Summer is finally here and making way for bike rides, yard work and DIY projects on the weekend. As your family is venturing into the garage to pull out the recreational gear, lawn care equipment and home maintenance tools, the sunny season can also put your family at higher risk for injury. During the winter, the garage quickly becomes an unsightly mess as it is used more for storage than a recreation or work room. Now that the family is ready for summer, the kids’ outdoor toys cramped in the same space with the lawn mower and circular saw is an accident waiting to happen. To transform your garage from safety hazard to family-friendly home space, here are five simple steps from the designers of Closets by Design to organize your garage for summer.
5 Steps to organizing the garage
1. Reclaim the garage floor
The garage floor may be the most convenient place to lay down the tennis racquets, rakes, and summer patio furniture, but it also puts these items underfoot and in the way. Use the space on the garage walls to your advantage. Toys such as golf clubs, racquets, and skates can be stored along the walls, while bikes can be hung on hooks from the ceiling. Rakes, shovels, and other yard supplies can also be easily organized on an interior wall. Using this space wisely will not only help you to increase your storage space but it will also make items easily accessible.
2. Cut the garage clutter
It's amazing how many "things" you acquire over the years, and finding a place for each one is not always possible, or even necessary. Evaluate the usefulness of everything in your garage and discard items you no longer want or need. Sort through all of your tools and home maintenance supplies, and separate items into those you can sell, donate, throw away or recycle. Seriously, if you haven't used it in a year, you can probably get rid of it.
3. Sort and label garage items
Getting organized may seem like the hard part but the real test is to stay organized. Labeling boxes and containers eliminates the frustration of rummaging through all of your belongings to find one specific item. Put similar items into categories (i.e. tools, holiday decorations, etc.) so you will be able to maintain an efficient organizational system and keep the clutter off the garage floor or shelving spaces.
4. Safety first
You don't leave your cleaning chemicals or knives on the kitchen floor or counter so don't leave hazardous chemicals and power tools in the open in the garage. Your kids may get into them out of curiosity and, if the chemicals are near the tools, the chemical containers can easily get damaged and leak. Since you're already sorting through your garage items, be sure to keep potentially hazardous chemicals secured in a lockable tool chest or cabinet for extra caution. Additionally, make sure that any power tools with an on/off switch are stored securely out of your children's reach.
5. Increase storage with sturdy cabinets and shelving
Because paint cans, tools and other bulky items will be stored in the garage, it's important that cabinets and shelving are sturdy enough to support the extra weight. Not all cabinets are built the same and it's important that you understand the construction behind your cabinet and the weight limitations. A proper storage solution can organize your items and keep them out of site. An important note when purchasing garage cabinets – make sure the doors will open when your car is parked in the garage.
More organization and home safety tips
To schedule a free in-home consultation with a Closets by Design pro, visit www.closetsbydesign.com or call 800-293-3744.