Cleaning Challenge: Identify Garage Activity Centers

organize the garage

New Year Cleaning Challenge Day 79

Looking at your garage, what do you see? Chances are, it's a mess.

When it comes to the garage, all bets are off, even in the most organized home. An open space but out of sight, it's easy for the garage to become choked and cluttered to the point that it can no longer support its intended purpose: to house automobiles.

To tackle garage clutter, it helps to dive in and discover the root of the problem: too many roles. A garage is expected to house numerous activity centers: car storage, work areas, gardening, holiday and sporting goods storage are all common activity centers assigned to garage areas.

Moreover, because the garage is a no-man's-land standing between the car and the house, it can serve as a way station for items on the move. A garage may house materials destined for recycling, home improvements or the donation center.

Then there's the just-plain-junk that drifts into the garage from other sources. Stacked packing boxes left over from the holiday season. Sacks of canned food and cases of soft drinks that don't fit pantry areas. Boxes of records in search of a forever home. Dried-up cans of paint left over from a home improvement project completed years ago. Bags of assorted items cleaned out of the family car.

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To get a grip on a cluttered garage, make a good start by identifying activities that must be carried out there. Grab a notepad, and make a quick list all types of storage, workplaces, and way stations that will need to co-exist in your new, organized space. As you work, start to visualize where these overlapping activity centers will be located.

When you begin to clear the clutter, your list will guide you as you improve storage, set up work areas, and give the heave-ho to interloping activities in this busy, shared space.

Ready? It's time to "know your garage" in the New Year Cleaning Challenge!