Submitted Photo Cleaning up: Diana Vavrek, owner of Kicking Klutter, worked with a local family to turn this previously cluttered garage into something far more organized and attractive.

Archived Story

Spring is the time to clean up the garage

Published 7:33pm Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring is here, and that means it’s time to begin spring-cleaning and organization projects.

That includes even the project that people seem to dread most — organizing the garage.

“Just like with any other cleaning task you do, you need to group into sections,” said Diana Vavrek, owner of Kicking Klutter.

Each item in the garage should fit into a category — typically things like carpentry, gardening, kids and sports, and yard work — and each category should have its own place.

“Group it all together, so you are not running all over to get it,” Vavrek said.

She advises that you keep bikes and sporting goods near the front door of the garage so that you do not have to climb over things to get to these items. Put items you have stocked up toward the back of the garage, near the house so that you can access them easily.

If you have a lot of carpentry items, Vavrek suggests having a workbench somewhere in the garage that you can work on and where you can store your tools. A good place to store those tools would be above the workbench on a pegboard. Items that you are storing in the garage, like holiday decorations or other items you only use seasonally, can be put up above the floor level of the garage on shelves, racks or hooks.

She said that the spring and fall months are the perfect time to clean and organize your garage. The winter is too cold and the summer is the time when you will need many of the things that you store in your garage.

“It’s the perfect time of the year,” Vavrek said. “It’s a great time to do it.”

If the garage is not organized, especially in the fall and winter, spiders and mice tend to move in, she said.

In the spring or fall, you can pull all of your stuff out onto the driveway and don’t need to be confined to the space of your garage to clean.

Vavrek said that having a messy garage is unsafe and could be expensive.

“It is actually a hazard,” she said. When you don’t know where things are in your garage, you will end up having to climb over things to find what you need. Some of those things may have sharp edges, like tools and equipment used for cutting.

Having an organized garage also can save you money.

When your garage is not clean, she said, “You end up duplicating purchases.” You’re your garage is clean, you know what you already own and what you need.

To keep your garage organized, Vavrek advises, find a place for everything and return things to their designated location.

She also recommends designating one location where you can put things that you can’t put back right away. If, for some reason, you don’t have time to put something back right away, make sure that item goes in the designated location to be put back in the near future.

“Never put things back randomly,” she said.

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