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Tame your garage clutter before the winter

Is your expensive vehicle currently “homeless” – left outside at night, exposed to the elements and possibly also the eyes of thieves? Does it have to live in the carport or on the driveway because your garage is too full of “stuff” to park it there? 
 
The trouble with garages, notes Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, is that they present such a handy – and cheap - place to put all our extra belongings when we decide to have a tidy-up indoors.
 
“And instead of selling or donating any of those unused belongings, we tend to let them just pile up, until one day they evict your car and take over completely. However, it’s time for this madness to stop, and by following some simple suggestions and using some modern storage hacks, you can quickly transform your garage from a cluttered storage shed into a fully functioning room.”
 
Writing in the latest Property Signposts newsletter, he says you can begin the process by letting go of anything you haven't used in six months and can’t imagine using in the next six.
 
“Donate useful times to a charity. Hold a garage sale and price everything to sell fast. Remember, you need space more than a profit.”
 
Next, you need to organize what’s left and store it properly. Divide the items into categories – tools, toys and sports equipment, for example – and then divide the garage into zones to hold these different categories.
 
“At this stage, you may well find that you still haven’t parted with enough stuff to make enough room for your car and that you need to have an even more ruthless sort-out.”
   
Then finally, Everitt says, you will probably need to invest in some shelving, racks, and storage bins. “Stackable bins made of recycled plastic are a great place to store loose toys, winter clothes, Christmas decorations, tax records and anything else you want to keep from getting dusty or mouldy. Just be sure to label them.
 
“Shelves fixed to the wall are probably the best place to store paint, pool chemicals and garden and DIY supplies, while racks and hooks will keep hoses, tools, ladders, weed-eaters, leaf blowers and even bikes and lawn mowers tidy and out of the way.
 
“Most garages are also quite high, so if you need still more space it is worth hoisting large, light items like surfboards, canoes and fishing gear up above the area where you should now be able to park the car with ease. Job done.”
 


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