Monthly Archives: May 2013

5 Essential Tips for Organizing the Garage

Garage Organization System

Have you been putting off the task of organizing your garage? Well you aren’t alone. Luckily, there are five easy steps you can take to make your garage accessible and well organized this year.

1. Lay it all Out

Go through everything you have in your garage. Separate everything: gardening and lawn tools and supplies, toys and sports gear, holiday decorations, household tools, automotive tools and supplies, paints and other combustibles, and of course a pile of things you want to trash, donate or sell.

It is a tedious task, but this will help you clean out the garage as well as make it easier to organize later.

Remember: keep a broom handy so that you can sweep out the years of dust and leaves.

Garage Cabinet Organization System2. Shelves and Cabinets: The Garages Best Friend!

Shelves and cabinets are great storage and organizing tools. They keep your items in plain sight and off the floor. There are many types of shelving, from freestanding to wall mounted, and ones with wheels to ones without, so choose the kind that fits your family best. Cabinets also range from short to tall, wheels or none, and come in all colors, so choose what will work best for your organizational needs. If you’re in need of a workbench, short cabinets can double as storage as well as a place for all your workbench needs. However, don’t go too big in size, because you’ll still want to park your car.

At this stage also, it can only help the process to schedule a free consultation with a garage organization professional.

3. Bins, Bins Everywhere!

Bins are great for easy storage. Whether they’re for nuts and bolts, or the kids’ little green army men, bins are a great organizing tool. Easily labeled and stacked, bins will keep everything tucked away and organized on, in, or under your shelves and cabinets. Coming in all shapes, sizes, colors, and with or without lids, bins will keep everything dry and organized.

4. Hooks of Every Size and Shape

Hooks are also great organization tools. Hooks keep all your tools and anything else that will be used regularly, separated, in plain sight, and easy to reach. What you want to hang on your garage wall will determine what hooks to get. All these hooks can be found at your local hardware store or integrated into your overall storage system by a professional.

Garage Drawer Organization SystemFor coats, hats and sports clothing, a decorative coat rack will do great. For the rakes, shovels, and other long handled items, hardware hooks such as L-Hooks or J-Hooks will keep your large tools uncluttered, and easy to reach.

For the smaller tools (wrenches, screwdrivers, saws, etc.), try eye hooks. They work great for screwdrivers, keeping them separated and easy to find. For wrenches, saws and other small tools, smaller L-Hooks and J-Hooks will work, keeping everything visible and organized.

For Bikes: keep them off the floor and out of the way with bike hangers or bike hooks. Now you won’t have to worry about driving into them after a long day at work!

Remember to measure the space you have to work with, and use as much of the vertical space available to you as possible. This will ensure that you will have enough room to park the car, and give you space to move around.

Garage Cabinet and Hooks Organization System

5. The Full Garage Makeover

If you’re ready for a larger overhaul to really optimize the storage capacity and usable space in your garage, it might be time to call in the professionals. The consultation from a company like Contemporary Closets is free, and allows you to bounce ideas off of, and hear ideas you might not have thought of from a professional designer who works with garages, pantries, laundries and closets every day.

5 Tips for Optimizing, Organizing and Designing an Exquisite Mudroom.

Red MudroomYou might be surprised to find out about one of the most talked-about spaces in a designer’s consultation with home owners, and one of the most popular problem/solution ares in the house: the mudroom. One of the first things a new homeowner will realize is just how important this space really is, and one of the greatest improvements a veteran homeowner can implement is to make sure at least one of the entrances to their house functions as a mudroom.

The mudroom is where you leave your muddy boots as well as all the mud on them. It is where you leave your snowed on jacket as well as all the water runoff. With a mudroom, the hazards of the outside are contained, and don’t make their way all over the rest of your home.

The mudroom is also where you’ll find your boots again the next day, where you’re snow jacket and umbrella will be waiting for you before you go out, and where you’ll put them on. So, the mudroom is a functional space, not just a storage space.

Lastly, the mudroom is or is a part of at least one of the entrances to your house, and in this sense it’s an introduction to your home. So, the mudroom is a design space, too. A mudroom has to be well designed and look good as an introduction to your home, it has to contain all the things that happen to you when your outside the house, and it has to be a comfortable place to slip in and out of your outerwear; it’s a tall order for just one area, but we’re here to help you out with the most helpful tips to a successful mudroom.

1. Varieties of Storage

The mudroom might contain the largest variety of different storage needs out of any single space in the rest of the house. Everything from the hat on your head to the shoes on your feet, and anything in between must be stowed here. That means bins, shoe racks, hooks for jackets and scarves, shelves for hats, and that’s just the beginning. Drawers for gloves, surfaces to put things down on when you need both hands for dressing, a place for your umbrella. If you’ve got kids, then we’re talking about places for book bags and strollers.

Reach in foyer closet for mudroom

A careful brainstorm at the onset of a mudroom design or re-design project goes a long way. You don’t want to be leaving anyone out. And that includes a pet that might require doggie bags, leashes or pet clothing.

2. A Mudroom Must Function

Not only must your mudroom store all your articles of outdoor clothing, it must also cater to the process of putting them on and taking them off. A bench makes lacing up shoes easier for Mom, and especially for Grandpa. A mirror prevents you from forgetting that your hat and your scarf don’t match, and proper lighting ensures that you can see that mirror.

Make the mudroom a place where coming into and leaving your home is a seamless transition.

3. No Mudroom? Making it work.

The mud, and this refers to all the varied thing you’d rather not track into your home, makes it’s way in weather you’re ready for it or not. But if you don’t have a nice space to act as a mudroom, don’t worry. You can work with what you’ve got. An entrance that doesn’t have its own enclosed space may still be able to accommodation hooks and shelves, standing drawers, and a mat to contain the dirt or mud and protect the floor in the rest of the house.

4. Mudroom Combinations and Materials

The mudroom often doubles as a laundry room, or a workshop for messier hobbies. The porch can also function as a mudroom. Or, as mentioned above, sometimes the mudroom isn’t a room at all, but a necessary buffer nonetheless between the outside of the home and the inside.

No matter how you organize it, the mudroom’s function is simple. To get dirty so the rest of the house doesn’t, and to be easier to clean than the rest of the house. For this reason, pay close attention to what colors and materials you use in your mudroom. Since it’s the first place many guests will see, it must still exhibit a sound design and reflect the sensibilities of the homeowner. That said, it’s not the place for soft woods, carpets and difficult to clean nooks.

5. Making a Mudroom

A mudroom can double as a laundry roomMudrooms are something a custom company like Contemporary Closets can definitely help you out with. If nothing else, the consultation is free and you’ll learn a little bit more about what you are looking for in terms of storage and organization in your spaces.

If it’s a DIY job you’re after, you can use some of the tips above to help get you closer to realizing your vision for your home. Pay attention to other peoples’ entrances, laundry rooms, and mudrooms. See what types of things you would use or avoid in your own.

How do your needs differ from those people, how does your space offer you different options? Take some time to walk through entering and leaving your home in different seasons, and in different types of weather in your head to make sure you don’t forget anything obvious, like a place to put your sunglasses.