7 simple tools to declutter your garage

Your garage doesn’t have a lot of free floor space, especially if you have a vehicle parked there. Think about what’s currently there and what can be placed on the walls and ceiling.

Hooks

Hooks can be used to suspend bikes, hang coats, hold chainsaws and hedge trimmers, even to keep rakes and shovels off the ground. Be creative, you’ll be surprised at what you can do with such a simple item.

Peg boards

Peg boards are great for small tools like wrenches and screw drivers. You can utilize quite a bit of space on a wall with a handy item like this. It keeps your tools accessible which will save you time the exact tool you’re looking for. Most peg boards come with small, suspendable boxes where you can keep nuts and bolts, screws and washers and other small items.

Baskets

Baskets can be used to store everyday items. They can be fastened with hooks on the wall to utilize even more space. Consider using them for holding sports gear, smaller power tools and cleaning products.

Shelves

Whether you’re storing sports equipment like baseballs and bats, paint cans or smaller items, shelves come in a variety of lengths and depths. Don’t forget this all purpose solution for virtually anything.

Storage systems

If you need more than just a few shelves, consider purchasing a proper storage system. This could range from a closet or wardrobe, to large tool storage systems, to a multi-purpose outdoor cabinet system. Depending on what you’re using your garage for and the size of the space, these systems, although costly, can be incredibly handy.

Wheeled storage

Most garages are changed seasonally to keep functional items close by depending on the season. Keep that in mind when you’re purchasing storage tools, and invest in wheeled cabinets or trolleys. That way, you can easily wheel things around your garage or outdoors as required.

Scrap lumber

Last month, you finished rebuilding your deck, but you’re left with a stack of different pieces of wood. Instead of throwing them away, consider building your own small storage unit or use individual pieces as shelves. That way, you’ll save some money by not needing to buy a separate item… and you’re recycling!

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17 tools you need in your toolkit

Things need to get done around the house. That frame needs to go up on the wall, blinds need to be put up, you need that new railing along the stairs, and the bathroom needs a complete gut job. Whatever the size of your project, there are basic tools that you’ll need for your toolkit. For pretty much any tool, padded or cushioned grips go a long way.

Hammer. This basic tool comes in different shapes and sizes, but you’ll need it to drive nails or break apart objects.

Pliers. They’re used to hold objects securely. Try 8 inch needle-nose pliers and 10 inch groove-joint pliers.

Screwdrivers. Make sure you get a large and small set of each flat head, Phillips and Robertson. You can find basic sets for a reasonable price, but if you’re looking to save space, try a multi-head screwdriver.

Saw. The manual version is always handy for cutting pieces of wood. Go basic and grab a general purpose saw with a 15 inch steel blade.

Safety glasses and quality work gloves. Safety is always important, so invest in some safety equipment.

Adjustable wrench. A great multi-purpose tool. Eventually, look to splurge on a set of combination wrenches.

Utility knife with extra blades. Whether you’re cutting sheets of drywall or removing caulking, you’ll need a good blade to cut through a variety of things.

Carpenter pencil. Contrary to a regular pencil, a carpenter pencil is usually rectangular or elliptical so that it doesn’t roll away. This may seem trivial, but you’ll know exactly where you left it when you set it done to do another task. Overall, they’re stronger than regular pencils to withstand the construction environment.

Flashlight. Useful for plumbing or fixing a washer, flashlights will help you illuminate dark areas that have low visibility.

Super glue. Used as a strong adhesive for most job fixes.

Pry bar. Before getting a job started, you may need to tear something up. Do yourself a favor and invest in a decent pry bar, somewhere between 7 and 15 inches.

Duct tape. Need I say more? The ultimate utility tool.

Putty knife. A two inch wide blade is sufficient to handle most jobs, from applying drywall mud to scraping away extra paint.

Allen key set. When a screwdriver can’t be used, it’s usually because you need an Allen key. Grab a set so you have a variety of sizes.

Tape measure. Most jobs require measurements. Depending on what you’re doing, those measurements could be quite long, so look for a tape measure that is at least 25 feet long.

Level. A handy tool when you’re putting up shelves or building a structure. You’ll need to ensure things are level so that your structure doesn’t topple over and things don’t roll off your shelf. You can buy small levels, but a foot long can be used for most jobs.

Drill. A cordless drill that is at least 18 volts can handle pretty much anything. If you don’t use a drill often, try a corded drill with a heavy duty, long extension cord. And don’t forget to grab a drill bit set.

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4 uses for your garage

Your garage is maybe the largest room in your house when it comes to square footage. For many families, it becomes a place to dump junk: sports gear, lawn equipment, garbage, etc. Regardless of whether you have a single or double garage, it’s an ideal area to turn into a functional space. Here are three of the most common uses for garages.

