Posted by on 12/30/2019 to Let's Talk: Relax, Soak and Unwind after Work
Reducing Stress the Old Fashion Way - Part VIII: How to Organize & Arrange your Garage
When we started this blog, our main objective was/is to make your life simpler by providing not only products to help you relax by also providing our viewers and readers with information that they could rely on to live a more stress-free life. One of the concepts I really love to talk about is that of being organized, as I believe it has truly helped me be where I am today. Without organization, my life would be upside down, and without structure, I don't believe my days would run as smoothly as they do. This is really the reason we started this "how to organize" series. This particular blog post is a sequel to our previous post on how to clean out your garage. The information that follows, we hope will help you to learn how to organize your garage a little bit better, which may ultimately help you function in your daily routines.
Usually we begin our discussion on "organizing" with information about emptying your cabinets, emptying your pantry or your closet, etc.. However, because we covered "How to Clean Out your Garage" in a previous post, we're really going to spend this time discussing as if you are now cleaned out and ready to starting organizing your garage. Below we will discuss the process, and in a separate post discuss some really cool gadgets and organizers out there on the market these days to help with organizing your garage successfully.
"Take Time & Get Help"
The first piece of advice I can offer to you is to get some help with this project, again this is usually not a 1-day event, this is an entire weekend or multiple weekends in a row to complete this kind of job. Getting help will only decrease your stress and improve your workload. When & if you do get help to organize your garage, remember these tips:
- Have a plan that you have already set in your mind, or direction you want to go. Have a day-1 plan, day-2 plan and so on.
- Don't be afraid to listen to suggestions from others if they have ideas or maybe they have recently organized a garage as well.
- Give your team some direction. Have one person doing measuring and another cutting, while you are doing most of the thinking!
- Take breaks every 2 hours. Give your self a rest every now and then, but not too long or you may just not want to get restarted, : )
Okay, so you've got the help you need, the next step in how to organize your messy garage, is all about categorizing. This technique is popular for 2 reasons and we talk about it all the time. Categorizing is easy and it works! Those are the two reasons, and even if you don't use if for every part of the process it can be a great way to get your mind going and give you some direction of where to start. So what are some examples of categories:
- Sports Equipment
- Lawn care
- Seasonal equipment
- Seasonal clothing
- Holiday decorations
- Things that can hang
- Things that can sit nicely on a shelf
- Small items
- Large items
- Items I use every weekend vs. Items I use once a year
This is what I mean by categorize. Link like things together. Some items will/could/should have multiple categories. For example, a bike, may be considered a "large item" in your garage depending on the size of your garage, and it's also an item that you can hang in multiple locations to save space.
* Tip: Feel out items that could possibly store better somewhere in your house and vice versa. Maybe there are items that truly should be in the house vs. taking up space in your garage.
Whether you are tackling your entire garage at one time or focusing on individual sections, using categories can be beneficial to the end product and helping you truly organize your garage for your style of living.
"location, location, location"
Easy, right? Where in the heck am I going to put all of these items. This is the time when we have to start thinking smart. What is realistically going to fit where, so that when I need, it I can actually get to it and use it. There is nothing more frustrating then having a beautiful, time-saving, easy piece of equipment and spending 2 hours trying to get to it, or having to pull everything out to to get to one item. Think to yourself:
- Was there something in the garage before, that just didn't fit, or that may need more storage area?
- Is or was there something that took up to much space for where it was stored in the first place?
- Can I hang something up that before took up to much square footage?
- Can I start small and then work the bigger items in later or vice versa?
Plan it out, do a quick sketch, I'm serious, nothing fancy, but just to get an idea of how you want to create your space...
"Categorized, Plan in Place, Now Increase the Pace"
At this time you should have everything out of your garage and in separate groups or categories. These items may be on your front lawn, driveway, porch, or wherever you have space, but you should have an idea of what is going to be stored with what. You have a complete map of your space in your head and in front of you! The pace should now increase, because you're going to be either starting to move things back into the garage or you're going to be installing cabinets, drawers, modular devices, hooks, racks, or shelving of some sort to house these items.
We've said it in pretty much all of our organizational posts, use your vertical space. If you have not used the vertical space in your garage, you have to take advantage of it. What can you place on your walls? Here is a list:
- Hanging system
- Overhead stores or hooks designed for the ceiling of your garage (make sure to check weight limits on these and that they are secured in a stable area).
- Shelving that you can sit items on or sliding storage racks.
- DIY fishing Rod holder using old PVC piping.
- Take advantage of stack-able bins.
- Purchase entire storage systems or kits that you can do yourself!
- Use every square inch by purchasing corner shelving and/or storage tubes.
There are literally thousands of products out there, and even more ideas. You can even customize entire walls. Here are a few of my favorite videos that give you some great garage organizational hacks:
a. Garage Organizational Hacks!
b. How to Organize your Messy Garage!
c. DIY Fishing Rod Holder!
To Store or Not to Store!
- Stay away from storing paint in your garage. Overtime the weather can ruin perfectly good usable paint. Money Wasted!
- Pet Food - If you have to store this in your garage, make sure it is in a sealed container so other animals or small rodents can't get hold of it.
- Propane tanks - For obvious reasons right. You run the risk of even just a small leak in the valve could be disastrous!
- Canned Food - Some canned food if exposed to freezing cold temperatures and not ideal temperatures will have a shorter shelf life. Be sure to read storage instructions on all of these products before storing.
- Certain appliances like the refrigerator - As it get hotter and temperatures rise in the summer months so will your bill. Why you ask? Well your refrigerator is responsible for keeping a certain temperature and has to work that much harder and used that much more energy during the summer months to keep the temperature properly controlled.
- Be careful with electronics - These can also be items when subjected to the cold they may be effected negatively. Don't take any chances with these expensive items.
- Clothes/Sheets/Blankets - All of these items should be stored in the house if possible. They make perfect spots for animals to build small nests. If you have to, make sure they are stored in some sort of closed unit that is animal proof.
- Fragile items for obvious reasons
Thanks so much for coming and visiting us here at RN to Zen. We hope these organizational tactics and tips will make for a easier flowing and functional lifestyle and inevitably less stress in your life. Hope to have you again so. Feel free to share this post on social media if you'd like.