During summers filled with outdoor activities and projects, much of what we store in the garage ends up on the lawn, deck or patio. What gets brought back in is often tossed carelessly in an available corner or shoved on a random shelf. As fall brings cooler weather and shorter days, we know the transition inside for the winter is coming. October is a great month to prepare for this shift by getting the garage and outdoor spaces put back in order. The tips below can help!
Finish up outside before you move things back in. It allows you to enjoy a tidy yard and nicer garage over the winter, then jump right into the outdoor season next year!
- Clean the patio furniture, grill, cars, lawnmower, bikes, trash and recycle containers
- Tend to the lawn and garden – seed, fertilize, mow, trim, rake and weed
- Sweep sidewalks, porches, patios, driveways and decks
Clean the entire garage. This space is often neglected, when it should look like an extension of your indoor rooms.
- Pick up trash
- Sweep the floor
- Clear the cobwebs
- Wipe down surfaces
- Clean off dirt, oil, and rust
Sort through and assess what is in the garage now. Remember these guidelines:
- If it’s broken, worn out, rusted through or expired – repair or trash it
- If it’s been outgrown, superseded, is a duplicate or won’t be used again – donate it
- If it belongs somewhere else – move it
- If it’s dirty – clean it
Designate a place for everything you want to keep. As with all organizing, the key is to know where an item ‘lives’ so it can be returned there after each use.
- Store ‘like’ items together
- Put frequently used things in the most accessible places
- Look for organizing and storage products to make the best use of your space (cabinets, shelving, tool holders, pegboard systems, bins, hanging racks)
- Utilize vertical and ceiling space to hang tools, bikes and other items
Now you are ready to bring outdoor items back inside, store them neatly, and prepare for your winter hibernation!