With the weather warming up outside, more people are thinking about cleaning up their yards, kids are getting out their bikes and people are noticing that their garages are a mess. As I started thinking about this, it made me think about a variety of garages.
I started thinking of my grandparent’s garage. They had a one car garage. They always had a Cadillac and it was always pulled in the garage. We lived down the street when I was little so I could ride my bike down to visit whenever I wanted. I thought my grandpa was awesome. He had a rose garden with the most amazing rose bushes. He fed squirrels daily – out of his hand. He also had a fantastic garden with sweet corn. I loved to play on the magnolia tree which was near his garden. With all of these gardening hobbies, he needed a place for his yard tools. He kept them in the garage. The garage had a little room added in the back that was his 1970’s version “man cave”. I remember being curious about the garage and wanting to explore in the back room. Unfortunately, I was not allowed. When the garage door was open, you knew grandpa was probably working in the back room or somewhere in his yard.
Then I started thinking about my own garage and all the garages on my street. I live in a neighborhood where several of the homes were built in the late 1920’s. Most of the garages are single car garages and function for most people as over-sized sheds. The garages are also at the back of the house and not attached so you have to drive all the way past the house to get into the garage. We are lucky because we have a two car garage and we can actually park two cars in our garage. It’s functional and practical but that is about it. The nice thing about the garages on our street is that they are in the back and out of sight.
In the newer neighborhoods, the garages are up in front and center. They are attached to the houses (how convenient is that when you are trying to unload your groceries in the rain). They usually have room for 2 cars and maybe even a 3rd or a little space for storage. I love the ones that have a little space for the recycling and trash cans, but I digress with my garage story. What saddens me about these garages is that a lot of people go into the garage with the remote, close the garage door behind them & never come back out. However, I have noticed that many parents will pull out lawn chairs and sit in their driveway & watch the kids play.
This is where it gets interesting – some parents have their garage doors open for the world to see into their garage. The garage holds all sorts of stuff from kid toys, sports equipment, lawn and garden tools etc. It can be a pretty messy & disorganized place – maybe they are embarrassed about their garage. Maybe they want to set up the garage for a relaxing place to watch the kids play while also still being functional.
So if you decide you want to clean the place up and get organized so you can enjoy more time outdoors & maybe kick back in a lawn chair, here are a few tips:
-Take inventory of what is in your garage.
-Decide what should NOT be in your garage
-Determine if there is anything not currently in your garage that should live in the garage during the off-season (i.e. patio furniture/cushions/flower pots/grills)
-Set aside some time to work on cleaning out the garage, well at least a few hours (depending on the amount of stuff in your garage, maybe an entire weekend!)
My best “clean-out” method is to start taking it all out of the garage! Be careful, your neighbors might think you are having a garage sale. Start putting “like” items together (i.e. all the kid toys, car cleaning stuff, pool toys) into various piles. As you are pulling out stuff, note what might be broken, what you don’t use or what you are just not sure about (put all that stuff in their own piles)
If you have gone through everything in the garage and are ready to put it all back in, you will need to have a plan on where to put everything. You will want to put things where they are easy to get (i.e. if you need to take the trash cans to the curb each week, you will want to have the cans near the overhead door so you can get to them easily.)
Like Items Together:
Car Cleaning Supplies
Pool toys/Sand Toys
Proper Storage - It’s easier to store things in your garage if you have proper storage.
Cabinets and Shelves – One 48” wide cabinet can easily manage car washing items, gas & oil cans for outdoor power equipment, gardening and lawn care chemicals, paints and thinners as well as antifreeze, washer fluids and other automotive chemicals. Getting it all behind doors so you don’t have to look at it.
Mud “Room” Area – If you don’t want all the coats, sports gear and muddy shoes inside the house, we can design a space in the garage for these things. Below is a picture of a storage area we created for a client of ours.
Wall Systems – Organization wall systems are great for storing bikes, golf clubs, leaf blowers, rakes, snow shovels. Getting items up off the floor can increase your space in the garage.
If you take some time to clean out the garage this spring and decide you need better storage, give us a call to help you design storage that will work for you and your family. Getting your garage organized might give you and your friends some room to hang out while the kids run around and play outside. Give us a call at 544-4432.