Reclaim Your Garage From Clutter
According to the national data from the American Housing Survey, 80 percent of owner-occupied housing units have a garage or carport. This represents tens of millions of Americans who must decide what to do with that extra space in their homes.
While garages can and do serve many purposes, car storage is the most common usage. Yet, one-quarter of Americans say their garage is too cluttered to store their vehicle. And if it’s too cluttered to store a vehicle, it’s often too cluttered to use properly and store other large items.
It’s one thing if your garage has alternate uses, but if you’re not careful, that line of thinking can lead to simple clutter sprawling across your garage. Thankfully, Storage King USA is here to explain why you should finally clean that garage out—and some tips to make it so.
Benefits of a Clean Garage
A garage is just a storage unit attached to your house, right? It’s supposed to be cluttered. That’s the point, isn’t it?
There’s a kernel of truth to that—garages are great places for storage—but you can still have a great storage space and a clean garage. There are many benefits to having a clean and clear garage, both directly and indirectly.
Car Storage Benefits
For most Americans, car purchases are the second-most expensive purchases that they’ll ever make behind a house. The median cost for a used car is about $20,000, which is a lot of money to spend on a single item. And it’s not just the value of the vehicle itself that’s at stake; 85% of Americans commute to their jobs in their car. Vehicles aren’t just valuable—they’re often indispensable.
And yet, drive down any residential street in the country and you’ll see many cars parked in the driveway or on the street. There are certainly legitimate reasons for this, of course. Some homeowners use their garage for a specific purpose (like a studio or workroom), others physically can’t fit larger trucks or SUVs into their garage, and many families with younger drivers have more vehicles than spots in the garage. But as the statistics bear out, garage clutter is often to blame.
Storing your car in the garage has multiple benefits. First, it protects your vehicle from the elements. If you live in an area with hail or strong storms that can bring down tree limbs or power lines, your car will be snug as a bug in a rug inside your garage (and if it gets damaged in there, it would have been damaged anywhere). Another benefit of storing your car in your garage is to protect it from bird droppings. That might sound trivial, but bird poop is extremely acidic and can eventually eat away at your paint.
Finally, storing your car in a garage will protect it from dings and damage from hit-and-runs—especially common if you park it on the street. Worst of all, your insurance premium could rise if you file a claim, resulting in even more monetary loss over time.
Psychological Benefits of Decluttering
Wading through clutter certainly isn’t fun. It takes a long time to find things you’re looking for in a disorganized room—if you even find it at all. But did you know that there are clear psychological benefits for getting rid of clutter? It’s true! Check out these reasonswhy decluttering will make you happier:
- It reduces stress and fights depression.
- It makes it easier to focus.
- It can actually lead to better eating habits.
- It improves air quality (dust is to blame).
The more cluttered your garage, the worse the psychological effects of clutter are—not to mention the logistical benefits of having items in their own place that can be easily found. Even if you don’t ever store your car in your garage, you can still reap the benefits of decluttering.
Junk or Treasure?
They say that one person’s junk is another’s treasure. If you’re being honest, you probably have things that fall into each category in a cluttered garage, and some in between. But if you’re not sure, how do you figure out what’s junk and what’s treasure? Just ask yourself these few questions.
Have you used it more than once?
Generally, items stored in the garage aren’t used every day—if they were, they’d probably be stored elsewhere in your home. Seasonal items like mowers, trimmers, snowblowers, Christmas decorations, and the like aren’t used throughout the year, so the standard decluttering question of “have you used it recently?” doesn’t help much.
Instead, ask yourself if you’ve used it more than once. If the answer is “yes,” you can feel pretty confident in keeping it. If the answer is “no,” then you need to ask yourself some more questions: Was it for a one-time project, or is it a “just in case” item? By categorizing your items by use, you can take an important first step toward decluttering.
Does it have sentimental value?
Belongings aren’t just things to be used; many of our most cherished keepsakes aren’t so because they are useful but because they have sentimental value. Go through the belongings in your garage and sincerely assess if each item has real sentimental value. It’s easy to make excuses for keeping around the items that we do, so that honesty is important: Will you be sad to see it go or stored elsewhere? Would you notice if it were gone?
How valuable is it?
All items have some sort of monetary value (even if that number is zero). You probably have a decent idea of what’s valuable and what’s not inside your garage—for instance, a miter saw is clearly more valuable than your bag of paintbrushes and paint rollers. But you might be surprised at how valuable your items are. For those that you’re not sure about, do some research and see how much they cost to acquire or rent.
How to Maximize Your Garage Space
Regardless of what you’re keeping, getting rid of, or storing at an offsite storage facility, maximizing the garage space that you have will help you make more efficient decisions and make your dollars go further.
Build Garage Cabinets or Shelving
The most efficient way to maximize your storage space is to make use of the vertical space in your garage. Do so by installing garage cabinets or shelving. Your options are nearly limitless—do you want enclosed storage? Open storage? Just a few cabinets or shelves, or a garage surrounded by them? Temporary or permanent? Standard or custom-built?
Whatever solution you select, just be sure that they’ll comfortably fit around your car if you intend to park it in your garage. Measure your vehicle’s dimensions, and place masking tape on the floor to denote where it would sit. Then, install your shelving, keeping in mind walking lanes.
Install Pegboards and Hooks
Even if you do choose to install shelves or cabinets, there’s nothing quite as useful as having an easy pegboard or hooks on the wall. They make it easy to hang rakes, extension cords, brooms, and more with ease. Use them for your most often used tools, and enjoy the convenience.
Invest in a Mobile Work Area
If you’re a handy person who loves their toolset and working on their next great project, a workspace is not only important—it’s necessary. For maximum storage, consider investing in a mobile work area on wheels. Whether you construct your own or buy one at the store, these mobile workbenches can be constructed with built-in storage and even integrated into your custom-built cabinets. That way, you can keep your car in the garage and simply put it in your driveway when you want to use your workbench.
Claim Your Garage with the Help of a Storage King
Want to clear out your garage but still need extra storage space? A storage unit at Storage King USA can be your key to unlocking a clutter-free garage. With storage facilities in 11 states, Storage King serves millions of Americans with great storage solutions at reasonable prices. From small locker units to extra-large spaces, we have storage units that will work for nearly any need—including parking spaces for your vehicle at select locations.
So, go ahead: Reclaim your garage, and do with it what you want. Our storage units are here to equip you to do so. For everything from garage storage to business storage and more, Storage King has your back. Contact us and reserve your unit today!