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Seven Steps to Reclaiming Your Garage

Just like your overgrown, shedding, drooling dog is part of the family, so is the cardboard stacked, fishing pile mess of a garage part of your home. Whether it’s directly attached or located further from the home the purpose of this building is to store your vehicle(s). A cement-floored rafter-ceiling unit meant to protect your vehicle from would be thieves and the harsher elements of nature like fowl manure or mounds of snow.

But as time sneaks up on and by us our car slowly gets evicted inch by inch for the greater cause of Christmas and Easter decorations, boxes of elementary school trophies and all sports related paraphernalia. And of course how many times have you heard of a small business starting up in their very own garage … or that of their mother’s?

But it’s time that we repossess the opportunity to park our luxury hybrid sedan back in its rightful place. If not that at least systematically go through our belongings in pursuit of a homier more livable, maneuverable garage.

Step One: Process of Elimination

Starting projects like these are always most intimidating at initial glance. From there you have a mental conversation trying to persuade yourself to get going while the other lobe urges you to flee before you succumb to the dangers within. I can’t really help you with that, but I can give you the first piece of advice.

Get. Rid. Of. Stuff.

Try to eliminate at least 15 pieces of unused, never been used, or totally forgotten possessions during the whole process of reclaiming your garage. If there is no value or chance of reusability, to the dumpster they go. If anyone can benefit, drop it off at your local collection site for donations. Hopefully knowing that you are giving back to the community in a small way will make releasing your grip on the items a bit easier.

Step Two: Boxed Goods

For the 80% of stuff I couldn’t talk you out of eliminating its time to upgrade their living from poorly constructed cardboard boxes to Rubbermaid boxes with fitting lids. While we might not want to admit it, just because we kicked the car out of its home doesn’t mean we were successful in exterminating varmints and other pests. Depending where you live you could be offering rent-free accommodations to raccoons, rattlesnakes, mice or a hornet’s nest. When their little claws or stingers have access to your stuff well there wouldn’t be much point in me having to tell you to pitch it. So if you value your stuff you’ll invest in some plastic storage containers.

Step Three: Hire an exterminator.

Step Four: Shelving

Instead of just stacking your stuff in piles that could rival the attention for the Leaning Tower of Pisa utilize durable shelving produced mainly for their best environment: the garage. Shelving will help to keep things going up rather than scattered over the floor in a mess. Also for items that don’t need to be boxed; work boots, watering cans, etc., this will keep them local yet out of the way. Try to keep these against one wall to provide better parking space.

Step Five: Buy a sturdy, collapsible ladder.

Step Six: Look at the Sky

Take a break, plant your fists on your hips and tilt your head back. What do you see? That’s right, a gold opportunity for storage. So many garages have great potential for upper storage. For the things you rarely use, carefully place them on the plywood that spans the rafters. While you are up there firmly apply some heavy duty hooks for things that can be hung without disturbing the lower atmosphere. Fishing rods, kayaks, tent bags, can all by put up while still being easily accessible.

Step Seven: Stock Up

Hopefully by now you have cleared a semblance of a path for your car to park. And while that’s the reason garages have been constructed there are seasons of life that require a few more objects our garages would love to harbor. If you own any lawn, have children, have trees, or encounter snowfall with accumulations more than one inch you might want to jot this down:

-Garden shovel
-Snow shovel
-Rolling trashcans
-Windshield wiper fluid
-An extra fridge/freezer
-A toolbox
-Battery charger
-Several rolls of Duct tape
-Clock (despite otherwise theory time doesn’t stop in here)
-First Aid Kit

I’m sure you can add a few of your own needs to the list as these are the basic items that are going to take you far in life and management of your home, lawn and garden. Especially the duck tape. But be careful lest you stock up and stalk our your vehicle once more!

All you need to do is find your car keys and that automatic garage door opener won’t  just be a piece of car décor on the visor anymore. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

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