Get Your Car into the Garage for Winter in Three Easy Steps

2 Car Garage Etobicoke - right parking bay with an auto lift

nuvo car garageIf you’re like many homeowners, your garage may be more of a dumping ground for seasonal items, outdoor equipment and gardening tools and less of a haven for your vehicles. Whether you’re looking for a do-it-yourself option or a quick fix to tide you over until you can get a permanent garage organization solution, you can make space for your car this winter in three easy steps.

 

Step One: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

We form an attachment to our things. Even things we haven’t used in years. This makes it difficult for us to face the ugly truth. Most overstuffed garages are harboring…junk. It’s a word we don’t like to use in reference to our own things. However, when stuff we aren’t using takes up valuable space in our garage, that’s exactly what it’s become.

Go through your garage and pull out anything you haven’t used in the past year. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need this item?
  • What is the likelihood I’ll use it again?
  • Why am I holding onto this item?
  • Would it be of more benefit to someone else?
  • Is it broken? If so, is it worth fixing? How likely is it that I’ll fix it (or get it fixed)?
  • Does it fit my current lifestyle?
  • Is holding onto this item more important than parking my car in the garage?

If your answers reveal that the item is sucking up valuable garage space, let it go. That includes those just-in-case items like old paint. After a year in your garage, especially through the winter, the paint is no longer good. Make note of the color, then chuck the can. Be sure to properly dispose of paint and any other household chemicals.

Of course, just because you can’t use your old items, doesn’t mean someone else can’t. If you have bicycles or other sports equipment that your children have outgrown, consider donating them to a local charity. Sometimes knowing that your things will be loved and appreciated by someone else makes it easier to let go of them.

Step Two: Group Similar Items

Once you’ve eliminated any items you don’t use, it’s time to do a little organizing. Start by going through your remaining things and grouping like items. Put all of the gardening tools and equipment in one part of the garage. Carve out another section for outdoor gear like camping or skiing equipment. Put the children’s sleds and other winter toys where they can easily access them.

Grouping similar items will give you further opportunity to purge. You’ll likely discover unnecessary duplicates and outdated items. These, too, can be tossed, gifted or donated.

Step Three: Arrange Items Along Perimeter

Once you’ve eliminated anything you don’t need, it’s time to carve out enough space in the garage for your vehicle. Arrange your remaining items along the perimeter of your garage. This includes bicycles and other bulky items like your lawn mower or snow blower.

While you’re organizing items along the perimeter of your garage, consider which items you’ll need to keep accessible during the winter. Make sure you’ll be able to quickly retrieve your snow blower, shovel, salt, window washer fluid and winter sports equipment like skis, ice skates and snowboards.

Create additional space by stacking or nesting similar items along the perimeter of your garage. For instance, nesting a set of flowerpots or stacking storage crates will reduce the amount of floor space they consume. With just a few hours of work, a space for your vehicle will begin to emerge.

If the thought of spending hours cleaning your garage is unappealing, take a moment to consider what you’ll gain by parking your vehicle in the garage. You won’t have to clean a mountain of snow off your windshield before work. It won’t take as long to warm your car in the morning. By saving time each morning, you won’t be rushed during your commute, making travel safer. Not a bad trade-off for a few hours of work on a Saturday.

Taking these steps will allow you to make room in your garage for your vehicle during winter. Come spring, you may be ready for a more permanent solution for your garage organizational needs.

Make Your New Year’s Resolution a New Year’s Reality

2 car garage willowdale showcase - garage door, clutter, painted garage floor, slatwall organizer, shelving, drywall finished walls, drywall finished ceilings

As the clock strikes twelve, signaling the New Year, our enthusiasm burns bright. We’re excited about the possibilities ahead of us and all of the positive changes we’ve resolved to make.

If you’ve ever been in a gym during the first week of the year, you know that it’s brimming with people eager to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. By the second or third week, the crowd begins to thin. That’s because it doesn’t take long for that glittery excitement to fade.

