Sheltering in place can take its toll on homeowners and leave them antsy for a project that doesn’t resemble home-schooling or joining a team meeting on Zoom. One fix? Get out of the house and tackle a task or two in the garage. Because you probably have the time now!
“This spot tends to be where clutter gathers—where we throw the stuff we’ll just deal with later—so consider giving it a good cleaning out,” says Julie Coraccio, an organizing professional and author of “Got Clutter? 365 Journal Prompts.”
And if you have a garden (first of all, lucky you), spring is the perfect time to organize all those pots, tools, and other gear so you’re ready to plant flowers and veggies when the time comes.
Grab some work gloves, and check out our list of six easy ways to spruce up your garage with all that time on your hands.
1. Create wall storage
A jumble of wrenches, pliers, and random screws does not make for an efficient workspace.
“Now would be a good time to see what kinds of organization system you can set up for tools, whether vertical or horizontal,” she says. She likes the idea of installing shelving and using bins.
You could also install a pegboard. This easy DIY chore can be accomplished in mere minutes. Amazon has a great selection of pegboards ($36.95) in a variety of colors. To determine how big of a board you’ll need, lay the tools you’d like to hang on the floor or a piece of paper and measure the length and width around them.
2. Organize sports gear
Aren’t you tired of tripping over soccer balls and hockey sticks rolling around on the floor every time you unload groceries from the car? Put an end to it! Stock up on mesh bags ($8.99, Amazon) for all those balls, and order wire bins ($11.99, Amazon) for other equipment.
An over-the-door plastic shoe holder ($12.97, Amazon) is ideal for sneakers, golf shoes, tennis sweat bands, and other small items. And you can drill a couple of heavyweight hooks into your ceiling or garage beams to hold bikes that are taking up precious floor space.
3. Scrub garbage cans
No one wants to tackle this project, but it’s a must if you want to banish odor from the garage. Take your containers to the yard, and spray them with a hose. Next, scrub tough interior stains and sticky spots with a wire brush, and then use a big sponge and liquid cleanser to clean the inside and exterior. Allow the cans to dry in the sun, or wipe them with an old towel. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Detail your car
Let’s face it—this is one chore you’ve been putting off for much too long.
“Give your car a good cleaning, which means vacuuming interior rugs, wiping down the steering wheel, dashboard, door handles, and turn signals, and then washing the windows,” says Ana Cummings of the eponymous design firm.
And if the weather’s nice, pull your car out of the garage and get your kids to help you wash the outside, too.
5. Designate recycling and donation bins
Getting rid of things during the spring season feels like a fresh start, so make sure you have enough containers to corral all of your castoffs, says Cummings. Paper, glass, and metal need their own bins (unless you have single-stream recycling in your area).
Many donation locations like Goodwill or the Salvation Army are not accepting items at this time, but designate a spot in your garage for any items you clean out of your garage. That way you’ll know exactly what to grab when you’re able to drop off your wares.
6. Add a home gym
You may not have the resources to make over your garage into your personal workout haven, but if you have the space, dedicate a corner of the room to your Peloton or yoga mat. It’s time you moved it out of your bedroom.
An accent wall or bright floor covering is a quick way to designate a sweat zone—and you can add a cushioned exercise mat ($19.99, Amazon) for more comfort.
“Install a TV or some kind of music for ambiance,” says Cummings.
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