The garage– often the largest “room” in a home, but rarely the most organized. If you’re ashamed to open your garage door in front of the neighbors, consider the strategy below to organize and divide your garage into 6 useful zones.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you’ve already completed the hardest steps in organizing your garage. You’ve cleaned it out entirely. You’ve sold or thrown away everything except the items you actually use and need. You’re ready to put things back where they belong, and you’re determined to never let your garage fall into chaos and clutter again. How do you accomplish this seemingly impossible task?
As with any large space, the best way to organize (and stay organized) is to breakup the area into smaller zones– with each zone having a particular purpose.
1. First establish the transition area in your garage. Your transition area (generally near the entry door to the house) will be the space that’s reserved for hanging coats and taking off boots, with a spot to place packages, groceries or mail when you’re opening the door. This area will help you move easily from inside to outside and vice versa.
2. Next, determine the need it now zone. This zone (also generally located near the home entry door) is ideal for household overflow storage and will provide quick and easy access to the things you use often– dog food and leash, extra soft drinks, paper towels, small tools, and a place for recyclables.
3. Zone #3 is the area along your garage side-walls. Long, tall, thin items such as rakes, brooms, shovels and other tools can be stored here. A slotwall or pegboard system which employs a variety of hooks, baskets, and tool holders makes this often underutilized area useful again.
4. Large item storage is your next zone. Use this area for bulkier objects and for those items that can be kept out of the way for months at a time– like snow tires and camping equipment.
5. Frequently used items will be placed near the garage door. Items such as sports equipment and bicycles go here. Lawn and garden items such as bird seed, bug spray and lawn fertilizer can also be stored in this easy to access, convenient zone.
6. The final zone is your passion center. Make this the heart of your hobby area– reserved for working on what you love most. Whether you garden or fish, work with wood or work on your car, you can set up a perfect place in your garage that will provide the space for you to organize your tools and equipment. While the majority of your garage is dedicated to storage, this area is dedicated to you.
Now that you’ve cleaned, organized, and subdivided your garage space into 6 logical and useful zones, take a bow. Throw open that garage door and bask in the glow of admiring (and envious) neighbors. You deserve it!
By Chris Rasure