2 car garage willowdale showcase - garage door, clutter, painted garage floor, slatwall organizer, shelving, drywall finished walls, drywall finished ceilingsMaybe you’ve begun to experience this, too. Your intentions were good, but you no longer feel motivated. Suddenly, those resolutions feel less like an opportunity for growth and more like a burden. One simple change will bring you closer to achieving your goals. Rather than making a broad resolution, like wanting to lose weight, travel more or make more money, create a step-by-step plan for reaching very specific goals. 

The goals mentioned above are indeed worthwhile. However, my expertise lies with another common resolution—the desire to get organized. Let’s look at a few ways to ensure that you realize your intention of getting organized this year.

Get Clear About Your Objective

Start by getting crystal clear about what you want to achieve. Set SMAC goals. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Compatible. A goal like, “I want to get organized,” is admirable, but not specific or measurable. It is therefore less likely to be achieved. So be specific.

“I’m purging my closet of anything I haven’t worn in the past year.”

“I’m donating all of the toys and clothing my children have outgrown to a local shelter.”

“We’re going to organize the garage so that we can finally park the car inside.”

Now you have specific goals that can easily be measured. If the project still seems overwhelming, don’t panic. My three steps to ideal organization will help you simplify the process and achieve your desired results. Let’s apply those three steps to organizing your garage.

Step One:  Get rid of everything you don’t want or need.

This is the step that sometimes hurts. Many of the items stored in your garage have some sentimental value. They represent special memories from your past or optimism about the future. Approach each item logically. Ask yourself if you’ve used it in the past year. If you haven’t, chances are you’ll never use it again. It’s simply clutter, and it’s standing between you and your ultimate objective of organizing your garage.

Don’t be afraid to let go of unused items. If anything is broken, outdated or unsafe, dispose of it. For items that are still in good shape and may be useful to someone else, arrange for a spring garage sale or donate them to a local charity. Don’t hold onto things because maybe one day you’ll need them. Recall the frustration you felt when you made your resolution to get organized. Stay focused and be ruthless. Purge, purge, then purge some more.

Step Two:  Divide your stuff into manageable chunks.

Have you ever tried to do a small house repair only to discover that your hammer, wrench and screwdriver were in three separate places? It makes what might have been a simple job frustrating and time-consuming. That’s why it’s important to group all of your tools in one central location, like a toolbox.

Now, take the same approach when it comes to organizing your garage. Separate items by category. Group holiday decorations, gardening supplies, power tools, sporting goods and automotive products. You’ll save valuable time (and prevent needless aggravation) throughout the year.

Step Three:  Organize your things according to themes, seasons or purpose.

Organize the garage in a way that makes accessing items intuitive. Place items used frequently where they are easily accessible. Seasonal items like Halloween or Christmas decorations don’t need priority placement. Such items are good candidates for high shelves or overhead storage racks. Winter weather equipment like shovels, ice melting products and antifreeze should be placed near the garage door and given a priority space during the winter.

Once you’re done purging and organizing your garage, you may discover that your current storage options don’t accommodate everything you own. However, a well-designed garage, tailored to fit your lifestyle needs, will provide the storage you need. Simply contact a garage organizational expert to find out how quick and affordable a custom garage transformation can be.

Getting organized requires time, effort and a lot of hard work. However, when your space is organized and clutter-free it will be well worth it.

7 Reasons You Need to Organize Your Garage

1 car garage, central toronto - custom attic mezzanine storage area

1.5 car garage, etobicoke - slatwall, overhead platforms, polyaspartic floor coating, shelves, bike racks - afterEveryone is familiar with the chaos and clutter found in a typical home garage.  Sadly, too many people accept a cluttered garage as normal and simply put up with it.  Have you ever stopped to consider how life-changing an organized garage could be?

A good place to understand the benefits of organizing your garage is with a clear definition of organize.  Organize means to transform chaos into order.  Literally, organize can be defined as the process of turning a messy, chaotic or unordered space into a structured coherent layout, often with specific grouping arrangements.  You will see that there are 7 reasons you want to consider in organizing your garage.

