You can be outdoors but remain shaded at the same time!
The garage and storage areas are typically dumping grounds for the whole family. While it might seem like this no man’s land usually gets to a point of no return, there is hope for returning it to its original state of glory.
Here are some tips on how to transform your garage into an organized and – most importantly – functional space. Perhaps a space in which you could even fit your car? Imagine that…
Join Forces. Blast the music and ask your partner, kids or consider a work exchange with a neighbour or friend.
Collect Supplies. Gather trash bags, gloves, tape, containers, cleaners, paper towels, rags, labeller, vacuum, broom and dustpan. Lay them out and have them at the ready before you start, so that you don’t lose momentum.
Collate Items. Tackle one section at a time and organize like with like.
Purge. Decide and divide items into further categories: what needs to be kept, donated, sold, trashed, returned, repaired or recycled. If you need a dumpster, get one or share one with a neighbour.
Create Zones. Form general areas: sports, garden, tools, seasonal, travel, home, electronics, etc. Create a flow in your garage, keeping the most commonly used items easily accessible.
Make a Path. Always ensure there is a safe and clear path to get what you need. This rule applies to any organizing project. Consider marking out ‘clear’ zones with painter’s tape on the floor.
Get Vertical. Your walls are a great way to store your items so that they’re easy to see and take up less space. Use pegboards, good quality shelving and aim to keep things off the floor to make sweeping a breeze.
Look up. Use the ceiling to store ladders, skis or bikes.
Label Like Crazy. The secret to staying organized is to label—especially if you expect others to put things back.
Make It Easy. For those who seem to ignore labels, clear containers are your friend. They help folks find what they need quickly and put it away easily. Spend a little extra on quality, stackable containers. Add adequate lighting or sensor lighting.
Move It out. Complete the job and get rid of everything that needs to be removed.
Make a Profit. If you’ve got a lot of useable items left over, set up a yard sale so you can make some cash fromyour old goods! Consider Craigslist, Kijiji, eBay or Etsy to reap a little reward for your efforts from saleable items. Set a deadline for selling, after which you’ll donate any unsold items.
Avoid Hijacking. Set up an area for donations, so you can practice the one in, one out rule to prevent a garage hijack from occurring again. Post and communicate house rules to keep it organized.
End Your Week on a Positive and Productive Note
When you arrive at work on Monday morning do you feel rushed, disorganized and scattered? It’s not a great way to start the week. End your work week on an organized note and you’ll start your Monday’s feeling confident and ready to work. You may just feel more relaxed on the weekend too.
Organize Anything has seven great ways to make sure that you wrap up your work week in a way that sets you up for success come Monday morning.
1. Look ahead. Before you leave on Friday afternoon, look at your schedule to see what’s coming up for following week. Do you have a big meeting first thing on Monday morning or a presentation on Tuesday? Research shows that you will sleep better if you have reviewed your calendar. If you do, take your briefing notes home with you so that you can review them over the weekend and feel prepared when you walk into the office on Monday morning.
2. Confirm it. Take half an hour on Friday to confirm your appointments for next week. Better to find out on Friday afternoon that your three-hour appointment on Wednesday afternoon is going to have to be rescheduled than on Wednesday morning. Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing your schedule.
3. Clear your desk. Arriving to a messy desk on Monday morning elevates your stress level before you even start your day. Take the time to properly file any papers left on your desk, return materials to their proper place or owner and empty your garbage and recycling.
4. Delete or archive your old email. If you haven’t had a chance yet to empty your inbox, take the time on Friday to sort your email into the proper folder and delete the ones you don’t need. It will be easier to sort out the junk mail you receive over the weekend and you’ll be able to start your week with a clean inbox.
5. Follow up. Do you have colleagues that said they would get back to you, but you have not heard from them? Now is a good time to check in with those people and see if they need anything from you before the you leave the office. A quick phone call can help you wrap up a project for the week.
6. Close the loop. We often have a bunch of unfinished tasks hanging at the bottom of our to-do list. Often they stay on the list because they are not urgent. Often these non-urgent things can become urgent later, or they are truly important things we just don’t get to. Pick one thing that fits in this category and complete it every Friday. It feels so good.
7. Back everything up and shut it down. The last thing you should do before you leave on Friday afternoon is back up your week’s work. Save it on an external drive, a memory stick or try a free program like DropBox . This way if there’s a power fluctuation or a network breach over the weekend you won’t have lost any of your valuable work. Be sure to turn off your computer, printers and any other office electronics before you leave as well. Not only are you saving energy, you are less likely to arrive to malfunctioning equipment on Monday.
Once you work these simple steps into your Friday routine you will feel more confident arriving to work on Monday morning and enjoy your weekend even more.