It’s not too late to get your garage organized for the winter season. Here are a few tips to make it easy.
PLAN OF ATTACK
The first step in organizing your garage for the winter is to have a game plan. What is the goal? It can be as simple as having a few winter items at the ready, like shovels or a snowblower. Or as ambitious as clearing out enough clutter so you can park your car in the garage for the first time in 10 years. The idea is to have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish going in.
CONVENIENCE IS KEY
Regardless of your goal, one main objective of any organizing endeavor is to make life easier. Items you will need throughout the season should be readily accessible. Think about what activities you will be doing over the next few months (or 8 months if you live in Minnesota!). With this in mind, place items causing clutter in your garage in one of three piles – Easy to Access, Store for the Season, Donate.
Pull items you will need throughout the season out of storage like shovels, ice scrapers, battery charger, wiper fluid, (the will to live if you live in Minnesota!), and place them in the Easy to Access pile. You’ll be happy you did this now rather than rummaging through cabinets in frigid 10-degree temps trying to find the deicer.
Place items you won’t be using for a while in the Store for the Season pile – sports gear, car washing supplies, hoses, gardening tools, etc.
Exception for Minnesotans: You may want to keep your hand spade and hoe at the ready in case you have to tunnel your way out the front door to retrieve the morning paper.
If you notice years’ worth of grime from lack of use on a garden weasel, roller blades, lawn train sprinkler or other seasonal items, resist the urge to re-gift them to friends and family (don’t be a cheapskate!). Instead, if they are gently used and in working order, consider donating them to a local charity.
LET THE ORGANIZING BEGIN
Start with your Store for the Season pile. Hang rakes, hoses and other small items to keep them off the floor and away from moisture and melting snow. Store seed, mulch and other landscaping materials in airtight containers to prevent critters from getting into them. There are a number of inexpensive storage bins on the market or you can can make your own like these 7 Easy DIY Garage Organizers from Bob Vila.
For Easy to Access seasonal items, place them where they are most likely to be used. For example, snow shovels hung inside the large door as well as the small access door is handy for quick shoveling after a dusting of snow. This is also a good spot for containers of salt to keep walkways and drives free of ice.
Store auto-related items like oil, wiper fluid, antifreeze, and battery charger in a container near the front end of your vehicle for quick maintenance.
Items for donation can be delivered to a local charity or stored together for the winter and delivered after you go through the garage organizing process again in the spring. Yes, you should do this twice a year! Have heart, you’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes once you’ve mastered the de-cluttering process.
PROTECT YOUR GARAGE FLOOR
If you live in a snowy climate, your tires can bring a lot of salt into your garage. Prevent pitting and staining with a garage floor covering like Armor All Garage Floor Mats. Durable and easy to install, Armor All Floor Mats absorb moisture and protect garage floors from unsightly stains. These mats provide an inexpensive floor covering option and can be easily rolled and stored when not in use.
PREVENT SLIPPERY SURFACES
Armor All Small Vehicle Mats work great under snowblowers and blades to help keep garage floors free from moisture and ice.
MINIMIZE THE MESS TRACKED INTO YOUR HOME
Armor All Garage Floor Runners can be used alongside vehicles to collect salt, dirt and moisture off the bottom of shoes, minimizing the mess tracked into your home. They also give you a warm, slip-free surface to walk on for those stocking-footed trips to take out the garbage.