 

1. Safety of Your Family

The primary reason to organize your garage is the safety of you and your family.  Especially for families with children, an organized garage keeps dangerous tools and chemicals safely out of harm’s way.  Additionally, by using carefully planned storage solutions you won’t risk the hazard of random objects falling upon you or your kids. 

 

2. Cleanliness

A second reason to properly organize your garage is cleanliness.  Cleanliness shows up in two ways.  First, an organized garage is more visually appealing because it just looks cleaner overall.  One issued related to cleanliness you need to be aware of concerns bare concrete floors.  An unfinished concrete floor is prone to releasing concrete dust, especially as vehicles and heavy equipment like lawn mowers are  moved in and out of the garage.  This concrete dust can be especially bothersome to those who are prone to allergies.  Note that concrete dust is not so much of an issue if there is a floor covering product installed. Secondly, an organized garage is easier to keep clean. 

 

3. Protect Your Vehicle

1 car garage parks bmw plus 7 high end bicycles, portable workshop and all toolsNot surprisingly, the third reason to organize your garage is protection.  By freeing up the clutter in your garage, you can store your vehicles, your sporting equipment and other valuables safely inside the garage where they belong.  Look at it this way, is it better to store a couple hundred dollars worth of various clutter in and around your garage floor or are you better off parking that $45,000 car inside where its protected from the weather, from vandals or even theft?

 

4. Have More Quality Time

You will not be surprised to learn that the fourth reason for organizing your garage is your own time.  There are only twenty four hours available each day.  How much of that time do you want to spend scrounging around looking for stuff in your garage?   It is so easy to discount a few minutes here and a few minutes there.  However, if you ever took a moment and added up all of that extra time you spend desperately searching for something in your garage or worse added up the time you spend going to the store and getting something that you later learn you already owned, you would probably be shocked and dismayed.

 

5. Peace of Mind

Along the same theme, a fifth reason for organizing your garage is your own peace of mind.  You may have heard about or read studies that suggest that clutter creates a low level stress every time you see it.  Consciously or not, each and every time you walk through your cluttered garage you experience a mild level of stress.  You know having an uncluttered space is more appealing yet a quick glance at most garages is enough to cause many people to give up in frustration.  The task just looks too overwhelming to even consider.  Of course, the best solution is to go ahead and make a decision to organize that garage space.  The amazing fact is that once your garage space is organized you may well find yourself organizing other spaces in and around your home.

 

6. Save Money

A sixth and perhaps even more motivating reason to organize your garage is to consider how much money you will end up saving.  For example, have you ever found yourself heading off to one of those big box stores to pick up a lawn tool only to discover later that you already had one of those tools buried under a pile of debris?  Or what about those lawn and garden chemicals that may be scattered around your garage? Have you ever found yourself with more than one container? Have you ever factored in the time and money you spend driving back and forth to end up getting something you already have right there in your garage?  Obviously, you wouldn’t have this expense if everything was stored in a logical organized way. So add up the cost of all those duplicate tools and supplies, add in the cost of the gas to go to the store and back and finally add in your time that you spend either scrounging around looking for your stuff or going back and forth to the store and the point is crystal clear; an organized garage is a huge money saver.

 

7. Gain More Living Space

1 car garage, central toronto - custom attic mezzanine storage areaFinally, the seventh reason you want to organize your garage is that it will free up more space.   It is all about making your space work.  By properly organizing and structuring your garage storage needs you will end up with more available space.  This will allow you to put more stuff in the garage that you may currently have stored in various locations around the home such as your basement.  For example, consider a growing family.  By optimizing the storage space in the garage, this family could free up enough space in the basement to construct another room.  In other words, by taking the simple step of organizing their garage, this growing family actually created more living space.

 

As you can see organizing your garage has many more benefits than you might have considered.  In many cases, setting up an organized garage could be a life changing event.

