So why consider a professional organizer? Well, the garage has developed into a catch-all room; storage, workspace, the main entrance to the house, where the car sleeps, and where the kids play. And for most people, it’s a mess. Garages have become one of the most disorganized places in the home, primarily because of its nature as a catch-all.
But don’t feel bad, and don’t worry. You’re not alone in having a clutter garage; there are many reasons it happens and ways to combat it.
How Cluttered Are Garages?
Garages like this one are much more common than they used to be. The good news is that these people chose to find a better way to live with their garage. These before pictures show how easy it is to have a cluttered space.
If you think your garage is the disorganized one on the block, you have a 50% chance of being right. That’s because a NAPO study had 50% of the respondents saying their garage was the most disorganized area in their home. 470 of 1,000 people Sparefoot surveyed admit that they’ve had issues parking their car in their garage because of clutter. Also a third of two-car garage owners studied by the U.S. Department of Energy can only park one car in their garage because of that clutter.
If that doesn’t convince you that clutter garages are a universal problem, the issue has jumped borders. The Australian Institute studied 1,000 Australians and found that almost half of them had problems with parking because of their clutter.
You can even conduct your own study by talking to your friends and family and asking if their garage is as organized as they would like it to be. Some might even tell you their garage clutter has a mind of its own!
Common Reasons Why Your Garage is Disorganized and What a Professional Organizer Can Help With
Your Overall Home Space Is Too Small
Too much stuff and not enough space is a perennial problem in the U.S. The average household move outside the U.S. weighs from 2,500 lbs to 7,500 lbs. The average household move in America weighs 8,000 lbs, heads and shoulders above the global average. That’s just because we have that much stuff.
With all those things, it’s no wonder it’s hard to find a place for all of them. If you’re trying to put another piece of furniture or something else into your home, using otherwise unoccupied space in your garage might be tempting.
Your Garage is an Easy Catch-All
We’ve all seen kids do it- they walk in the door, throw their backpack on the ground, their jacket on top of it. After they kick off their shoes, they wander off in search of a snack or some fun. And their things sit there. Unfortunately, adults aren’t exempt from this. Extra recycling, the half-broken chair we’ll fix eventually, the stack of clothes we need to return. You don’t want to put it on the kitchen table, so the garage is a good place for it to hang out in the meantime.
Except “meantime” lasts forever. Things pile up around each other. Also since garage doors are now the most frequently used door in the home, it’s right out there for everyone to see.
Your Garage Isn’t The Only Disorganized Place
On a blog put out by a professional organizer, you might think I would preach that organization is simple and the only way to live. But I’m also a realist. And I know how hard organization is.
We’re all busy, and trying to keep everything organized as the clutter slowly grows. Taking rooms over like an unstoppable blob can be too tall an order for even the most dedicated home organizer.
Most people with a disorganized garage can admit to having at least one other room in their home a disorganized mess. Being habitually disorganized isn’t a condemnation; it’s a common problem that can have elegant solutions with a little bit of help.
Once the snow starts to evaporate away, the fun tools can come out. Your lawn mower roars to life again, the barbecue begins belching smoke again, and you can relax on the patio furniture with your beer.
But the car also needs summer tires, which means those snow tires need to go somewhere. So do the snowblower, shovels, and other things you only need when the temperature is subzero. So where does that stuff go when we’re not using it? For most people, the answer is the garage.
It’s worse in fall when your toys have to be put away, and you have to crawl over the lawn mower in your winter jacket to get into the car.
And we haven’t even talked about Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Fourth of July, or whatever other celebrations you might need decorations for. Where do all those things live when the season isn’t upon us?
Letting Go and Moving On with the help of a Professional Organizer
From the baby seat that was the site of your little ones’ first meal to the wood-working project you’ll finish when you just have enough time, we keep a lot of things for the sake of sentimentality. While this isn’t inherently bad, it can also hold you back. By cluttering your garage with all the relics from the past, you don’t have enough room for the first bike your little one will ride or the fun toys you enjoy.
While letting go of these things might be tough to do on your own, hiring a professional organizer can help you effectively evaluate things. Such as if you actually need that World’s Okayest Bowler trophy or if you can stand to let it go.
You Lack Effective Storage and Organization
While we were toiling away in Algebra in school with teachers who swore we would need it, no one taught us practical ways to organize. What are good ideas to organize things we need often but not daily? How do you organize? This is a problem that can extend much further than your garage.
Storage is also another common problem. Garages usually come in a general shape- the cement shell. You might need to choose free standing organizing shelf with the help of a professional organizer and this is where I can come in. I can be of assistance by coming into your garage and taking measurements. I will then recommend what shelves to purchase based on these measurements.
It’s Just Too Much
Sometimes we joke that we’re not sure what we’ll find at the bottom of a pile in a garage. It could be Jimmy Hoffa in there. But that’s a symptom of a genuine concern- years of clutter can just be too daunting to deal with. You want to spend your day off doing something fun, not exploring the Cave of Wonders in your garage.
It can be too easy to convince yourself that you’ll just have to figure out a way to work around the clutter rather than spend the time to get rid of it. It feels like it’ll take days to clean the garage properly, so it’s more efficient time-wise to just live like this, right?
A Professional Organizer Can Help
As promised, I’ve included the after pictures of this garage. By hiring a professional organizer, the owners of this space could get past all the reasons outlined above so they can properly enjoy their garage.
If you’d like more information on how a professional organizer can help you overcome your garage clutter, contact me so we can start collaborating on organizing your home.