Friday, September 5, 2008

Clean Out Your Garage!

The weather is beautiful right now in the Ozarks and it's the perfect time to start getting the garage cleared out so it's more usable this winter - when the weather isn't so beautiful. Beaver Storage in Avoca, AR and Beaver Lake Storage in Eureka Springs, AR can help you reclaim the extra garage space that you need!

Start by getting rid of all the trash. This includes items that you planned to repair 2 or 3 years ago but just haven't gotten around to. Scrap metal is at an all time high right now so if you have a recycling location that buys metal near you, round up everything you can find and take it in!

Look at your items carefully and decide what you want to keep and what you can get rid of. Things that you no longer need could be sold at a garage sale or on - a free online garage sale (check it out!) Or heck, give the stuff away. Trust me, you'll be better off for it.

The next step is to categorize the things you want to keep. Of course the items that you use regularly will stay in the garage. Try to hang things neatly on the wall, or box them on shelves so they are off the floor and out of the way. Label everything well: on the top of each box and on at least 2 sides. This way if the box gets shifted or put back on the shelf by someone else, everyone can still identify what's inside.

Now pack the items to put in storage. Seasonal things (e.g. Christmas decorations, garden tools, soccer equipment, etc.) get boxed together and labeled clearly. The key to having a usable storage unit is to know what you have and keep things accessible. To keep things handy, don't pack your boxes or tubs too heavy.

Eyeball what you'll be storing so you can determine the unit size you'll need. If things are packed so they can be stacked you can get by with a smaller unit. You'll need to plan ahead for this. To stack boxes in a unit you will either need to use plastic tubs or very strong boxes. Most boxes will not stand up to much weight; especially with the humidity in our area. At Beaver Storage in Avoca we have units as small as 5' X 10'. In Eureka Springs at Beaver Lake Storage our smallest unit is 8' X 10'.

When you arrange your stuff in storage, be sure to leave a walkway so you can get clear to the back of the unit. Trust me, this is important. Position the boxes or tubs so that the labels face the walkway and are readable. Just keep thinking "future access." You want to be able to get to the stuff you have in storage. We recommend setting out rodent bait and roach traps to protect your belongings from pests. (See my post on 7/21/08)

Now the only thing left to do is go home and park in your clean garage!

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