September is a great time to organize storage areas that are outside of your home. Summer is winding down and It’s time to stash the summer equipment until next year. The weather is beginning to cool down a bit and if you choose your days wisely it is more comfortable to work.
Outside storage areas can easily become cluttered. They are not part of your daily living area, and it is so easy to just open the door and shove something in there with the idea of taking care of it later.
If your carport/garage and or shed is large this project may take several sessions.
So, get out your calendar and commit time to complete your project.
1. Be clear on how you intend to use the space. Develop your vision.
Do you want space to:
· Park your car
· Store trash cans/recycling
· Store gardening tools and accessories
· Pot or repot plants
· Work on projects and store tools
· Store bikes and other sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear
· Store outdoor entertainment supplies
· Store extra products
Anything that does not match your vision needs to either be gotten rid of or stored elsewhere.
2. Empty the storage area. Bring everything out. If this is a large or very filled area, pull things out by section.
3. Group like items together. All gardening items in one pile. All sports equipment in another. Note what is broken or no longer used. Get rid of these items or make a note to replace them. Get rid of expired seeds or old chemicals. Give away or sell items you no longer use. The Tool Bank is a great place to donate tools for community projects.
4. Zone out your space. Items that you frequently use are best stored near entrances. If you plan on parking your car in the garage, pull the car in and open the doors. Put down tape to mark off the area to keep clear for the car.
5. Clean the empty area. Once you have an area empty, knock down cobwebs and sweep the floor. Look for any structural damage or animal infestations.
6. Return items to their designated zones. Look for containers to hold small items together. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves. A flat basket can hold gardening hand tools. Use shelves, pegboards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers because, for sure you are going to want something that is in the bottom containers.
7. Label containers that are not clear. This will save you having to pull down a container while looking for that special serving basket. Knowing where everything is will help keep your area under control.
8. Reward yourself! A hot shower and a cool drink might be just the thing.
You will be amazed as to how much room there is in your storage areas now that all items are grouped together and containerized.
Having your area zoned out and organized will make it easier to maintain. Instead of just opening a door and putting something down, you will have a designated area where it belongs and a pathway to easily reach the zone.
If you want help:
· Organizing your storage areas
· With some accountability in organizing any one space in your home
· Generating ideas when working any other organizational plan either outside or inside your home
Then, join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.