As days grow shorter and temperatures become cooler, it means the inevitable is just around the corner: everything that came out of your garage this spring needs to go back in before winter rolls around. That means you need to find room for the gardening supplies, the patio furniture, the sandbox toys and more. Not to mention corralling all the tools that youve used throughout the summer to tune up the bikes, fix the swing set and put together the new picnic table.
If youre wondering where its all going to go, maybe its time to spend part of the weekend creating some order in all that chaos. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Divide and conquer
Start by separating the clutter in your garage into piles. For example, all snow shoveling equipment (shovel, ice scraper, salt) should be together, all sports paraphernalia goes in another pile, lawn care items in yet another pile you get the picture. This will give you an idea of what youre dealing with in terms of organizing.
Be sure to have a throw it out pile and a donate it pile. Throw away broken toys, almost empty cans of paint, and rusty garden tools. Donate sports equipment your kids have outgrown or that extra lawn edger.
A place for everything
Now you know what you need to store. Home improvement stores are a good place to start. Look for storage systems that match your needs. If your family owns bikes, consider hooks designed to hang them from the ceiling or a vertical bike rack to get the bikes off the floor and create more space. A tall storage cabinet provides a place to put out-of-season toys and tools. Shelving units or wall-mounted cabinets supply a convenient spot for sporting equipment.
Take care of your tools
For many homeowners, the garage doubles as a work area. If your tools have become scattered over the summer, or if theyre in a pile on your workbench, nows the time to corral them. A pegboard and a good tool chest will help keep tools safe and handy. Waterloo Industries, the worlds largest manufacturer of tool storage products for professionals and do-it-yourselfers, has a variety of high-quality options.
Our Shop Series is perfect for use in the garage or workroom, says Mark Ryan, senior product manager at Waterloo. The line includes tool chests, tool cabinets, and tool centers in varying sizes and drawer configurations to fit any need. These types of products are popular with the weekend warriors, those individuals who love getting their hands dirty once Saturday rolls around. There are units that offer a bulk storage area for those large items or power tools. Many chests offer split drawers for all your small hand tools as well as a roomy top tray.
If youve found that your tools have multiplied over the summer, and youve outgrown the storage in your current chest and cabinet, why not consider adding an intermediate chest to expand your tool storage capacity? Intermediates are available in most categories and stack in between your chest and cabinet to help organize your tool clutter.
Start with a clean sweep
Before you start putting all your organized stuff back into the garage, take the time to sweep the floor and hose it down to get rid of accumulated dirt and dust. If your car has been leaking oil, use a product made for this problem to get it cleaned up as well.
With a little time and compartmentalizing, it will be easier than ever to find what youre looking for, your garage will seem roomier and it will be a more pleasant place to work.
Youll find a wide array of tool boxes and other tool storage ideas at hardware and home improvement stores such as Sears, Menards and other retail outlets. Web sites such as waterloo industries are also a good source of information.