New Year's Day is traditionally viewed as a day of new beginnings. And one of the best places to start is with your garage storage.
Why there? Because most homes in the U.S. have an over-accumulation of junk stored in their garages instead of cars. And, more often than not, all that stuff isn't stored very well, so a garage storage "makeover" can be a big step towards organizing and decluttering the whole house!
Most of us use our garage as our primary household storage space unit.
In fact, depending on where you live, it's statistically probable that up to 80 percent of people with garages in your neighborhood actually use them to park their cars in. Most single-family homes have two-car garages, while many newer homes have been built with three-car units.
Nonetheless, most of these households cannot park one car in them, let alone two or three!
Have More (and Better) Garage Storage This Year
The problem with garage storage is how to best use the space that's available. It is not unusual for garages to be filled with stacks and piles of household belongings, tools, and junk. Another issue that makes storage a problem is that most garages have no shelving or closets.
But stacking boxes, storage containers and loose piles of stuff doesn't work well.
Making the best use of the available space is a challenging. You can't stack things in front of doorways into and out of the garage, and the large garage door must be avoided, as well. This usually means that unsightly, disorganized piles of stuff end up being crammed into the open area of the garage, with maybe a narrow path or two between doors.
This is, of course, highly inefficient, awkward to move around, and even dangerous. Piles can fall over and there is also increased fire danger as junk piles up. And, because most people tend to hold onto to things, this leads to more stuff in the garage, bigger piles, and less space.
Step One is Sorting Everything
This step may require literally clearing the driveway and using it as a staging area for separating all your things.
The folks at This Old House offer some great tips on getting started with the first step of cleaning and organizing your garage storage:
These garage storage ideas will help you get rid of anything you don’t need:
- Set aside at least a full day, or even a full weekend or two, to get the job done.
- Make decluttering a family project and invite over a few friends to pitch in, and it’ll go a lot faster.
- Go through absolutely everything, including boxes you didn’t unpack when you moved in—you never know where that family heirloom might be lurking.
- Sort all items into three piles: keep, donate or sell, and toss. Lay them on dedicated tarps or mark off areas of your driveway with chalk and place them there.
- What should get the boot: outgrown toys, items that are broken beyond repair, expired household chemicals (which may need special disposal), and anything you haven’t used in two years or more.
Ideally, you will have some substantial piles to take care of next. Once you have, you should try to take care of your sell and donate piles as soon as possible to minimize the piles collected in your driveway.
In addition to these piles, you may want to set aside items that you know are recyclable.
When you're ready to get rid of the "toss" piles (or piles!), calling a professional junk hauling firm like Junk King to take both your recyclable items as well as the "junk" items is a convenient and cost-effective alternative.
And it's safe. We believe that the health and safety of our family, friends, neighbors and coworkers is the number one priority when it comes to junk removal. By practicing social distancing and following guidelines from the CDC and WHO, we can all be safe and responsible members of our community.
Your Storage Strategy Plan
This next step is probably the most fun for many homeowners.
The available options for creating attractive and efficient garage storage are almost endless and several manufacturers offer "off-the-shelf" storage systems. (No pun intended!) And you can often have systems installed for you, or purchase and install them yourself.
There are also numerous low-cost DIY storage solution options. But the first step after sorting your things is to plan your storage. The folks at This Old House also have some tips on this:
Most manufacturers of garage-organizing systems offer free space planning, so use their services as you research how to store all your gear. Before buying anything, take down your garage's dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches, and receptacles, as well as how much space your car takes up. Then use the following rules of thumb as you assign things a home.
1. Items you use together, such as gardening tools and lawn chemicals, should be stored close to one another.
2. Put bulky equipment, like lawn mowers, in corners, where they won't get bumped or knocked over by your car.
3. Place frequently used items, like bikes, close to the garage door.
4. Stash seasonal or rarely used items in the hardest-to-reach spots.
Once you have everything sorted, junk items hauled away, and a storage plan in place, you can go to the final step: organizing!
Up Against the Wall!
One of the best strategies for effective and efficient storage is to get things off the floor and up against the walls. And this usually means having upright cabinets, shelving, or both.
You can start by organizing and storing everything that fits into clear plastic storage containers. This keeps things together instead of piled up loose, and the clear plastic allows you to quickly see and identify the contents later.
However, simply stacking plastic bins without cabinets or shelves is asking for disaster. Containers can only be stacked four or five high before creating a falling hazard. Storing them on shelves is or cabinets is a far more efficient and safer method.
The goal is "up against the wall", not "all over the floor."
Most residential garages are quite versatile and can support a variety of storage shelf options. And the space used for shelves is only limited by the type of shelves, the amount of wall space that is accessible, and the height of the ceiling.
Here's what the DIY Network website has to offer on this topic,
Think vertically when looking to give your garage storage items a home. Pegboards, cabinets, and overhead storage are all options for getting important storage and tools off the ground.
“Use your storage cabinets in a way that make sense to you. Put the least used items on the top and bottom shelves,” said Closets by Design of Nashville’s Sandra Sokol. “Store the items that you will want to access frequently in the middle shelves. Often baskets or even dividers can be added to our cabinets to allow for the perfect storage solutions for your items.”
Your Source for Residential Junk Hauling
As we said, Junk King believes in recycling as much junk material possible, so you can feel good that you're doing an environmentally friendly thing when you work with us.
We also send usable items to local non-profits and donation centers to help the community and reduce waste. One person’s unwanted furniture or electronics may do a stranger a world of good!
Our professional and insured trash removal team will show up at your home and we call 15minutes before we arrive on site. Once there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your items take up in our truck.
You simply point, and we haul your items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
Ready to get rid of that junk? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You can easily make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).