May is here. We are enjoying the warmer weather and in a few weeks will be changing our snow tires over to the summers. But can you find them? If your garage looks anything like mine, you may have skiing equipment, snow boards, and other winter paraphernalia scattered all over the place. Can you even free up a working space? Well now is the time to attend to the garage and the storage.

A garage often morphs into an all purpose collection of tools, sports equipment, camping items, and sometimes the car fits too, if you are lucky. When we first bought our home 7 years ago the garage fit my car comfortably and was pretty much empty. Then my husband’s workbench, tools, our camping items, and various sports equipment and trailers and hitches to carry all our outdoor items took over.

So where to start? Take a few minutes to stand in the doorway and think about what you want the garage to be and to do. What are the priorities besides parking the car? Is it also a shop with a work bench? How often is it used? Is it also storage? What do you store and how often do you access those items? Can you use the walls and ceiling for the bigger items like seasonal tires, camping equipment and tools?

You now have an idea of what you want this space for. The next step is deciding what to keep, toss or donate. Think about frequency of use. For example seasonal items don’t need the same ease of access as do items such as tools or bikes that are used daily or weekly. Look at what is left, measure the space, see what you can reuse and then purchase the hooks, or other storage solutions that will work for you.

Once it is organized and you can find and access what you want when you want it, the idea is to engage all the members of the family to keep it that way. That is, after every camping trip, workbench job, bike ride is done the items go back to their homes. This will keep the garage neat and functional for everyone. No more shifting and sorting to maybe get at the item you are looking for. Until next time…Collette.

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