Saving Stuff

Declutter your garage to park your car

Published: 04 February 2008

The garage is supposed to be where people store their cars but unfortunately this is not the case most of the time.  At seems a shame that your car should sit on your drive or on the road and have to put up with abuse from passersby and the weather.  Plus on top of that you're paying more for your insurance premium as your car isn't really secure i.e. locked away.  Instead of using the garage for this purpose it's used as storage space for anything and everything people want to keep out of their houses or canít bear to part with.  I'm sure most people don't even know what's in their garage and certainly can never find what they want. 
 
There are many ways to save space in the garage and maximise its use but first you need to have a huge sort out, get organised and declutter.  Pull everything out of the garage and decide what you are going to do with everything i.e. keep, sell/give away or throw away; you could even have a boot/yard sale with the items you decide to sell.  It would be wise to spend a whole day starting very early and on a sunny day!
 
A cluttered garageDepending on what your hobbies are, you could have either various broken computer bits or old parts of vehicles you used to have like spare tyres or parts you have replaced - either sell these items or if they are of no use to anyone dispose of them properly.  I've even known people to put their old washing machines and broken electrical items in the garage.  Don't!  When you replace an electrical item get rid of the old one straight away.  Most electrical companies that deliver new fridges or washing machines will remove the old one for you at no extra cost.

Decluttering tip - Only keep what you need!

I'm sure everyone has got unfinished DIY projects taking up precious space in their garage.  You must set yourself a realistic target (say 2 months) of either finishing the job off or getting rid of it.  Build shelving on the walls to store old pots of paint, decorating equipment etc...  Check the paint first as they do go off after about 4-5 years, even sooner if they haven't been stored correctly and have been exposed to extreme heat or cold.  Don't forget to get rid of those spare rolls of wallpaper and that box of old tiles you no longer have in your house.  Only keep what you need!
 
Another thing that takes up lots of room is surplus furniture which could be old furniture that's now been replaced or that old 1930's sideboard that you inherited from your granny.  Be ruthless, if you don't need it any more, get rid of it.  If you've got a lawn mower and lots of gardening tools and equipment then consider buying a small shed for your garden.  It makes more sense to have all your gardening things within easy reach of the garden as this is where everything will be needed.
 
Now that you've sorted everything out you need to put everything away properly.  The best thing to do is to try and keep as many things off the floor as possible.  For example, you can get different sorts of racks for various things.  Hang a bicycle rack on the wall to hang the bicycles up, mount big hooks up to hang your ladder and tools, and as mentioned earlier fix some shelving to the walls or even old kitchen cupboards would work really well.
 
Belongings like bags of moth-eaten clothes, old toys and games, things the kids have outgrown, nursery equipment, boxes of books, records and video tapes - do you really need them?  They are taking up valuable space in your garage so take them to the charity shop.  Things that you don't need access to on a regular basis, like Christmas decorations, suitcases and boxes of personal memorabilia, can be stored in your attic.  Or if your garage has a high roof or loft space, make use of it to store these things.  Alternatively, install overhead metal hangers which are attached to the ceiling joists as they are very good at providing extra storage.
 
Now you should have space in your garage to park your car!  In future, instead of chucking things out of the house and in to the garage, deal with it there and then and you'll always have space in the garage for the car.