 

 

How much is a disorganized garage really costing you?

1 car garage parks bmw plus 7 high end bicycles, portable workshop and all tools

Are you a Have or a Have Not? 

As you have probably noticed, it’s that time again.  Yes, the days are getting shorter, the kids are back in school and it’s time to set up your garage for the winter season.  In our many years of helping people organize their garages, we have identified two distinct types of homeowners in our area, the haves and the have nots.

1 car garage parks bmw plus 7 high end bicycles, portable workshop and all tools

HAVE: 1 Car Garage – parks 1 BMW, 7 high performance road bicycles, flip down workbench, all garden tools & seasonal tire storage

In this case, we are talking about homeowners who have taken steps to setup and organize their garages for easy seasonal transitions.  These homeowners greet the seasonal change with open arms.  They know that seasonal garage setup is not a chore at all, but a simple task that can be completed in a fairly short amount of time.

On the other hand, there is the other group of homeowners, those who have not organized their garages.  As you might guess, these homeowners warily glance around the inside of their garage.  They desperately try to figure out how long it will take to gather up all that clutter, move all that stuff around, store all the summer tools, toys and more away and bring out the winter gear. Sometimes, these garages are so disorganized that homeowners actually consider taking almost everything outside and then bringing the stuff back inside in the order they need.  Unfortunately, if they are honest with themselves, they know this will most likely never happen.  The end result is chaos or worse. 

Back right 1 car central toronto garage

HAVE NOT: 1 Car Garage – cluttered, no storage, unable to park family vehicle, lacks organization

Then, once the first cold snap hits for these homeowners, it’s a mad dash to move the piles from here to there and everywhere in between to make room for the car.  Oh, and should the home be equipped with a 2 car garage, too often, there is so much clutter piled up that just one car can be safely squeezed into the remaining space.

The point is simple and easy to understand: an organized garage will save a lot of headaches throughout the year, but especially so when it’s time to adjust for the season change.  Look, if you plan on just shoving your stuff into various piles around the garage that’s your choice. Yet, you might want to consider what a disorganized garage is really costing you.

Of course, it’s obvious that a disorganized garage costs you extra time throughout the year.  Do you ever find yourself hunting all over your garage for a particular garden tool?  Do you ever move stuff aside to get to more stuff behind the first pile?  Have you ever sent one of your kids out to the garage to fetch a garden tool and they can’t find it?  Then, you head into the garage and it takes you a bit of time to find it yourself.  You can see that you could end up spending a lot more time than necessary; if only your garage was better organized, you would save yourself a lot of headache.

Another way a cluttered garage is costing you comes right out of your wallet.  Our storage solution team members regularly surprise homeowners when they point out that the homeowner has two or more of the same item such as weed whackers, garden hoses or rakes, one of which was buried deep in a pile of clutter years ago.  Or, in a more painful hit to your wallet, what about the car door that bangs into a wheelbarrow or other item in the garage simply because the garage is over stuffed with clutter.  Whether a small dent or ding, the damage is unsightly and will most likely need repair.

 A third way that a cluttered garage can end up costing also concerns your vehicle.  Think of it this way.  Think about what happens if a garage is so cluttered that one or both vehicles (for a 2-car garage) can’t comfortably fit inside during the winter.  A vehicle that’s worth more than everything in the garage combined has to sit outside and endure the brutal winter; but your garden tools, the lawnmower, the bikes, etc get to rest comfortably indoors.  Of course, when you look at it that way, it’s immediately obvious there has to be a better way.

 Actually, it’s about this time of year the storage solution team here at Nuvo Garage starts to field anxious calls from worried homeowners.  Remember, your garage is not just a dumping ground for what doesn’t belong in the house.  Your garage is there for your vehicles plus your other belongings.  With the right organization system in place, your car and your bikes, sports equipment, garden tools and more can comfortably occupy the same space.

Can you and your garage pass the squeeze test?

Back right 1 car central toronto garage 190x143 before

Is your garage causing you stress?

