Making space for cars in the garage
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Monday, September 03, 2012
9/03/12 at 4:21 AM
Many homes have garages, but not all of them are actually used for what they're mostly intended: parked cars.
You might be one of those people who can't fit a car in your garage because of all the extra stuff inside, said Michelle Lehman, a Tulsa professional organizer, who owns Organizing Solutions.
"If you can't find a home for some of your stuff, it is going to end up in the garage," Lehman said. "And, if you are like me, I don't have attic space in my home to hide some of that stuff."
Organizing your garage gives you a great feeling of accomplishment, she said. Often, it's the first thing you see when you get home and the last thing you see before you leave, so "who wants that kind of memory or hello when you get home?"
Lehman and Monika MacIntyre, CEO of Checkmark Concierge, shared their tips for cleaning out your garage so that you might actually be able to use it for cars, not the junk you're hiding from guests when they visit.
Check the weather Make sure it's not going to rain the day you clean because you'll need to have the garage door up, MacIntyre said.
The door's up because you need to pull everything out of the garage to see the items and the remaining space with which you have to work.
"You will be shocked how much bigger it looks," Lehman said.
Take out the trash Decide what items are no longer useful, damaged or missing pieces, Lehman said, then fill up garbage bags. Recycle all the things you can, like newspapers, magazines, glass and aluminum.
Also, look around for a few items that are in good shape but you just don't use anymore - hello, garage sale.
Clean your garage, then sort your stuff Wash the walls, scrub the floors and, if you have windows, "pull out the Windex," Lehman said.
Divide items you want to keep into categories. Think of your garage as you would the inside of your home, Lehman said. Categories she suggested starting with include sports and equipment, lawn and garden, automotive supplies, tools, recycling and shoes.
Make the most of your space "Utilize vertical space and get creative," MacIntyre said. She recommended shelves and bins kept above your car.
You can shop for storage units and shelving at local stores like Garage Innovations, Lowe's, Home Depot. Target and Walmart, she said.
If you have the budget and room for shelves and hooks, that's great. If you don't, though, grab some totes from inside your house and some extra garbage cans and nails, Lehman said.
"I have used totes to keep the boys' basketballs, footballs and other sport stuff in to keep it separate," she said.
Another idea she has is to use an old laundry bin that has three sections. You could have one for balls, one for bats and the other for accessories.
Lehman had an old entertainment center that she couldn't give away, even with a "FREE" sign on it - and she used it for an organization solution.
"It holds my husband's fishing supplies, lanterns, baseball gloves, chalk and a bunch of other things - all while looking very attractive," she said.
For more tips on garage organization, check out tulsaworld.com/checkmark
Use an extra garbage can to hold rakes, shovels and other lawn equipment, said Michelle Lehman, owner of Organizing Solutions.
Hang squirt bottles on the lip of the can - products used to kill weeds or fertilize flowers, for example.
"It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work for you," Lehman said. The fact that the lawn equipment and supplies are together is all that matters.
If you like tools hanging on the wall but can't buy anything right now, use nails as a holder. Nail two nails into the wall to hold hammers, one nail to hold wrenches, two nails close together to hold screwdrivers - "you get the picture," she said.
If you’re a pack rat and attach sentimental
value to 20-year-old hammers
or clothes you know good and
well you’ll never wear again, invite a
bossy friend or two over to help you
throw stuff away or designate it for
Original Print Headline: Making room for cars in the garage
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
PRNEWSFOTO / ITW Brands