A garage tends to become a catch-all

FALLBROOK – Garages are coveted by homeowners, offering a space to park a car and protect it from the elements. But many people do not park a car in their garage, only to find the garage has become a home to clutter.

Garages tend to become the official catch-all of a home. When an item cannot be crammed into a hiding space elsewhere, it often ends up dumped into the garage, where it joins the long list of other abandoned items. That mess can quickly build up, and reclaiming garage space requires energy, time, organization, and a plan.

Organizing a garage will take some time. An entire weekend or two consecutive days may be necessary depending on the level of disarray. Taking everything out of the garage and going through the sorting process may take the most time. When sorting, separate any broken items, which can immediately be put in the trash. Examine things that have not been used in some time. If something hasn’t been missed, there’s a good chance that it can be donated or discarded. Create separate piles for donations and trash.

Move the items that will be kept into a separate pile. After all of the trash and donations are removed from the premises, one can look at what is remaining and begin planning out a more organized storage system.

Items that have infrequent use, such as holiday decorations, suitcases, and collectibles could go in attic space. Lawn and garden items could go in a shed in the backyard.

After completing the sorting process, look at the garage as a blank space and measure out the room available. At this point, invest in things that allow use of vertical space. Shelving, hooks and cabinetry will take things off of the floor, while storage units with doors can hide items that lack aesthetic appeal. Rolling tool caddies and cabinets can keep tools neat and organized.

A cabinet with a lock and key can be utilized for dangerous chemicals that need to be kept out of the hands of children and away from pets.

While the garage is empty, give the walls and floors a fresh coat of paint and improve the lighting in the garage. A brighter garage makes for a better work station.

For those who want extra help, there are professional garage organization companies that can come in and install custom cabinetry and work surfaces.

Organizing a garage can be tedious, but the reward is ultimately worth the effort.

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