Back right 1 car central toronto garage 190x143 before

Before left wall 1 car garage nov 2011 190w

Thomas transformation 2 car garage beaches 190x143 slatwall organizers hooks garden tools before

As the season changes, many people find themselves faced with an unappetizing item on their plate, namely the garage and what could have been.  During the warm summer months the very best of intentions were always there.  Yet, somehow the task of organizing, of making sense of all that stuff in the garage never seemed to make it to the top of the to-do list.  This chore kept getting put off to the next weekend, the next available Friday afternoon.  Finally now we find the season change is upon us, and the garage is no better than it was at the start of the season.  The summer ended so much faster than anyone planned on.  Now you may very well feel like you have a monster on your hands. 

To help you come to terms with this, your friendly team here at Nuvo Garage put together a 7 point self-evaluation garage organization quiz.  You can use this quiz to help you figure out where you are and what your best options are at this point.  Relax, no one is going to grade this quiz so this is for your eyes only.  This is just a fun way for you to find out how much you can or cannot squeeze into your garage and whether you experience what we affectionately call Seasonal Garage Anxiety Disorder.

1. Do you feel your blood pressure rising if you pause to consider your garage, the things that need to be moved in, the things that need to be moved out, the things that need to be shuffled around to prepare for the upcoming season?

2. Are you embarrassed to open up your garage door in front of your neighbors for the mess that’s readily visible to anyone that takes a peek inside?

3. If your garage door happens to be open and a friend stops by to chat, do you find yourself apologizing for the mess?

 4. Does your car fit in your garage?  Seriously, if you have a one car garage, will one car fit in there at the same time as all your stuff you have strewn about?  Or, if you have a two car garage, can you comfortably park both cars inside without moving some of your stuff to one corner or the other?  Also, whether it’s a one car or a two car garage, if the car(s) are parked in the garage, can you safely get to your car without stumbling over piles of your stuff?

 5. Do truly know where your stuff is?  If you suddenly need a pair of shears to trim the bushes out front, can you locate them without hunting all over the garage?

 6. Do you actually know how much stuff you really have?  You may be surprised to learn that during organization storage solution installations the team here at Nuvo Garage often surprises homeowners.  These homeowners are shocked and amazed to learn there are duplicate or even triplicate tools such as snow shovels, rakes and the like strewn all over the garage.

 7. How much time would you reckon you spend moving piles of stuff around to get to the tools or materials you are looking for at the moment?

 Well, there are your 7 questions.  There is no real score per se, just a self assessment to help you figure out where you are.  As you might imagine, knowing where you are is the first step to moving forward and making a better choice.  So, take a look back at your answers.  Your answers are a big clue for the next step, which as you might have already guessed is better organization. 

 Of course, you are already aware of the value of a proper storage and organization solution since you’ve made it this far and to the end of the quiz.  Now, one last thing, look back to your answers and ask yourself one final question: Is now the time to take some action and get organized?

Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning - garage sale today

spring cleaning - garage sale today

Over the winter months you likely don’t spend a lot of time in the garage. Your main goal is to get from the car into the warmth of the house as quickly as possible, or grab the skis or hockey equipment you need and go. Now the weather has finally warmed up, you might be a little more interested in spending time in the garage doing a little spring cleaning. But more than just a sweep and a mop, you need to switch around the winter stuff to make it easier to access gardening supplies and summer recreation equipment.  If your garage is already organized, this becomes a much easier task.

The stage of life you are at will determine the level of organization and the type of garage storage you need. A couple with no kids around will have very different needs to a family with young children. Let’s explore some different scenarios:

 

The no-children or post-children-at-home couple

This is my situation now, and boy it sure makes a difference to the amount of clutter in our life. I’ve either given away or sold anything that I no longer need and there’s not a lot of new stuff coming in to be stored. I’ve organized my garage into zones for gardening supplies, seasonal decorations, car supplies and my golf clubs. When the season changes I just have to switch the things I’ll need to where I can find them easily. Slatwall with hooks and baskets makes this easy. And anything I won’t need for the next six months I can store away in overhead bins. I then just have to give the flooring a wash with soapy water and a mop and I’m done.

