Winter is almost upon us and the way we use certain areas of our home is about to change. The garage is one of those areas. Perhaps in the warmer months you may not put your car in the garage every night. You may often leave the garage open and kids may even use it as an additional play area. With winter on the way, maybe it’s time to consider a storage system to organize the items in your garage.
You can begin by assessing what you are storing in your garage this winter. There may be items you do not really want to keep, but they are taking up space that could be better used. Now is the time to let them go! A garage should not be viewed as a dumping ground for miscellaneous items we have no other place for. A well-organized garage can be both functional and beautiful, whether you use simple shelving or custom-designed storage systems to keep your belongings in order.
When the weather gets truly wintry, it can be challenging to keep all the snow and mud from getting tracked into your home. If you enter your home through your garage, as many of us do, you can set up a transitional space at the door that separates the garage from the home. A boot bench, storage shelves, coat hooks and an all-weather floor mat can be used to designate an area where wet shoes and coats are to be left behind before entering the home. If you have the space, you may even consider a custom designed mud room. Clearly denoting the transition from outside to inside helps keep the snow, mud and salt out of your clean home.
If you have the space in this transition area, you could install cubbies, shelves or a full closet system to hold hats, gloves and other winter gear. Additional shoe cabinets and coat hangers could also be useful if you typically use the garage as the main entry point into the house.
Of course, you will want to ensure your belongings are off the floor and placed on shelves or in cabinets. Remember that your car, snow removal equipment and winter sporting gear may be entering your garage dripping with melting snow. Anything sitting on the floor will likely get wet. Also, storing things vertically in shelves or cabinets rather than strewn about the floor means there will be is adequate space in the garage for your vehicles and other winter equipment.
It’s also important to remember that squirrels, mice and other critters like to nest in garages during the winter. One of our clients told us that when she went to dig her ski boots out of a pile of stuff in the corner of the garage, she found a family of chipmunks in one of her boots. Not only did they make a mess, but they chewed up the entire lining to make nesting material. The whole family’s ski equipment is now safe in a custom designed sports closet in the same corner where there used to be a pile of disorganized winter gear.
Especially if you have kids, keeping your winter sports gear all together in one place that is easy to get to makes life easier when it’s time to pack the car for a weekend getaway. Again, using racks and shelving for mounting skis, snowboards, helmets and other sports accessories helps keep everything organized and off the floor.
With some smart storage solutions a garage can function as far more than a repository for excess junk and much more than just a place to park your car. A well-organized garage can provide ample storage for sports gear, seasonal items and decorations, extra shoes and clothing, tools and equipment. Let those chipmunks nest in the woods where they belong!