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How to Give the Garage Back to Your Car

How to Give the Garage Back to Your Car

By Sharon Harvey Rosenberg - The Miami HeraldMarch 16th 2008

The family garage is probably the most used and abused room in a home.


''The average American two-car garage has basically become a no-car garage because it's crammed full of so much clutter,'' says Barry Izsak, author of Organize Your Garage In No Time (Que Publishing, $16.95) and a well-known garage organizing expert. Izsak is a professional organizer in Austin, Texas and founded his own professional organizing company called Arranging It All in 1996 that specializes in organizing garages.


Fortunately, it doesn't cost much to organize the family garage, says Izsak, who is also the immediate past president of the National Association of Professional Organizers.


Here are a few low-cost solutions:


• Think. How is the garage used (workroom, storage, extra kitchen)? Do you want or need to change its use? Are you effectively using the floor and walls?


• Pick easy targets. Toss out the rusty wheelbarrow and the 10-year-old magazines.


• Learn from the kitchen. Kitchens have built-in organizational systems such as the refrigerator, cabinets and drawers. Create a system for organizing your garage.


• Create zones. Use a hardware store model to solve the turf war among craft materials, sports equipment and lawn supplies.


''Keep similar things together,'' says Suzy Wilkoff, owner of Tasks Unlimited, a professional organizing service in Miami and president of the NAPO-South Florida chapter.


• Find a new purpose for the old furniture in your garage, Izsak says. A discarded entertainment center can be recycled as a work bench. Compartments in baby furniture or old desks can be used to store items.


• Organize a garage sale or donate unwanted items to charity. The family garage should be purged and organized once or twice a year, Wilkoff says. Enlist the help of a professional organizer if you can’t do it on your own.


And finally, ''Save room in your garage for at least one car,'' Wilkoff says. ``That's what it was built for.''

The Arranging it AllSM team is mentored and trained by a Certified Professional Organizer.

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