Garages are works in progress. About three times a year, I give my garage a good tidy. Each time I do this, I try to focus on improving something. When you’ve got a good organizing foundation, everything else is just a little tweak. Getting into maintenance mode is a bit more work at the start, but once you are there, it feels so good. Your garage will not always look perfect, but this system will help keep it in check.
Here is how I keep up my garage throughout the year:
- Yearly Garage Cleanup #1 – Very Beginning of Spring. Over the winter things get all gross and out of place. This cleanup is really a clean up. Get rid of recycling/donations/trash that somehow landed in the garage and never left! Sweep and dust the cobwebs. Find an area that is bothering you and make a tweak.
- Yearly Garage Cleanup #2 – Summer. As spring and the playing outdoors season goes into full swing, things get pulled out all crazily in the garage. It becomes more clear a little into the season what needs some help and that is why I do this clean-up a little into the start of summer. This cleanup is mostly about organizing. Find an area that is bothering you and make a tweak.
- Yearly Garage Cleanup #3 – As Fall Finishes. At the end of the playing outdoors season, it is good to give everything a once over, close things up, and prepare the outdoor toys/stuff you’ll use throughout the winter. This is a combo clean up and organizing. Find an area that is bothering you and make a tweak.
Mark your calendars and make it happen!!! Three times a year, mark this in your calendars for a Saturday morning chore. Or, use my Household Maintenance worksheet to help remind you.
Now, just for fun, I want to show you the updates I made to my garage during my Garage Cleanup #2 – Summer.
My big focus during this cleanup was the shelves.
I added some uniform new bins to the shelves that make it easier to get stuff out and put it away.
The tools. We actually went through this stuff and got rid of a ton of stuff we haven’t used in a while. So freeing!
This is our container for our picnic quilts. I love this canvas bag that zips closed and has cedar inserts. I know that I will be asked where I got these. They are Rubbermaid and I haven’t been able to find them for over a year. I wish they would bring them back!
Here is how I organize our swimming stuff. There is a towel hook for each of us and a little crate for our swimming shoes. One of the containers on the shelf has some of our swimming toys.
We keep our Lego League stuff on top of the freezer. I’m so proud of my little Lego-loving girls! I don’t think we will dismantle the model from last season until it is time to build a new one.
This corner was a victory! I cleared it out! When we emptied stuff from the shelves, we made room to move the spare flooring and canopy that was stacked right there. I love things OFF the floor in the garage.
Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t share my love of things off the floor. These pieces of wood represent one of the compromises in my marriage. My husband dismantled the pallet that held our swing set when it was delivered. Oh well, there are worse things than a pile of wood on my garage floor.
The kids were helping us with this effort. They stayed super focused … except for maybe a few times … like when they were jumping rope.
I have no idea where they learn this kind of thing from. (We keep piles of wood and I post pictures like this on my blog. See? Compromises.)
After we swept, we started pulling in the bike stuff.
I love these bike stands! They are free standing and can move if needed. I pulled these away from the wall enough so that we could still get to the stuff that is hanging.
The ping pong table stores right there. We just have to pull the car out of the garage to play. The wheels on the bottom make it easy to move wherever we want to play in the garage.
The hooks change and morph over time.
Here it is. This side of my garage in all of its glory. Looking at this makes me smile. I love my crazy, fun family.
So that’s how my garage looks right now and I hope to keep it this way for a while! But if not, I’ll fix it up in the fall.
Last summer I showed you my garage as it was then and went into more details. Check that out HERE.
Please, please, please, take care of your garages. Don’t make them shrines of your junk! Make them usable spaces!