Monday, March 23, 2009

get your garage in order

The weather is getting warmer and people are slowly making their way outside to start on some yard work…only to find that their garages are so cluttered and cramped that they can’t get to any of their yard tools.

Can you relate? Are you unable to move through your garage at all, never mind trying to park a car in there? Following the tips below will have your garage looking so good--your neighbors will want to hire you to do theirs! Here are some tips to help you reclaim your garage from the clutter:

1. Garage Function: The first step to reclaiming your garage is to decide how you are going to use your garage. For instance, will you be setting up a workbench area? Will you need storage space for extra canned goods, paint supplies and so forth? How about yard care storage? Oh yes, I almost forgot, parking the car!

2. Gather Your Tools: For this activity, your tools will consist of large trash bags, several boxes and a marker. The trash bags are for trash. Each of the boxes should be labeled as follows: donate, goes elsewhere, recycle and garage. You will likely need several boxes labeled garage.

3. Divide and Conquer: Divide your garage into quadrants or sections. You can divide it into as many sections as you like. Your plan should be to take small 'bites' out of the clutter and disarray. Once you have decided how large your sections will be, decide on how long you would like to spend in each section.

4. Section completion. At the end of your designated time period, take out the trash. Put the items for donation into your trunk to deliver them to your favorite charity drop-off on your next errand run that takes you by the charity. Put away the items that you put into the 'goes elsewhere' boxes. Take a well-deserved rest and be sure that you reward yourself for all of your hard work.

5. Repeat: Continue the steps above until you have made your way through your entire garage…this may take several days and/or weeks! Continue to get rid of trash and donated items, and keep stacking those boxes labeled “garage”

6. Zones: Once you have completed the de-cluttering, it is time to decide where your 'zones' or 'centers' will be. For instance, if you have a workbench zone, a yard care zone, and a pantry spillover zone, you need to plot out the 'footprint' of each zone. Once this is complete, it is time to move to the next step.

7. Garage boxes: Now is the time to address the boxes labeled 'garage'. Begin by sorting these items into boxes labeled with your 'zones'. Do not toss any of the emptied boxes just yet. You may need more for each zone.

When you have everything put away in each zone-- viola, you will have reclaimed you garage! Congratulations! Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

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