Organizing Storage Areas
Fall is a perfect time to organize your workshops or garage areas. The weather has begun to cool down. Summer equipment is ready to clean and store. Fall yard equipment needs to be accessible.
Storage areas can get pretty messy and unorganized in a year. They are not in your main living area and therefore not so visible. It is so easy just to walk in and dump items “just for now.”
I have two storage areas to tackle. One is a small room off the carport that also holds the hot water heater. The other is a shed house behind our home. Whatever your zones are, you should start with deciding the purpose of the area.
In your zone, do you plan to:
1. Park your car
2. Store your trash cans/recycling
3. Store gardening tools and accessories
4. Have a potting area
5. Have a workbench for projects and a place to hold tools
6. Store bikes and other sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear
7. Store outdoor entertainment supplies
Once you decide how you will use these storage areas, bring everything outside. If this is a large or much filled area, do it by sections. Sort like with like. Put aside items that are broken or have not been used in the past year. If an item is broken, decide if you need to replace it or just trash it. If you have items that are duplicates or that you no longer use, donate them. Tool banks can make good use of your extra items. (http://toolbank.org ) Get rid of expired seeds, old chemicals, and paints.
Knock down cobwebs and sweep the floor of the area you have emptied. Now decide where each zone should go. If you are working in your garage and plan to park your car, pull the car in now and mark off the space with tape. Allow plenty of room for the car doors to open.
You want to place items that you regularly access near entrances. As you are grouping your items in each zone, look for containers to hold small items that are rattling about. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves; a flat basket can hold gardening tools.
Maximize your wall space. Utilize shelves, pegboards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers as you are sure to want something that is in the bottom container. Label the containers.
You’ll be amazed at how much more room you have now that you have discarded some items and bunched together and stored away the rest.
Now reward yourself. A hot shower and a cool drink on the deck may be just the thing.
If you want help or just some accountability in organizing a space in your home or working any other organizational plan either outside or inside your home, 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.