Garage Organization for Families

Make the garage a functioning addition to your home -- for the whole family.

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The family garage is a great space for working on projects, storing seasonal goods and housing sporting equipment. But often this space is so overrun with those things that you mean to get to at some point and just never seem to have the time. Professional organizer and frequent Mission: Organization guest Kristin Long offers web-exclusive tips so that instead of underutilizing this space, you create a functioning addition to your home by following these few simple steps.

The Basics

Plan: Due to the nature of some of the items stored in the garage you may want to get an outside storage container to temporarily house your goods. This way you don't have to move the lawn tools into the house in order to find space to sort.

Prepare: Before diving in, look around at all the items you have. Develop categories for those items and then sort your goods into those categories. Examples of categories include Car Care, Lawn Care, Household Storage, Seasonal Storage, Sporting Equipment and Tools.

When putting items back into the garage, make sure to put similar items near each other and then label the location for each category, making it much easier to find your belongings. This may seem obvious, but I have seen many garages where the nails were stored in the opposite corner of the hammer, or the seasonal goods were mixed in with various memorabilia.

Paint: A new coat of paint can really help change the overall atmosphere in the garage. Be sure to use exterior paint in order to withstand the fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

Details

Kids Activity Center: Include the whole family when developing a plan for your garage. Have an area for each family member to store their items. That way they know where to find and put away their own things.

Workbench: A workbench is crucial for most garages. It provides needed workspace and a place to take care of those home projects, instead of using the floor. Even a small garage can include workspace with a drop down workbench.

Hooks and Ladders: The larger tools, such as shovels or ladders, are difficult to store on shelves. A great way to get them up out off the floor is to use hooks and hang them on the wall or from the ceiling. Just make sure you can reach the ladder--you don-t want to have to use a ladder to put up or take down a ladder.

Finishing Touches

Labels: Labeling is essential when reorganizing a garage. Without labels organizing and maintaining may be difficult. The key is to label the container, not the shelf where items are stored. That way if the container moves, the items are still put in the correct container.

Color Coordinate: Use color-coordinated crates and tote bags for each family members' items. Crates can be hooked to the wall with matching totes below for easy grab-and-go storage.

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