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Win the Garage Clutter War

Win the Garage Clutter War

By Danielle Hatch - Peoria Journal StarAugust 21st 2011

"The average American two-car garage has become a no-car garage because it is crammed full with so much clutter," said Barry J. Izsak, certified professional organizer and past president of the National Association of Professional Organizers. This Austin garage organizing expert offers the following tips for reclaiming your garage.


Be realistic and have focus

If you haven't camped in five years, maybe it's time to get rid of some equipment. Are you storing holiday decorations that are never used, or do you have more than one lawnmower? Take a good look at what you're storing. If you're not using it on a regular basis, it's time to purge or donate it to charity.


Analyze your needs

Think about how you want your garage to look when it's finished. Create a clear vision of garage zones, whether that means by individual or category (sports/gardening/tools). "Remove, sort, weed, select a home, containerize if necessary and replace," Izsak suggested.


Consider the elements

Depending on where you live, temperatures can reach 120 degrees in the summer, Izsak said. Be cautious when storing paperwork, photographs and clothing in a garage.


Get it off the floor

All kinds of fancy organizational tools can be bought, but if that's not in your budget, use some well-placed $2 hooks to hang bikes or 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood in the rafters to hold winter gear or fishing poles. Getting things off the floor will maximize space and make your garage seem less cluttered while keeping your things dry, clean and away from insects and rodents.


Be safe

Store paint, toxic chemicals and pesticides in a locked cabinet. Store heavier items on the lower shelves to prevent injury. Keep flammable items away from heat sources and work areas. Good ventilation is important while organizing; keep the garage door open.



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