Saturday, April 11, 2009

an organized garage

The following is a great weekend project from Scott's Common Sense Community:

Depending on what part of the country you live in, your garage may have to pull double- or triple-duty, serving as a basement, laundry room, recycling center, workshop, gardening center or tool shed. Some of you may even park your car in your garage!

If you need to make room for all the things and activities your garage houses, you may have to be a little ruthless. A good rule of thumb is if you haven't used it in the last year, get rid of it. Sell it, donate it or recycle it.

Once you have gotten rid of everything you don't need, here's how you keep the rest of it neat and organized:

Install shelves and hooks.
Today's home and garden centers offer a variety of shelving systems strong enough (¾ inch or more) to hold power tools, as well as bars of hooks that hold rakes, shovels, hoes, ladders, lawn chairs, wheelbarrows and the like. Using these systems will create more working space on the floor and eliminate the danger of these heavy items tipping over on you.

Stack smartly.
Keep heavier items on the bottom shelves, and put items that can harm small children well above their reach or in cabinets with locks or child safety devices.

Be creative.
A shower organizer can hold spray bottles and a roll of SCOTT® Towels, and give you room to hang small gardening tools. Old cabinets from a remodeled kitchen or bath can be rescued and installed in the garage. Pegboards installed along the wall work equally well with small hand tools or garden tools.

Don't forget the ceiling space.
You can install ceiling-mounted shelves to store larger items. Bikes can hang from ceiling-mounted hooks, and other sporting equipment can be stored in baskets hanging from the ceiling.

Evaluate your lighting.
Is your lighting adequate for all of the chores you have to do in your garage? Good lighting ensures a pleasant, less stressful working environment and helps you avoid the danger of misidentifying or misusing a dangerous chemical.

Safety first.
Don't store gasoline (for the lawn mower or snow blower) or other flammable liquids in a garage that's attached to the house. Keep volatile liquids and old rags used with these liquids away from your newspaper recycling pile. Better yet, use SCOTT® Towels and toss them immediately, so you don't have dirty rags to deal with. Make sure your door locks securely to discourage robberies and to prevent neighborhood kids from getting into poisonous materials, such as antifreeze.

If you want to get rid of something that might be considered a hazardous material (old paint or household chemicals), don't toss it in the regular garbage. Call your city hall or check your city's website to find out about your local ordinances and resources for disposing those materials.

If you've taken advantage of all of these tricks and still have no room for your car, you might want to consider getting a storage barn!

What are your tricks for keeping your garage organized?

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