Garages have so many uses which are different from what the space was intended for…parking your car. They serve as laundry facilities, garden sheds, holiday decoration storage, home gyms, sports equipment storage, bicycle parking, workshops, household overflow and garbage can storage. It is no wonder that sometimes we can’t fit the car in there!
Clients struggle with getting started on organizing the garage for several reasons. Garages can be overwhelming. Garages tend to be dirtier and dustier than the rest of the house. Garages have that “out of sight, out of mind” thing about them. It is much easier to hide garage clutter from visiting friends and family, therefore it is easy to also postpone uncluttering. Furthermore, because garages serve all family members, often multiple family members need to present to make decisions about what stays and what goes.
If you are considering a garage project, read Barry Izsak’s great book called Organize Your Garage in no Time. It details step by step, how to tackle your garage. At Simplify Experts we use many of the same strategies outlined in this book. First, we work with clients to understand how they want to utilize their garage space. Will it be used for parking or as a workshop and storage? Once we understand the needs of the client, we begin by tackling the most problematic area, although as Barry Izsak points out, there is no “correct” area where to begin. We sort and categorize as we move through the entire space. Once all the items are sorted – all sports equipment together, all tools together, etc. – we look for redundancies and downsize no longer wanted or needed items. Lastly, we assign a home to each item that best fits the needs of the client. Avid, frequent campers will want their equipment more accessible than a family who camps once every three years. Clear plastic bins will hold smaller items and they will be clearly labeled for easy retrieval.
Barry Izsak’s book is an excellent source of not only step by step instructions on tackling a garage, but also of inspiring ideas of the potential design of your garage space. He details a variety of great storage solutions, from the very basic to the very high-end. He discusses strategies for organizing basements, attics and outdoor sheds. He even talks about how to have a successful garage sale. This book is a valuable resource whether you decide to tackle your space alone or with a professional.
It is important to remember that garages which took several years to fill up will take some time to organize. Uncluttering a small defined area may be all that is achievable in one day. If you have time constraints, working with a professional organizer can help save you a lot of time. Our services include taking donations to the appropriate site. Sometimes we make several trips to Goodwill in one client session. We can take away cardboard for recycling as well as old electronics for proper disposal. Whatever your goals are for your space, the Simplify Experts team has the knowledge and experience to help you realize those goals. It can be done, if we just get started!