19 May 2017
Organize Your Garage to Fit YOUR Needs
Have fun Organizing

 Organize Your Garage to Fit YOUR Needs

 Now that you have spring cleaned your home from top to bottom, let's move your focus outside the home to your garage. Has it been awhile since you were able to park your car in it?  If your car does fit, are you tip-toeing around stuff to get to your car door and hoping you don't knock anything over?  If the answer was yes to either of those questions, let’s look at some practical solutions that translate well for any garage space. 

                   

                                   Before                                                                                          After

The first step is to clear out the garage from top to bottom.  As you remove items place them into three piles.  Trash, Keep and Donate or Sell.  Really assess the item...when was the last time you used those roller-blades?  If it's been over three years, it's probably time to let it go.  Have some bags and boxes handy for the items you donate and make a plan to drop them off later that day.  Try not to bring it back into your home or garage. While the garage is empty give it a good sweep.  It is also an excellent time to check your garage door opener for wear and tear. Make a note if you see something that needs repairing.

 

The next step is to sort the items you are keeping.  Grouping them into like categories will help you determine how to organize your garage area.  Examples would be: toys and sports equipment, lawn & garden, tools and perhaps holiday items.  Now that you have your groupings, take a look at the garage space and create different zones for those items.  If your garage is attached to your home you may want to designate that space near the door to be used as a pantry or an area for coats, shoes and school belongings. 

                    

 

Utilize vertical and overhead storage solutions to your advantage.  A simple pegboard with an assortment of hooks can hold all your tools.  A clever trick to remember what goes where is to trace the outline of the tool onto the pegboard!  A solid shelf and some sturdy S hooks can help create a sports zone for bicycles, golf equipment and sports gear that may only get used at certain times of the year. When installing any overhead solution, always make sure they do not impede the opening and closing of your garage door.  

                                

 

Wooden pallets and PVC pipe are two inexpensive ways to corral all your long handled garden tools.  A small shelf can hold potting supplies, gloves and smaller gardening implements.   As you put things away it's a great idea to label things.  That way everyone knows where items belong. 

 

                                                

 You've worked hard.  Take a moment to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the reclaiming of your car's parking spot.  If you have energy left, lace up those roller-blades and take a loop around the block.

16 November 2016
Tis the Season - Tips for Holiday Lighting

It’s that time of the year. Christmas lights make the holidays festive and bright, but they come with their own safety and fire risks. Follow some important safety and energy-saving tips and have a happy holiday season with your family, neighbors and friends. 

 

Before you hang outdoor Christmas lights, decide what you're going to work on first and gather everything together. This is where having a helper comes in handy. Start with bushes, then trees, any windows, the doors and finally the roofline. 

 

Decide on the type of lights that work best and most efficient. Light-emitting diode, or LED, Christmas tree lights emit a bright, vibrant light that uses 80 percent less energy than conventional tree lights. They are also longer-lasting and stay cooler than traditional bulbs because they don't have a filament. 

 

Another option is energy-saving bulbs that use around a quarter of the electricity of standard bulbs and last up to 12 times longer. When you shop, look for government and industry-approved energy-saving logos to find the most energy-efficient products in either option in addition to rebates. 

 

When hanging lights, make sure you have firm support and never use tacks, staples, or nails. Instead, use plastic clips and insulated holders. 

 

Make sure your holiday lights are secure enough to withstand heavy winds and that you use UL approved extension cords specific for outdoor use and look for lights rated for indoor/outdoor use. 

 

Do not allow plugs and cords to sit in puddles and snow. 

 

Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights, and stay clear of all overhead wires. 

 

Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves. 

 

You will probably not run into the same problems that Griswold had to deal with, like stapling your cuff to your house and nearly falling off a tall ladder, but following safety guidelines can make sure you and your family stay safe and get to enjoy this time with those you care about.