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Six Tips for Organizing Your Garage

If you are tired of scraping your windshield on cold winter mornings, or getting into a four-wheeled oven on hot summer afternoons, you should start parking your car in your garage instead of on the driveway. Oh, what's that you say? Your cluttered garage has no room for the car? Well, you can solve that problem by using your organizational skills and a few handy tips. Here's how.

1. Inventory your stuff. You probably haven't used a good portion of it in a year or more. Go through your garage and separate into three piles: Keep, Dump, and Garage Sale.

2. Be ruthless. The dump pile goes into the trash can or to the dump. If necessary, rent a dumpster. Useable stuff can go to a local charity. Many of them will pick up.

3. Have that garage sale. Don't be afraid to wheel and deal. The object is to have no merchandise and a fistful of cash at the end of the day. The stuff that doesn't sell can also go to a local charity or a neighbor who can use it.

4. Plan your storage. Now that you're left with only the stuff that you are going to keep and use, determine where it will go. Bikes and sports equipment, canned goods, garden tools, automotive supplies, paint, garden chemicals, and whatever else you have should all be assigned a place.

5. Get your organizing gear. Head for the local home improvement store and buy hooks, hangers, pegboard, cabinets, shelves, and whatever else you need to implement your plan.

6. Execute the plan. Hang bikes on hooks from the ceiling or a wall. Put up shelves and cabinets per the plan. Potentially hazardous materials like insecticides, fertilizers, weed killer, motor oil, and the like should be in closed, locked cabinets. Put up pegboard on one wall for garden tools like rakes, shovels, trimmers, hoes, etc. Put up another over the workbench for frequently used tools like hammers, levels, wrenches, drills, saws, and such. Canned foodstuffs, pet food, case lots of cereal and crackers can go into cabinets or onto shelves.

When you are done, you will be amazed at the space you will have in the garage. Now you can leave for work 15 minutes later on winter mornings, not having to scrape the windshield. And on hot summer days, you won't burn your hands on the steering wheel. But be vigilant. Junk has a way of collecting all by itself if you don't keep things organized.