PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This cold nasty weather has most of us trapped inside, maybe even going a little stir crazy.
But it could be the perfect time to tackle a home project like organizing your garage.
In this week’s Angie’s List, Jim Donovan shows you some simple things you can do to get your garage in order.
One of the biggest problems with garages, people tend to fill them with just about anything, which can lead to a big mess and make it tough to find something when you need it.
“One great suggestion is to take advantage of hanging things on the wall, even suspending things from the ceiling. Hang your bikes from the ceiling and it will free up some floor space and make everything more organized. Also consider making zones like you would in a hardware store. You can create one area for the kid’s toys, one area for the garden items, one area for car stuff. That way everything is really easy to find,” said Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks.
If you don’t have the patience to go through everything yourself, you can certainly hire someone to help. Frequently home and garage organizers will offer free consultations.
“When looking for a professional organizer you want to do your research because it comes down to you having a good fit with that person. Are they going to be able to organize your items in a way that you’ll be able to sustain? Talking to them and talking about their system is going to be important. Unfortunately, there’s not licensing requirements for home organizers, but there are national trade associations that you can look for, for example, the National Association of Professional Organizers,” said Hicks.
More advice from Angie:
How to organize your garage:
• Purpose of the space: The first step is to define what the purpose is of that space. If you see conflicting stuff there that doesn’t meet the purpose of that space, you need to remove it.
• Start simple: Go through items in your garage and toss out or donate any items you haven’t used in two years.
• Go vertical: Get whatever you can off the floor and put into cabinets and shelving. This way you can have space on the ground for items like your lawnmower and you can clean the floor a lot easier. There are lots of ways to mount bicycles on the walls or ceilings. The ceiling is also a great place for seasonal items.
• Maximize wall space: By mapping out each wall in the garage, all the space is designated for something specific. One wall you could line with tall shelving and cabinets, the second could hold all hanging items, and the third would hold all large items that take up floor space. Bonus tip: to get more hanging tools in a small area, hang wider ends so that they alternate up and down. For example, fan rake up, snow shovel down.
• Group items together: Create zones as if you were in a hardware store. Group all garden items together or camping gear all in the same zone.
• Up off the floor: Anything that can be damaged from water should be off your garage floor. Also, any food on the floor invites critters. Put pet food, bird seed and grass seed in a tight, closed container. If you find yourself too overwhelmed with your garage organization, or keep procrastinating to start the project – consider hiring a professional organizer that bests suits you and your goals.
Angie’s List tips for hiring a professional organizer:
• Do your research: Typically a license is not required for a professional organizer so essentially anyone can say they can organize your home. It’s best to do your research and check if they belong to any professional organizations including the National Association of Professional Organizers.
• Let’s meet: Many professional organizers offer a no-charge, no-obligation consult which allows you to meet each other in person and identify what areas you are struggling with. Will they teach you ideas to stay clutter free once their services are complete? Do they specialize in garage organization?
• How do you charge? Professional organizers typically charge for their services by the hour or quote by project. Understand how costs are determined for the work you want done. Will the organizer make use of your bins and containers or will they charge you to buy their supplies?
• Are they green? An environmentally savvy organizer will look to recycle whenever possible and they can help inform you on what to do with hazardous waste in your area.