If you cannot fit your car in your garage, you are not alone.
A full 75% of families in an anthropological study at UCLA could not park a car in their garages. If a similar study were conducted in the Midwest, the numbers might be slightly lower due to our cold winters and the fact that most Midwestern homes have basements.
At any rate, I am sure we can all find unwanted clutter in our garages after a busy summer.
Here are a few quick tips to get your garage in order before the weather turns cold:
1) Start with the Big Stuff
Take a look around your garage and see what are the largest items taking up space. Determine if these items deserve their own zone (see below) or if the items need to move on. Unwanted items can be sold, donated, recycled or trashed as a last resort.
2) Create Zones
Creating zones in your garage--or any area of the home--is a great way to reserve space for big items (like your car) and to be able to find those small items when you need them.
Some common zones found in garages include a place to park cars, a gardening bench, tool storage, bicycles and kid stuff. The key to keeping any of these zones tidy is to only allow related items in each zone.
3) Utilize Wall Space
One of the best ways to keep an organized garage is to utilize the wall space. This gets things off the floor and out of the way. While expensive garage systems with slat walls and cabinets are nice, there are a lot of cheaper options that will not cost you a bundle.
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to utilize the wall space in your garage is to hang items by two long nails. I learned this trick from my Grandfather and Father, who were quite organized in their day. Another "old timer" favorite is the peg board utilizing hooks and other accessories.
Just remember to thoroughly sort and purge your items before buying any organizing tools.
Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Carolyn will be presenting "Easy Organizing for Busy Families" at My Urban Toddler in Saline, Michigan on September 26, 2012 (childcare is available, check with My Urban Toddler for details). Register with My Urban Toddler by Wednesday, September 19, 2012.