Spring is finally in sight, and for many homeowners that means it’s time to open the windows, dust off the shelves and get organized. But what should you do with all the clutter that has accumulated through the winter months? It can be an overwhelming challenge to put everything in its proper place, but one of the easiest ways to get a jumpstart on organization is to pick a room and dive in.
All too often, the garage becomes a catch-all space for odds and ends that don’t have a designated home, said Mike
Buchholz of Custom Closets in Bellingham. “I just don’t understand why people fill their garages with stuff and leave their cars, which are worth thousands of dollars, outside,” he said. “It’s your biggest storage room, but it’s often not utilized properly.”
Buchholz offers advice for homeowners who wish to reclaim that space, make it useful and get their car back where it belongs.
“It’s amazing how often we see this problem,” he said.
“People store everything in their garage,” Buchholz said. If you want to incorporate built-in storage into your garage space (or any other room in your home, for that matter), start with a plan in mind. “Built-ins should be built for a purpose,” Buchholz said. “Think about what you want to use it for. If it’s a base-level cabinet, you’ll want to use pullouts instead of flat shelves so that you don’t have to get down on your knees to find things.”
Getting things mounted on the walls and off the floor can help free up space and help you get organized as well. “It’s great when you’re able to mount the bikes on the wall or attach garden tools and hoses with hooks,” Buchholz said. “Anything you can do to get things up off the floor and organized is helpful.”
He recommends shelving for any big items. “Generally, there’s stuff stacked everywhere,” he said. “Wire shelving is the least expensive way to create shelf space and organize your stuff. If you want your things in their place, nice and neat and behind doors, garage cabinets are the way to go.”
To get started, Buchholz recommends talking with a designer to get an idea of what you might need. “We come out and look at the ‘mess,’ and then we can use our CAD (computer-aided design) programs to help you design your space,” he said. “We can draw everything up and show you what you are going to get before it’s even built.”
Buchholz said that his firm offers free assessments and estimates, and encourages homeowners to take a look at how they can reclaim their space.