Get Your Garage Winter-Ready

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On some mornings in New Hampshire, and when the sun goes down in the evening, temperatures already feel like the season has changed. Are you ready to park your vehicle in the garage before the first real frost? When the weather is mild during the summer and fall months, many of us let clutter overtake the space where cars should be, so now is a great time to get organized and ensure you won’t have to scrape those windows or clear the snow when winter blasts in.

The secret to garage organization is maximizing the space you have, which is much more aesthetically acceptable in the garage than in the rooms of your home. Use every corner, the walls, and even the ceiling! Hang things up, stack storage bins, and get creative. But you’ll probably need at least a full day to accomplish it all.

The first thing to do is inventory all your belongings. If you normally make a “seasonal switch” between the garage and shed or some other storage space, do that first. Put away the lawn mower and bring out the snow blower. Store the patio furniture. Then gather trash bags, empty bins and boxes, and start sorting. Throw out the broken, worn out items. Make a pile of the things you no longer use or need that can be donated. Set aside everything that needs to be stored in the garage. Need some organization ideas?

Cabinets, shelves, and bins

Think about how you want to organize items that makes it easy to access them when you need them. Assign everyone in the family a cabinet, shelf, or set of bins for their own belongings, or maybe you’d rather put everything all together based on category — seasonal decorations, camping gear, winter boots, toys.

Go vertical

The best way to efficiently store things is to bring them up off the floor. Slat walls and peg boards are great for hanging tools and accessories. You can add hooks and shelves where you need them for easier organization of shovels, rakes, extension cords, paint brushes, and other “workshop” items. Try another kind of rack to keep sports equipment in place. Hang bicycles from the ceiling or on the wall. A shoe organizer can be used for much more than footwear. If you’ve got a collection of spray paint cans, small bags of soil or fertilizer, or hand tools, hang up a shoe organizer with pockets.

Make it a mudroom

Designate a place in the garage for wet and dirty shoes, coats and uniforms. That way when the family comes home, there’s a spot to hang up umbrellas, let snow pants dry after an afternoon of winter play, and keep muddy cleats out of the house.

Once you’ve put everything in its place, and everything is stacked neatly against the walls, there should be plenty of room for parking your vehicle out of the elements. What’s your favorite organizational hack? Share it with us!

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