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Garages Are Just Another Room

May 01, 20224 min read

MAY 1, 2022

Garages Are Just Another Room

Your garage is more than just a place for your car, bike, and tools. Many homeowners use the extra space as a supplemental storage space (that maybe your basement is lacking) for things you aren’t quite ready to get rid of, seasonal gear, cleaning supplies, or overstock paper products.

Unfortunately, these things don’t lend themselves to being very ‘stackable’ and since garages are not normally heated or cooled, it’s not a very comfortable place to spend hours organizing. These problems lead to your garage becoming a general dumping ground for anything you don't want to deal with. So let’s get our hands dirty and make it a place that works for you.

Only donate items that are not broken and useful like extra coolers or sports gear. Yard tools can be taken to your local Habitat for Humanity donation center. Many donation centers have rules on what they will or will not take so make sure you check out those lists on their websites.

If you are selling items like your kids outgrown tricycle, post it on your neighborhood buys/sell/trade or Facebook Marketplace sites. You’ll be amazed at how quickly people will snatch it up!

Trash is Trash so go ahead and bag it up. If you have limits on how much trash your city will pick up each week, you may have to gradually add this in over the next few weeks. If you have large trash items like broken shelving units or work benches, you may have to call a junk removal service for help.

Be sure to take chemicals such as paint and old fertilizer to your city’s hazardous waste recycling center. We want to be earth friendly!

There are 6 tried and true things that you should NEVER store in your garage and that you either need to get rid of or store somewhere else

  1. Canned Food: a stockpile of canned food has a shorter shelf life in any space that gets hotter than 70*. If your canned goods freeze in the winter, they can be thawed, but they won’t be the same quality as when you bought them.

  2. Propane Tanks: It is best to leave these outside near the grill or in a garden shed. If the valve isn’t completely closed, there can be leaks which could lead to an explosive situation.

  3. Electronics: most electronics are not meant to stand up to the severe changes in weather that your garage may experience. Humidity and temperature changes can destroy batteries and other operating pieces.

  4. Records, film, photos, artwork: mice and other pests nest in celluloid, and vinyl records become ruffled in garage heat. Similarly, artwork and photos can become discolored when they are left in high heat and humidity.

Once you know everything that is going to stay in your garage, it is time to see how much you have in each category.

Typical categories are the following:

  • Sports/Workout

  • Camping/Outdoor

  • Auto

  • Seasonal

  • Garden

  • Tools

  • Kids Outdoor/Seasonal

Once you have the categories, it is time to determine the best layout for your garage. When you are deciding on placement, think about how much you use it and how much space is available. For example,recycling should live near the entrance to the home and tools should live near the workbench.

Position large shelving units along walls away from your vehicle walkways.

Think of each area of the garage as ‘real estate’. (Shelves that are at eye level, bins that are easy to grab, or areas you pass each day will be more valuable real estate than shelves up super high or containers back in the corner.)

Now that you know what you are keeping and how much space you have, determine what size and quantity of containers you are going to need to fit your exact space. Use clear bins for the larger categories and as always, don’t forget to label what is inside.

We organize a lot of garages in Kansas City and my go-to yard tool system is the Rubbermaid FastTrack. It’s super easy to install and the hanger accessories are versatile and movable. It is essential to get those tools off the floor and neatly hung on the wall.

Once everything is in its place, make sure to set up an organizing maintenance schedule so that you can keep everything where it needs to be. This is great to do quarterly or biannually.

As always, instead of putting things down, put them away so that you don’t have to dedicate large quantities of time to organizing everything all over again!

home organization
Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients.

Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

Karen Swart

Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients. Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

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“I cannot recommend Karen Swart and her team enough! We were in the Kansas City area for a full summer, filming “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” and Karen and her team were our behind the scenes death-cleaner helpers! They helped our Death Cleaners move quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly through people’s homes - and they did it with heart. Thank you, Karen! Stay Gentle!”

— J.J. DUNCAN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “THE GENTLE ART OF SWEDISH DEATH CLEANING”