Car parking
Perhaps the most obvious, you can use your garage to park your car or even two! There’s a number of reasons to focus on car storage.

 
If you live in an area where the weather fluctuates, you might want to park your car indoors. The snow and salt that comes along with clearing snow are some of the worst things for vehicles as they can cause rust – a car’s worst nightmare. Constant rain or occasional hail can also damage your vehicle. Not having to worry about scraping away ice on your windshield every morning before work in the winter is reason enough.

 
Security may be another. If you have an expensive car, an old muscle car or a hot rod, you’ll want to keep that vehicle indoors for safety. You’ll sleep easier at night knowing your ride is tucked away safely.

 
If you plan on using your garage primarily for parking your car, pull it in, open all the doors and mark off the area. Organize everything else around that area.

 
Workshop
Whether you’re an amateur woodworker that takes on weekend challenges or a professional carpenter, you may wish to turn your garage into a workshop. If you’re a jack of all trades, you may need all the basics like a miter saw or table saw. You may even have more specialized tools like tile or ceramic saws. Regardless, you’ll need a space large enough to store everything safely.

If you enjoy working on your car, you’ll need all the required tools and equipment to help you maintain your vehicle. Maybe you’re an avid landscaper that enjoys tackling any outdoor project. Pick your poison, but you’ll need space to keep all your tools.

 
There are a few basic things to consider for every workshop or work area. Regardless of the project, you’ll benefit from having a flat surface you can use to lay things down, do small projects or just to lay out your plans. It’s a great idea to keep all your tools close by rather than around the garage, so pick a zone in your garage for the work area and consider purchasing adequate storage solutions.

 
Storage
Most people just want to use the garage for storage and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a great place to keep all the odds and ends that don’t belong elsewhere: sports equipment, lawnmower, appliances, among other things. Whether you have too much stuff in your home, or your home is just too small, the garage may be the ideal place to store things.

 
No matter what’s there, keep it organized! Save yourself time and ensure you know what’s actually in there. Create zones to keep common items together and invest in some basic storage solutions to keep everything tidy, like shelves, plastic boxes or storage systems. Remember to only keep things there that can survive the environment – not all garages are insulated and you may find rodents and insects.

 
Studio
Depending on the layout and size of your house, your garage can be utilized as an extra room – a big one at that! It can be insulated and transformed into an office space. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having a man cave, but your basement has been overtaken by Barbies, action figures and other kids toys. Did you ever consider renovating the garage and turning it into your own space… maybe even with a wet bar?

On top of that, many people work from home on a part time or full time basis. Yogis, fitness instructors, piano teachers… they all need a large and separate space from the rest of the house. The garage is a perfect place to turn into a studio for various things.

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4 reasons why people keep things

We’ve all heard the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It’s all too true when it comes to our possessions. An old t-shirt, a collection of vinyls, a One Direction poster… Why do we keep things? What makes these things so important to us when they are seemingly unimportant to someone else?

Sentimental
One of the main reasons people keep objects is the sentimental value they have – the personal link they hold. There’s an association with a particular object that is important to us. Perhaps someone we admire values it and you may feel guilty if you throw it away. Old china from your grandmother or your someone’s trophies for example.

Sometimes objects are connected to memories. Old movie tickets from your first date, a tie from a loved one or a yearbook. Possessions are tied to important moments in our lives, whether they be positive or negative. These items help us remember specific times and losing them makes us feel like we’re losing a memory.

While these may not be of practical value, they are important nonetheless.

Market value
Objects hold value because, well… they’re valuable! They’re worth something, such as collectibles. Do you have some old Star Wars figurines? Bonus! In mint condition and still in their original packaging? Now we’re talking.

Gold and jewelry maintain and sometimes increase in value. Autographed memorabilia or a book that is no longer in print. You may want to keep these types of objects aside to cash in later.

Maybe these objects are not worth something now, but they could some day. One word: vintage. Something that is out of style today could come back later and is suddenly very valuable.

Utility
People also keep objects because they’re useful. Tools are a good example. How often do you use your mitre saw? Your chainsaw? They may not be needed now… or next year… or the following year, but they’re still useful. You’re not going to throw them away because they could come in handy later.

To keep for later
Similar to utility, we often keep objects for later use for other reasons. We’re saving them for a special occasion, a special moment. Or maybe you’re saving them for someone else.

Keepsakes for future generations, something you want your kids to have. Like an instrument you played that you want your kids to play, your mother’s wedding dress or even war medals. These may not be items that you necessarily need or want, but you may hold onto them for others.

 

Whatever the reason you’re holding on to those items, you may not have the space to keep them in your home. A storage unit may just be the right place to keep them.

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