 

The family with growing children

This is the most challenging stage for garage organizing.  There’s bikes of varying sizes, sports equipment, maybe some boxes of old clothes and toys, as well as gardening tools, car accessories and other treasures you just haven’t been able to part with.  It’s time to take stock of what you need and what you can get rid of.   A little cash to be earned from having a garage sale or listing items on Kijiji or Craigslist is a great motivator for kids to help sort through their stuff.  Once you’ve gotten rid of what you no longer need, you can organize the rest.  Hooks, baskets, overhead containers and bicycle racks make it easy.  And before you store away the hockey equipment for the summer, treat it to a professional washing.  Most sports stores offer this service, and you can also check out ProCleanGear and Fresh Gear for more information.

 

The family with aging parents and children away at university

They don’t call this the sandwich generation for nothing.  In the garage, it can feel like your car and your stuff is literally sandwiched between your kids’ and your parents’ stored furniture.  Granted, it’s difficult to part with furniture that has sentimental value – but there are solutions.  Take an honest look and decide if you’ll really ever use it again.  And ask your kids. Most of us gladly furnished our first homes with our parents’ old furniture, but today’s generation seems less willing to.  Sell what you can and look for ways to re-purpose the rest.  An old wooden coffee table or chair could have new life inside your house with a coat or paint or a faux finish.

No matter your age or stage of life, an organized garage can make spring-cleaning a simple task. For more ideas on how to create a garage that fits your life, have a look at my website.

 

Winter Toy Storage

garage entrance to home - effectively leverage space for sports storage

In the great Canadian tradition of celebrating winter, sports equipment that lets you face the elements for pure fun is crucial.  From toboggans and skis to snowshoes, snowboards and skates, there’s a range of winter toys that can enhance your family life when you’re surrounded by snow and ice.

garage entrance to home - effectively leverage space for sports storageThe types and amounts of equipment families have stowed away generally depends on their children’s ages.  When kids are little, toboggans, sleds, crazy carpets and flying saucers are in abundance.  As they get a little older, skis become the most common.

Creating a proper storage solution for your skis, boots and poles is a simple way to protect your investment.  The better you take care of them, the longer they’ll last.  You could store your skis in the house but if they’re not properly dried out, you might end up with wet carpets or slippery floors.  If they are hung on hooks inside the garage, drips won’t matter. Wherever you decide to put them, the best reason to have a designated space is so you won’t have to look around to find everything when the snow beckons.

Hockey gear is another type of sports equipment that can be found in abundance in many households. Ideally, if you insist on bringing your hockey equipment into the house, the ripened under armour, long johns, socks and jerseys would immediately find their way into the washing machine while the pads, pants and gloves would dry out on a laundry rack.  But since late-night ice times are very common, most of the time after the game is over, the sweaty gear gets taken inside the house and dumped in the basement.  Admit it, you’ve done it at least once.

There is a middle ground.  As long as you take your under gear inside, skates, sticks, helmets and pads can be dried out in the garage so the musk doesn’t infiltrate the house and potentially aggravate your housemates. True, your gear will be cooler when you put it into the bag, but by the time you arrive at the rink, it’s more than likely warmed up.  And if you’re playing on a year-round league, for three seasons it’s not even a factor.

One family I worked with didn’t want their young boys bringing their hockey gear into the house.  The optimal solution was to build a locker in the garage for them to hang their skates, pants, gloves and pads using a combination of baskets, shelves and hooks mounted to an end wall.  All the washable stuff went inside with the kids for proper clean up.

Winter is an amazing time of the year.  An organized garage where you can protect your car from the elements, while also accessing everything you need to play in the snow, makes it that much better.

