This week I feature a guest post from Kenady Ghent of Monkey Bar Storage. Aside from being able to park the cars, getting the garage under control can make so many things easier. I hope you enjoy the post!
It’s easy to be overwhelmed and overworked in today’s fast-paced lifestyle. Work and other responsibilities leave little free-time. Hobbies are essential to good mental health. So, make your hobbies a priority by organizing your garage. Confused? We’ll explain.
Time Saving: Ben Franklin said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” Organization saves you time. When you aren’t wasting time worrying about a cluttered garage or reorganizing for the second time, you have more time to do what you love. Establishing an organization solution, plan and routine enables you to enjoy your life. With a clean garage, comes a clean conscience.
Storage Solutions: Garage storage products like garage shelving, cabinets and overhead racks store the equipment that accompanies your hobbies. Consider adding accessories like a sports ball bag, bike rack and saddle rack. These storage solutions house and protect your gear so it lasts.
On The Go: When every item has a designated space, you don’t waste time looking for it. The item is also easy to grab on the go when you’re in a hurry. Store items that are transported by car next to the trunk for easy loading and unloading. When items are easy to find, it leaves more time for what you love.
Get Creative: Use your garage to facilitate your hobbies. Get creative with how you use the space whether it is a garage gym, storing camping gear, kayaks, or even to entertain. Weather permitting, set up long tables in the garage for your next barbeque. Having a shady place to eat will be much more comfortable for your guests.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits, it’s time for the organizing part. Here’s how to do it:
Plan: Set aside a full day to dedicate to the project.
Family Project: Get the family involved so organization is fast and efficient, and so they know where items go.
Consolidate: Pull every item out of the garage. Separate your belongings into 4 piles: keep, sell, donate and trash/recycle. Schedule a garage sale, make a trip to GoodWill and take items to the dump or recycling center promptly. The longer you put that off, the more likely the piles stay on the garage floor.
Products: Invest in durable and innovative storage products for the “keep” pile. All of your belongings will be off the floor and out of the way. There are also garage flooring alternatives like epoxy coating and garage tiles that are low maintenance and give your garage an updated look.
Sort: Sort all your belongings in a designated spot on the storage products. Group similar items and store them in the same general area. Store things you use often at eye level on hooks and seasonal items up high on overhead storage.
Garage organization will enable you to enjoy your life and your hobbies. Contact a garage storage professional for help: http://www.garagesolutionsnashville.com/
Kenady works for Monkey Bar Storage, a garage storage and organization company that provides homeowners with efficient products to organize and simplify their lives. Kenady is a recent graduate from BYU-Idaho in Public Relations and Visual Communications. When she's not working, she enjoys outdoor activities, taking pictures, trying new recipes and giving old things a new purpose.
How you ever felt physically uncomfortable walking into someone else's cluttered space (regardless of what may be going on in yours)? Sometimes when I'm speaking to a group, I will ask them to look at pictures of different rooms (with varying amounts of clutter) and check in with how they physically feel. These spaces, of course, are not their own, and they are better able to objectively note the feelings that arise. The messy office desk stirs up emotions like distaste, even revulsion (and perhaps a few chuckles or snorts of disbelief). The picture of the orderly supply cabinet generally inspires relaxation or peacefulness. Some attendees have reported unclenching their jaws, or relaxing the muscles around their eyes or shoulders when they view photos of uncluttered, calm spaces.
Is it possible that general over-accumulation - you know, "just" our consuming, one-clicking, saving- everything-just-in-case kind of lives - makes us sick? I have been in a lot of environments lately, where certainly sickness of spirit is dragging a client down. They often don't even realize it (or perhaps don't want to realize it). Aside from a lot of sneezing from the dust, or tripping over things, the sickness lies deeper in their psyche, and manifests as overwhelm, feelings of powerlessness or despair, shame, and anger. Where did all of it come from, they marvel? How did I end up with SO much?
Dis-Ease In Our Spaces
Looking at our own spaces is different from glancing at stock photos. We become desensitized to the chaos that surrounds us, but that doesn't mean it isn't still affecting us. It's like when I visit New York City and can't sleep the first night because of all of the noise I'm not accustomed to. After a a day or two, I don't notice it. But does that mean I'm not hearing it? Research tells us that noise pollution does indeed have effects on things like hypertension, hearing loss and heart disease. My gut tells me that when someone is surrounded by 1000s of questionable objects that they are choosing to ignore, it's affecting much more than the aesthetic. It's stuff pollution.
So What To Do?
I certainly don't have all the answers, but I know it takes some shifting. We seem to all be searching for the quick fixes, the hacks, the "7 Easy Ways To Clear Your Clutter - Forever!". Why do we always think faster is better? Are lasting answers quick? Maybe, sometimes. We all have a story or two about a specific question or trick that made all the difference in the way we handle stuff and tasks. But maybe those kinds of solutions get the most attention because they promise something we all hope will be true. Who wants to be uncomfortable for longer than a few minutes? Still, there's a lot to be said for chipping away at the chaos persistently, a little at a time. Choosing to let go some here, purge a little there, work a new habit through until it sticks. And like a treatment for a chronic or life-threatening illness, it takes time. I repeat so often to clients: "It didn't take three hours to get into this mess, so it's certainly not going to take three hours to get out of it." Most of them get that intellectually, but the bridge between accepting and doing can be unsettling and intimidating.
Intimidating, and hard to accept. So much so that it's tempting to just keep ignoring the problem, buy the latest self-help book, and think about getting organized. You know, someday, when you can make time for it. A doctor once told me that most people would rather die than make any significant change to their lifestyle. I think there was some sad wisdom there. It sounds harsh, but of course the doctor was speaking of the seemingly benign little choices people make each day that add up to overall poor health. I'm not suggesting that anyone out there is going to die from their clutter, but maybe...they could live a little freer and easier?
Take a look around - how healthy are your surroundings?
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, and serial list-maker. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?