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May 18: The Biggest Storage Space

Having a garage is a dream for some - somewhere to safely store their car, away from the weather and potential thieves - but many garages are filled with everything except a car! Or if the car does fit, it can be difficult getting in and out of the car because of the other things stored around it.

Garages tend to catch all of those "outdoor" activity items (bikes, sleds, skis, balls, nets, pool toys, etc.), as well as "project" items (hammers, shovels, rakes, paint cans and brushes, hoses, etc.). It can also hold seasonal decorations and other "miscellaneous" items.

If you use your garage to work on projects, your hand tools may be neatly organized on, over or under your work table. If you don't, you may have your hand tools in a tool box. Your yard tools may be leaning against a wall or laying on the floor, along with bikes, balls and boxes. Add to that half-used cans of paint, motor oil, plant food, mulch, etc. and it all whirls out of control!

There are so many efficient garage storage systems to choose from - plastic or metal shelving units, work tables, large tool chests on wheels, storage cabinets. There are wall-mounted systems to securely hold tools off of the floor, and ceiling mounted systems to hold sporting goods. If you have a tall ceiling, there are automatic lifting systems to help store items in a loft.

The best system of organization may be putting "like" items together. It's easier to find what you're looking for if it's all together. Depending on where you live, items in your garage can be exposed to extreme or fluctuating temperatures, moisture, humidity, dirt and dust. Storage bins with tight fitting lids helps to keep these out.

Pick a nice weather day to organize your garage. Pull out everything into the driveway to sort: keep, donate or trash. Hose out the garage (if it's really dirty) or sweep/vacuum (wear a mask!) and let dry why you sort items in the driveway. Hose or wipe down the items in the driveway that you plan to keep. Once the floor is dry, add new flooring if you choose: concrete paint, rubber tiles, rubber rolls, or armorpoxy floor paint. Covering your floor will open your garage up to many new uses like a home gym, art studio or band practice. Top with storage solutions, and put your "keep" items back into the garage.

So what do most people store in their garages? These are some top picks: Claw Hammer, Wrench, Old Paint Cans, Ladder, Garden Hose, Motor Oil & Antifreeze, Old Flower Pots, Garden Tools, Work Gloves. Sound familiar?

Take Away: Your garage can become another usable space when you clean and organize it. As with any other space, choosing the right storage solutions, and the right lighting, makes getting and staying organized easier. Begin with a thorough cleaning, seal the concrete slab or cover your floor; repair or replace the door seals; consider installing an air filtration system if needed; clean your lawn equipment and garden tools after use and before bringing them back into the garage. Ahhhh..... another organized space!

About the Author: L. Sidney Irving is the owner of Sidco Properties, a real estate company dedicated to educating and assisting those that want to buy or sell a home, Sidney loves to organize herself and those around her because she believes that an organized space brings peace and fosters creativity. May the power of organization be with you!

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