Depending on your budget, needs and taste, I can recommend the perfect cabinets and garage storage systems to accommodate all the athletes in your house.  Our suppliers Hercke, Onex and CTECH offer higher quality and more adaptable products than the typical garage cabinets found in big box stores.  Or if you’d like to discuss a custom storage system for your family’s specific activities which can be a better fit as well as cost effective, I can assist you with a solution to make it easy for everyone to use your garage in a way that fits the lifestyle.

Resolutions / Get Organized

new years resolutions - garage organization

 

Nuvo Year Resolutions

 

It’s a new year and like many people, you’ve probably made, or are considering making, resolutions.  Over the holidays, I did an unscientific survey of my family, friends and associates and confirmed some long-held assumptions – the most common resolutions are joining the gym, quitting smoking, eating better and getting organized.  While the first three are out of my purview, in terms of getting organized, I can offer a lot more than moral support.

 

Thenew years resolutions - garage organization trick behind getting organized is picking a reasonable objective.  Blanket statements like, “I want to organize my life,” can be daunting.  It’s like going to the gym for the first time in two years and insisting on 30 minutes on the Stairmaster.  In theory it might seem like a good idea, but you’ll soon realize incremental steps are the best, and least painful, approach.  That’s why I like projects that are SMAC – specific, measurable, achievable and compatible.

 

When it comes to getting your garage organized, it may seem like a big endeavour, but if you follow my three steps to ideal organization, it’s a lot easier than you think.   And the results of a clean, tidy, organized garage are well worth the effort because it saves time and aggravation in the longrun.

 

1. Get rid of stuff you don’t want or need.

Purging is the hardest part, especially with things you’ve had for a long time. The garage tends to be the dumping ground for things in the house without a real home. Really consider if you need it or are hanging onto it for sentimental reasons. I call this “just in case syndrome.” Remember your objective and ultimate resolution to get organized. When you’re clearing your closets, you don’t want to look at the skirt or jacket that’s been hanging there for the past three years and say, “I might need it.” It’s the same in the garage. Be focused and ruthless.

 

You’ll be amazed how rewarding it is to give old bikes to programs that repair and recycle them, or if you have a variety of stuff, you can save it for a spring garage sale.

 

2. Divide your stuff into manageable chunks.

Separate items by category like gardening supplies, power tools, sporting goods and automotive products.

 

3. Now organize your things according to themes, seasons or the way it’s used, similar to the way you’d group cutlery, dishes, baking accessories and food in the kitchen cupboards and drawers.

Items that only are only accessed once a year like Halloween or Christmas decorations don’t need priority placement in the garage.  Shovels, ice melting products and antifreeze are items you require frequently, so they should be stored in an easy to reach, logical spot.

 

The idea is you shouldn’t have to think a lot when you’re looking for something in the garage or anywhere else.  It should be intuitive.

 

After purging and organizing everything in the garage, you might wonder how the standard four walls and minimal storage options can effectively make a home for everything. With a well-designed garage that’s custom tailored to your lifestyle needs, you’ll be able to sustain your organizing efforts and the garage will no longer be the dumping ground for clutter.

 

So if you’ve resolved to get finally get things organized in 2013, I welcome you to call me for a free in-home consultation on how you can take your garage to the next level.

 

 

Hercke Cabinets

hercke garage cabinets - lockable storage systems

 

 

Designs That Let You Put Things Away in Style hercke garage cabinets - beautiful garage storage & workstation

 

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. Consequently some of the most useful products are designed for very specific situations and requirements. But that doesn’t mean these solutions can’t look terrific too, which is why when people are interested in efficient and great-looking garage organization solutions, I’m happy to suggest three different lines of cabinets – Hercke, Onex and Ctech.  All of the products that Nuvo Garage carries and recommends for garage transformations are highly functional and have specialized features that will appeal to various needs, priorities and budgets. Over the next few months, I’ll get into more specific details about the unique features of each product, but this month I’m going to focus on Hercke. 

