them at some point in the future. Many of these tools, supplies and other items sit, unused for months or even years. Those with extra bulky items in their garages might have to rent a truck or a dumpster to remove of everything. You can also call charities to see if they are interested in coming by for items that you have decluttered from your garage.
2. Re-Consider Remaining Items
Put the remaining items into specific piles for further action. One group should be labeled as "keep." Create a "donate" pile that you will donate to charity, friends and family. The next group should be "sell.” You can sell these valuables on Craigslist or at a garage sale. The last pile should be the tools or other supplies that you will not use for a while but will keep in storage for the day that you do want to use them. Do not be afraid to trash the items that you think have little re-sale value.
3. Establish Boundaries
When you re-organize your garage, you should create zones. There should be distinct spaces for certain items and possessions. The center of the garage will likely be the space where you park your car. Incorporate extra space for you to reach up and out with your snow brushes, ice scrapers and cargo. You will also need room in your garage for your car's doors to open.
4. A Workbench As More Than A Storage Space
You should designate a zone for your workshop or work space. At a minimum, it should have a workbench and a pegboard. You will be able to work here with your tools on do it yourself style projects. Try to choose a workbench that has a pull out tray for your tools. There should also be enough space on the bench for your toolbox and several work items. If you would prefer, you can designate a portion of the garage as a storage zone. This is ideal for those who want to strictly use the garage for projects and vehicles.
5. A Space For Everything
Every garage needs a central means of organization. Do not stray from the zones that you have created with the advice outlined above. Shelves, wall storage, tool pegboards, cabinets and other means of organization will be the icing on the cake. This way, you will not have to rely strictly on the space that is available in your workbench for all of your tools and work materials. Remember, you have regular tools, power tools, nuts, bolts, an array of other small parts and all sorts of lawn and garden equipment to fit into your garage. Organize the smaller pieces into compartments for optimal garage organization.
Once your garage is decluttered, you will feel a sense of relief. You will spend more time working on DIY projects in the garage and you'll be happier while you are in there. Never underestimate the value and safety of a decluttered and open space.