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Organize + Energize: Kick Off Your Spring Cleaning in the Garage

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

 

If you're using your garage to store everything but the car, it's time to regain control with these tips. Photo: dorofo2504/flickr

Spring has sprung! We had a rough winter. How many times did you kick yourself because you didn’t clean out and organize your garage before winter arrived? How did it feel to wake up after a snow storm and have to clean off your car?

How many times have you driven through a neighborhood and seen a garage stuffed full of items without any space for a car? Not all of us have the luxury of having a garage, and believe it or not, it is a luxury. Many people who have that luxury usually end up filling their garages to the brim with clutter and never even park their car(s) in them. I wonder where all the stuff would go if they never had a garage in the first place?

Why does the garage always seem to get cluttered? It’s another empty spot just waiting to get filled with stuff. You may be organizing the house and don’t know where to put something, so it gets thrown in the garage. Before you know it, the place where you used to park your car is now filled with clutter.

Spring is a great time of year to tackle this project. Do it now and you will be ready for next winter. Wouldn't it be wonderful to park your car in the garage? If there are other people who utilize the garage, enlist everybody that has contributed to the clutter and have them help on the day of this project.

Here are 5 tips to get your garage organized:

1. Everything, yes EVERYTHING, must come out of the garage!

You will not know what you have if you just shift items around. There are probably items in the corner of the garage that you forgot you had!

2. As you take items out, decide what you are tossing, selling, keeping or moving to a new spot.

Do not move out of the area you are working in. If you move out of the garage back into the house, I guarantee you will not go back outside. Stay in the garage area and just make a pile for things that need to go in other areas. Move those items to the other areas after you have completed this project. Keep in mind, if you have items that were borrowed, make a pile and return them to their owner.

3. As you empty the garage, place the items you are keeping in categories on the lawn.

This will help to get you ready to create your organized systems.

4. Once you have your empty space, take a step back and think about how you want to function going forward.

Maximize your space. Get creative. Can you utilize overhead space for seasonal items? Figure out if you need to contain smaller items in bins. Be sure to label.

5. Organize items back into garage according to the frequency of use.

Organize everything, even lawn tools. Utilize wall space for hanging items Think about how frequently you grab certain items.

It’s going to be a wonderful feeling once you have your garage back! You have this brand new empty space. What are you going to do with this empty space? Park your cars!

Did you know it’s against the law in San Francisco to park anything but your car in the garage? You could get fined up to $500. How many of you would have broken that law?

 

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.

 

Related Slideshow: 5 Organizing Blunders

Avoid these mistakes and your project will take less time than you expected. You won’t be as stressed or as overwhelmed as you anticipated. You will be amazed at what you have accomplished. You will be motivated and energized to tackle another project.

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Not planning ahead

Getting organized is a process and you have to have a plan on how to conquer your project. You can’t tear apart an entire room all at once. You need to break the project down into small pieces. Plan to tackle your project in 3-hour increments. If you work longer than 3 hours at a time, you are setting yourself up for burnout. Plan ahead to try to avoid distractions and stay focused.

Click here for more tips on how to avoid distractions.

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Purchasing the incorrect supplies

I know you are excited to get organized, but don’t rush out to the store and purchase products just because you like the way they look. Get organized first. Figure out what you need to contain, and then purchase your container to match the items you need it to hold.

Click here for more on choosing the right container.

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Not letting others know about your system

Once you set up the organized system, you have to get everybody in your home on board. Show them the systems and how you are going to function with this system going forward. Label everything if you must, so everybody gets in the habit of putting items away. Remember, the simpler the system, the easier it’s going to be to maintain.

Need help creating those systems? Go here.

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Not maximizing your space

Use every inch of space and use it well. Take everything out of the area you are organizing. You can’t get a clear visual of the space if it is filled with clutter. Shifting items around is not going to work.

Here are more tips on maximizing your space.

Prev Next

Repeatedly clearing spaces

You are creating more work for yourself if you continue to clear spaces once a month. Create a system and allow everything in your home to have its own place, and you will never have to clear a space again.

Prev Next

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.

 
 

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