Category Archives for Garage

Even A Chef Can’t Make Waffles In A Garage

When it comes to organizing your garage, planning is everything.

Organizing your garage doesn’t have to be daunting.

Organizing your garage can be a daunting prospect but with determination and patience, you can easily have a space that doesn’t stress you out every time you go in it. I’ve seen a lot of garages and while each one is different, they all have one thing in common; too much stuff.  The garage tends to be the dumping ground for old photos, books, exercise equipment, maybe a waffle maker you’ve never used. Or two waffle makers because you forgot you bought the first one.  But now the garage has become overwhelming and you’ve got to do something about it.

Here are some tips to getting your garage into shape once and for all:

  1. Make sure you’ve got a helper or two. Bins and boxes can be heavy and awkward and you will definitely need an extra set of hands to lift and move things.  Offer your helpers pizza as incentive.  Everyone loves pizza.
  2. Plan ahead. You might be an incredible task master that finishes everything in record time, but you’re going to need a minimum of two days to truly organize your garage.  You’ve got years of stuff in there and going through it will take a little time.
  3. Schedule a trash hauler and donation pick up.  You’ll be surprised at how much junk you’ve been storing and it’s got to go somewhere other than back in the garage. You’ll also find things in good condition that you don’t want to go to waste.  They don’t have to.  When you donate items you don’t use, someone else can benefit from them. (Like the two waffle makers) Give those things away and get a tax write-off at the same time!
  4. Put delicate and important items in plastic bins to save them from the elements. Whether you’re in Southern California or Alaska, weather can damage your precious items.  But be judicious about what you’re putting in those bins.  It’s easy to save an out of focus picture of some great, great, great-aunt twice removed but that photo is just taking up space. If something’s not relevant to your life now, trash it. 
  5. After your garage is organized, you might end up with some empty bins.  They’re  great for organizing but there comes a time when the unused bins take up too much room. Empty plastic bins are space-eaters and can make your garage look cluttered even after all your hard work.  All you need are a few (say 4) extra bins.  Remember you can ALWAYS buy more.   For the ones you are keeping, make sure they have matching lids.  Anything that doesn’t have a top and bottom should be tossed immediately.

After all your hard work the things you’re keeping will be accessible and easy to put back. So pick a weekend, set up the companies taking things away and get some bins (keep the receipt!).  When you’re finished with the garage, you can feel even better knowing that there’s a happy family enjoying fresh waffles thanks to you.  (Truth be told, waffles are overrated, pancakes are the way to go).

Happy organizing.

Costco – The Good, The Bad and The Toilet Paper

Shopping At Costco Means Having To Find Places To Put The Goods.

Shopping at Costco doesn’t have to be stressful.

Some might say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, but I’d venture to say for most adults, that destination is nothing compared to a trip to Costco on a Sunday morning.  The crowds are the same, but Costco comes with a slice of really good, $1.99 pizza. But before you hand your membership card to a sales associate be aware of the dangers of your trip, both financially and with how it impacts your storage space.    
We all know the best part of Costco are the deals.  It’s got a lot of everything and everything and everything.   And we all want everything. But everything can be an organizing nightmare.  Five million paper dessert plates might look enticing, if you’re opening a restaurant, but for the normal shopper, it’s not productive.  They are taking up precious real estate in your garage. Here are five tips to manage your Costco purchases:

  1. Organize your garage first.  The garage is easily the biggest dumping ground for all your bulk items.  But if is not organized, your Costco excursion can become a nightmare. You need to have a place specifically designated for your purchases.  If you can fit it in the garage, I suggest having a rack for the excess items.
  2. Take inventory of what you already have and buy accordingly.  Do you already have paper towels from the last time you went? Beyond the excitement of a full cart, do you really need more?  Can they wait until your next visit?  
  3. Make a list before you go.  It doesn’t have to inhibit your fun, but sometimes we do buy things we don’t really need.  Buy another 25 pounds of dog food when you already have four bags at home.
  4. Respect the space in your refrigerator.  Impulse buying is synonymous with a trip to Costco but try not to give in.  You taste that little paper cup of chocolate covered cheese balls and you’re suddenly hooked and have to buy a 5lb bag of them.   But if you take a moment and think about the lack of space in your refrigerator, it might be something you can say no to
  5. Remember things do expire.  If you’re going to buy food in bulk, make sure you’re going to use it.  10 gallons of low-fat milk for $7 can be a bargain but if there’s only two of you in the house, that’s a $6.50 worth of waste.   Not to mention, you’re both lactose intolerant.

Your Costco trip doesn’t have to be a storage nightmare if you are judicious with your purchases.  Make sure you’ve got the space to store the stuff, make sure you actually need the stuff, and make sure take advantage of those Disneyland discount tickets.  The kids need to have a fun time, too.