When garages become the dumping ground for sporting goods, garden tools, toys and hardware, where do you put your car?
“Without a doubt, the garage is one of the most disorganized, out-of-control places in the home,” says Barry Izsak, author of Organize Your Garage in No Time (Que Publishing, 2005). “It’s ironic, because it’s also the one room where the door is open daily for the whole world to see.”
Izsak says the garage is tough to keep clean is because it’s shared by the entire family. He offers four steps for taming its storage needs:
1. Define your zones. Divide the garage into sections for sporting goods, tools and outdoor equipment. The Rubbermaid Corner Tool Tower ($27.99, Rubbermaid.com) maximizes space and keeps tools close together.
2. Clear the clutter. Start with easy decisions, such as tossing the VCR, rusty wheelbarrow and too-small puppy crate. Making unemotional choices will quickly clear space.
3. Sort. Weed out excess and duplicates. Consider the Stalwart 30-Bin Wall-Mounted Parts Rack ($29.95, Walmart.com) to containerize and label small things.
4. Maintain. Return items to their proper homes. The U.S.A.-made Wall Control Metal Pegboard Basic Tool Organizer Kit ($120, HomeDepot.com) provides adjustable space for a variety of tools. And when you see clutter starting to form, immediately address it. “Even the best system won’t last if you don’t stick to it,” he says.