Don’t treat your garage as a storage shed. Give it some space to turn it into a prime indoor parking spot for your vehicle or a workspace for art, tinkering, wood making and whatever other hobbies you’re into. With spring around the corner, there’s no better time to give your garage the TLC that it deserves. Use these tips to make sense of the mess to help yourself get organized.
Don’t let the colossal clutter overwhelm you. Keep it simple by following some universal organizational advice. For example, organize by category rather than size. If you’re storing tools in a shoebox, you don’t want to stack it with other boxes that actually contain shoes. Separate them by placing the box with your other tools.
Another practical starting tip is to store items based on seasonality or frequency of use. With warmer days ahead, save yourself from future hassles by placing camping equipment within arm’s reach. And don’t bury board games at the bottom of a pile of paint cans.
You should also consider using clear bins to store some goods. It’ll save the guesswork of knowing what’s inside. Stock up on storage boxes at Walmart to earn 2% in reward dollars through AMA Rewards eStore.
If that junk pile is, overwhelmingly, eating up your precious garage space, help is also a phone call or a click away. AMA members can save 20% on junk removal from Just Junk.
CREATE THE GARAGE SPACE YOU NEED
While you can’t increase the size of your garage, you can still create space inside. A great way to do that is to stack vertically, placing items on top of each other. Think Tetris, but without the disappearing blocks. Just make sure you’re not crushing anything at the bottom of the pile. Another tactic is installing wall mounts for items you can hang, like bicycles and power tools. Cabinets or shelves can also accomplish a lot in space management, and they’re easy to hang.
THE SECOND SEASON OF GIVING
Now for the most challenging part: deciding what to keep. First, you don’t have to throw anything in the trash. There are nearby donation centres that will happily accept unwanted items. If you have cans of non-perishable food that you can’t see yourself opening any time soon, consider donating to a local food bank. And if there’s anything of significant value that’s too large to store correctly, you could also rent a storage unit.
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LISTEN TO THE LABEL
One crucial thing that should never get lost in the shuffle of spring-cleaning is hazardous materials. Alberta’s shifting temperatures can cause volatile reactions in many chemicals commonly stored in garages. Such changes could result in glass containers shattering, leading to a chemical spill. Inspect everything by safely opening containers or checking expiration dates on old paint, oils or other automotive fluids. You could also take preventative measures like storing climate-sensitive materials in cabinets or wrapping spare car batteries in insulated covers not to freeze and crack during colder months.
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