 

As the operator of an independent business, I have the luxury of choosing the suppliers and products I believe in and Hercke’s modular system is durable, functional and attractive. It’s one of my favourite storage solution systems because in addition to good design and adaptability, dollar for dollar it’s a sturdier, higher quality product than similar systems offered by home improvement retailers. 

 

Is there a gauge distinction between big box cabinets and these?
hercke garage cabinets - lockable storage systemsThe fully lockable system includes 30-inch wide steel cabinets with black cases and black shelves. They can be personalized with stainless steel or powder grey fronts that work extremely well in a garage storage setting and can also be utilized in other areas of your home for storage system continuity. Another key feature is they have scalable legs, which ensure that the cabinets can be levelly installed to retain their integrity even with the 5% grade slant on garage floors, a building code requirement that ensures proper water run-off.

 

Hercke cabinets work effectively because their storage and organization system was created by homeowners with needs that are likely quite similar to yours. The company was founded by the husband and wife team of Tom and Katy Van Hercke when they were unable to find adequate storage solutions to keep power tools out of the reach of their two young children and Katy wanted to store some over-sized platters and trays in the kitchen. Their breakthrough was developing a system that was functional in the garage or basement, but also flexible and attractive for other areas of the home including the kitchen, laundry room, office or playroom. The other important component was they wanted the design to be appealing for both men and women. It is. And that kind of aesthetic appeal and continuity is handy to get consensus on a project like transforming the chaos of your garage into an attractive place of highly organized storage, safety and efficiency.

 hercke garage cabinets - wall storage systems

As a consumer, you have a is a range of options, but I believe that customized Hercke cabinets are a far better value and long-term investment than a lot of lower priced, and consequently lower quality substitutes out there. Plus, Nuvo Garage offers full-service transformations from the design and sourcing through installation that can be completed in a few days once specialty orders have been placed. For a consultation and estimate, give me a call.

Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Garage Sale

garage sale - de-clutter, organize and prepare to tranform your garage

garage sale - de-clutter, organize and prepare to tranform your garageWhen people embark on a garage transformation, the question they’re faced with is “How do I make room for the cars and get rid of the mess?”  In a previous blog post, seasonal garage anxiety disorder, I discussed an easy way to sort through the clutter.  A lot of what you’re storing may not be of use to you, but it may be useful to someone else.

 

A garage sale can be an effective way to sell some of the stuff that’s in your garage and generate some money to put towards your transformation, but it has to be done right!  Here are some tips on holding an successful garage sale:

 

Before the sale:

  • Advertise.  Keep the posters simple with your address, dates and times.  Many realtors will have signs they’ll loan out that you can prop up around the neighbourhood to direct traffic, but you can also put posters up on lamp posts.  Don’t discount an ad in the paper – many people still check the local newspaper for garage sale listings.
  • Price your items in advance and keep the prices realistic.  Often people think their stuff is more valuable than it is.  The people that go to garage sales are mostly bargain hunters.  For things that are clean and in good shape, try pricing it at about a fifth of retail value.  If it’s new or almost new, the piece could command a third.  Repair something if it needs it.  Wash it if it’s dirty.
  • If you’re unsure about an older appliance or baby product, check with Health Canada’s Product Recalls
  • Be prepared for early birds who will arrive before the scheduled opening time!

 

During the sale

  • Be friendly.  Nobody likes a silent shopkeeper.
  • Have lots of change ready (10 fives, one roll each of quarters, loonies and toonies should do).
  • Don’t use a cashbox, it’s too easy to forget.  A money belt or fanny pack is better.
  • Designate one person as the cashier, that way there’s no confusion over what’s been sold and for how much.
  • Selling electronics?  Make it easy for people to test these items by having an extension cord or putting in fresh batteries.

 

Exit Strategy

  • In the early afternoon, start reducing prices.
  • Have a plan for the items that go unsold.  You can drop them off at a charity at the end of the day (some will do a pick up).

 

You’ve now freed up space in your garage, gotten rid of the clutter that’s been holding you back and the garage is now ready to do the job it was designed to do.

 

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