GARAGE ORGANIZATION: What you need to consider before you start.
Organizing your garage is no small feat. If you're like many people, a good amount of decluttering needs to happen before you can even begin to consider how things might be organized. Before you start, it's important you have a plan or you'll simply waste your time and money buying the wrong organization products or worse damage your belongings.
We've been tackling a lot of garage projects recently and I wanted to share the most important things you need to consider before tackling your own garage organization project:
What do you want to store in your garage?
Consider what groupings of items you have in your garage. The most common categories I see are:
shoes/ drop zone
back stock food/ beverage/ paper products
Once you know your categories and how large they are you need to consider how they can be appropriately stored in your garage. Take into consideration your climate and how your beloved items could be affected by it (i.e. should you really be storing this in the garage??!).
Who are the users?
Who needs to be accessing the items and how easy and safe will it be for them to access. How tall are the individuals? Are there any physical limitations to consider? For example, mounting hanging racks from the ceiling in garages is becoming increasingly popular in Florida. In my experience those items that go up are rarely accessed again because they are often hard to access safely.
Limitations of the space.
Be sure to consider the limitations of the space and location of these key items that should not be blocked permanently: water heater, electrical panel, irrigation panel, attic stairs, etc. Consider these key dimensions as well: depth of space between the garage door and side walls as well as door access to the home.
This may affect the size and location of your organizational products. It would be pretty frustrating if you installed shelving that didn't allow you park your car in your garage anymore!
Roaches, ants, snakes, silverfish, mice, rats, lizards,...I've seen it all, and they may be more inclined to call your garage home if you store your items incorrectly. Consider options that like weathertight bins and avoid cardboard at ALL COSTS.
For example, in Florida I always make an effort to clear the floor space in case there is ever a hurricane that causes flooding in the garage.
Limitations of the product.
Shelving units meant for a garage space will specifically state the weight limitations. If you're mounting particularly heavy items ensure you are mounting into studs and using appropriate hardware.
These considerations can be overwhelming for many, which is why hiring a professional can be an option that often makes more sense than attempting to tackle the project on your own. The scale of a garage organizing project is unique to each client and depends greatly on how much decluttering needs to happen before we can even begin to consider organizing and what products we might use.
If you're feeling lost and completely overwhelmed by organizing your garage, I hope this list helps provide some direction for you. Or perhaps, reading these considerations made you realize you should just ask for help;)
Either way, we're here for you.