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Put a Full-Court Press on Organizing Your Garage

Put a Full-Court Press on Organizing Your Garage

If your garage is anything like mine, it bulges with boxes of old trophies, school memorabilia, paint cans, garden supplies, coolers, and just about anything you can imagine, barely leaving room for one car to park. With the spring rites of renewal, there’s no time like the present to organize everything you need for home projects with extra room for two cars.

Maid Right house cleaners and de-clutter guru Peter Walsh have some good suggestions to help you transform your garage from maddening to miraculous.

Develop a game plan

Begin the process with a strategy to pull everyone in your family together and set expectations about cleaning and removing the things you just don’t use any longer. Figure out what goes, what stays and what needs to be talked out as a group.

F.A.S.T. – break

F: Fix a time. This is not a job to undertake alone. You need to get all your family members to help out. Figure out a time that works for the majority and get started.

A: Discard anything not used in 12 months. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you can do without it. If you’re having trouble letting go, ask yourself these questions:

• Do I use this?
• How long has it been since I’ve used it?
• Will I use it again?
• Is it worth the space it takes up in my house?

Remember to get stuff out of your home, not to relocate it to another room. Don’t spend time inventing reasons to keep these things.

S: Stuff that’s not yours. It’s bad enough when clutter is your own, but it is totally crazy when the clutter belongs to someone else. Return what’s borrowed; let go of the ex’s belongings; and if your children have homes of their own, tell them to come get their stuff.

T: Toss it. The trash is your friend. But not everything is dump worthy. Designate areas in your yard with signs marked:

• Donate
• Recycle
• Clutter to cash
• Trash

Remember the goal: You only want to keep things that you use and can be organized in the space you have.

ZONE offense

Every good team needs a solid zone attack. Once you’ve assigned your keep, donate, and trash piles, take a look at what needs to be returned to the garage. Divide your space into zones or categories — lawn/yard machines, tools, ladders and pool supplies, or theme — gardening, athletics, home improvement, etc.

Items that need a routine check and clean-up include paints, tools and project materials. If you bought items for a specific project and completed it, chances are the leftovers are simply space hogs. Beware of hazardous materials and how you’re storing them. Dispose of items properly and make sure your garage is equipped with the same smoke and CO2 detectors you have inside your home.

Finally, look to that 3-point shot: the upper zone is great space! A good shelving unit and hooks that hang items from the ceiling (when installed properly) are great maximizers of space.

A solid game plan, driving the fast breaks and tending to the zones can turn a monumental job of garage organizing into courtside magic before the final buzzer sounds.