Proper storage of all your summer toys, gadgets and vehicles ensures that they’re ready to go when the warm weather returns. If you’ve been too busy having a fantastic summer, the garage may be cluttered with stuff that’s been accumulating during the season.
As fall and winter draw near, take the time to reorganize your garage. Create space to store all the toys of summer while reducing the time you spend looking for things that you frequently use.
Plan and Collect
Before you begin, perform an assessment of the storage systems in your garage, including the amount of stuff that you need to put away. A great first step is organizing everything into categories. One method you may wish to use is storage according to utility. Indoor items that are used often can be kept close to the door connecting the garage with the home. Outdoor items can be stored closed to the garage door or a door that leads out to the yard. Rarely-used items like seasonal decorations can be stored up and away in corners while objects that are tall and thin can be grouped together. Children’s items should be stored low to the ground where kids can easily access them. And more dangerous items like cleaning chemicals should be stored well out of reach.
If you have the time, measure the amount of space you have in your garage and figure out the dimensions of any storage solution that you might want to use. At the very least, do a quick sketch of your garage and plan what should go where.
Performing these steps will clear much of the clutter from your garage. Once you’ve gathered everything together, you also get a better idea of the amount of free space that you have to work with.
Storage Unit Options
To make the most of the vertical space that the walls provide, install hooks or a rail system to hang tools, bikes and other tall objects. Use an electronic stud finder to install these solutions on the strongest locations of the wall.
Installing sturdy shelves in your garage is a snap thanks to a wide variety of modular storage solutions available. Shelves can stacked high to tuck away things that are dangerous or not frequently used, keeping them out of sight and out of mind.
Another option that you may choose to use are cabinets. Creating a cabinet system can be complicated but offers a customizable solution to organize work space or to house frequently used items.
Preparing Summer Vehicles for Storage
Once you’ve finished storing your smaller items, like kids toys and yard items, it is time to prepare any vehicles that won’t be in use during the winter.
Perform an oil change and top up all the different fluids within the system, including the gas tank. Consider the use of a fuel stabilizer to make sure that the gasoline doesn’t lose integrity over the winter. Once you’ve dealt with oil, gas and other fluids, go ahead and wash the vehicle. If there’s any stains on the upholstery, now is a good time to have them removed or risk having the stain become permanent.
Pump tires up to the maximum recommended PSI to prevent them from flattening from the lack of use. Plug areas such as the muffler to prevent pests from entering and making your vehicle their hibernating spot. Remove the battery and connect it to a charger that keeps the battery energized without overcharging the unit. Finally, place a breathable cover over the vehicle to prevent moisture from becoming trapped.
The effort and expense it takes to prepare your garage for summer storage may seem like a luxury, but the risk of having a cluttered garage far outweighs the time it takes to set up a neat and tidy space. Haphazardly storing fuel, paint, oil and cleaning chemicals along with other random items create potential safety issues, ranging from tripping over a rake to sparking a garage fire that spreads to your home.
In addition to reducing the risk of harm, a well-organized garage saves you quite a bit of time when searching for items that you store within.
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