The changing of the seasons from Summer into Fall means much more than beautiful fall foliage – and we get some really beautiful color here in the Arlington area. As the weather cools, focus switches from summer activities such as camping, backpacking, and swimming to holiday fun and winter activities like skiing, ice skating and sledding. This time of transition also creates the perfect opportunity for organizing one of the spaces in your home that is often the most neglected: the garage!
If you’re looking at your garage and thinking that you have no idea where to start, here are three tips that will help you get started, get organized, and feel like you’ve got a whole new garage in just one afternoon. And if you don’t have a garage, these still work for attics, storerooms, rented storage spaces or other areas where clutter has taken over.
Fall Storage Tip #1: Be Prepared and Enlist Help
Organizing a large space can require proper planning and extra hands. Take the time to organize your family and/or friends to help you with this project. In order to utilize your time the most efficiently create a game plan the day before. Visualize how you would like the space to look and assign each person tasks that will make it happen. Having helpers who are unemotionally attached to all the clutter can also be a big help for sorting junk from treasure, and they can help you rid yourself of unnecessary items. This way you can make sure only the items that need to be stored will stay, and the rest can be relocated or donated.
Fall Storage Tip #2: Organize and Label
Group all similar items together according to your plan. This way you can prepare the items for their new locations. Once all the items are grouped together, put them into containers, on shelving, in loft areas, or on pegboards. Be sure to label all items so that they can easily be put back where they belong. Discard, donate or relocate any items that are no longer needed.
Fall Storage Tip #3: Clean and Maintain
Generally, if something looks tidy and neat we like to keep it that way. Take the time to clean items as you put them away and make sure the space itself is as clean as possible. Removing cobwebs or debris and touching up paint can help elevate this area’s importance equal to interior spaces. Once the garage or storage space is organized, create a maintenance plan to help everyone in your family stay on track with organization goals. Discuss with family members about returning items to their proper locations, and set up a ‘monthly’ check-up to make sure things are where they should be.