5 Tips To Reclaiming Your Garage

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Garage Storage

The garage is one of the hardest working areas of your house. It is often the protector of seasonal items, tools, gardening supplies, toys, sports equipment and maybe if your lucky…a car.

The challenge for many people is that the garage is a vast open space that is begging to be filled. Without a practical system in place, the garage is destined to become a dumping ground for any random items without a home.

Before long, the walls of your once big open space feel as though they are closing in on you with clutter.

The thought of organizing your garage can be a daunting task.  I’ve developed a five-step process to help remove the guesswork (and hopefully some of the stress), allowing you to reclaim your garage.

  1. Define your Goals: Before you begin tearing everything apart, I recommend writing down what purpose you want the space to serve. Are you looking to store tools? Kids toys? Seasonal Storage bins? Gardening supplies?  Perhaps all of the above. Once you define how you want the space to function it will be easier for you to map out a layout of where thing should go and how much space you have to work with.
  2. Practice your Organizing ESP: For those of you who don’t know my acronym ESP, it stands for Empty, Sort, and Purge; my 3-step process for tackling any organizing project. After years of organizing spaces for clients, I truly believe that the best way to organizing any space is to first clear it out, sorting as you go and purging unwanted items along the way.
  3. Define Zones: Clutter accumulates when items get “co-mingled”. You want your space to make sense and zoning (keeping “like with like”) is the easiest way to keep order.  How many times have you walked into your garage looking for something that you know you have but can’t seem to find?  Creating zones eliminates unnecessary frustration, saves time, not to mention money.
  4. Purchase the right products: Many people make the mistake of purchasing organizing products too early in the process. It isn’t until you go through your Organizing ESP will you know what items truly need to “live” in the garage. The last thing you want to do is add any additional clutter by investing in the wrong products.
  5. Maintenance: The key to organizing any space is implementing a practical system that is easy to maintain.  Keep in mind that there is no universal system that works for everyone.  Take into consideration how you and your family function, and be realistic with the expectations you set. Overcomplicating only sets you up for failure. The easier the system is to follow, the more likely everyone will be to stick with it.

Having an organized garage is something that most people dream about. Following these five steps can help turn that dream into a reality.  If all else fails, consult an expert.  Check out our gallery of before and after photos for a sample of our garage transformations.

 

Laurie Palau

Laurie Palau is the founder of simply B organized, author of the book HOT MESS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO GETTING ORGANIZED, and host of the weekly podcast, This ORGANIZED Life. She is a go-to Organizing Expert whose advice has been featured in The New York Times Parenting Section, Family Circle, and Home + Table Magazine. Laurie can also be seen sharing tips on the CBS Philadelphia’s Morning Show & WFMZ. She lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband, 2 daughters, and 2 dogs.

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