Modern cars can start and run in some pretty nasty conditions. Even when it’s well below freezing, a fuel-injected car with a modern computer can start and operate normally with zero drama. Your human physiology doesn’t exactly have that feature, though.
Getting into a cold car for the morning commute is miserable, and it’s not the only downside to leaving your car outside in the snow. Winter conditions can be corrosive to your car’s finish and can lead to mechanical issues down the road. So why not get your garage organized and park inside, instead of out in the cold?
If you’re like much of America, you have a garage piled high with old junk and rarely used toys. Maybe you’ve been tidy enough to keep a narrow walking lane open, or maybe not. Make a commitment to fix it. In a weekend’s time, you can restore order to your garage, and have a warm, secure place to park your car.
Step one is to understand that you’ll have to throw things out. That bicycle you’ve had for eight years with the wheels that no longer rotate? It’s not going to make a comeback. Trust us. Donate things if it’s easier for you to live with, but you need to admit that not all your stuff has to stay.
Identify things you can store elsewhere. You might not be making the most of those cabinets in the kitchen, but they’re a much better home for paper plates than your garage. Avoid storing potentially toxic items like propane — which can be a fire hazard and should always stay outdoors — and paint, which can harden in cold environments.
Next, take advantage of your existing storage options. Have you got an attic? It’s likely you’re underusing its space. Get some containers and use them to make things you relocate easy to find. Organize your shelves, and when you’ve maximized your existing space, take the next step.
Install More Storage
Optimizing your garage so things are easy to find and your car will fit comfortably might require doing a little cabinetry. Get out those power tools. You’re going to need a power drill, preferably cordless, and the right selection of power saws. Make sure you find one that’s made for woodworking, brush up on the safely, and wear eye protection.
With your tools arranged, you can turn a few 2x4s and some plywood into a handy set of shelves or even a toolshed that keeps equipment out of the way and organized. Depending on the size and layout of your garage, you can install things like a workbench or overhead shelving to hold large items.
Be sure to measure and predrill your mounting points for garage storage. If you just go for it, you’re going to end up with a high number of holes in your garage’s walls. That doesn’t insulate, or look good.
A pegboard makes a great addition to any garage. You can use it to hold smaller tools, and the customizable nature of pegboard means you can reconfigure it at any time to get the most from your space. It also makes you look like someone who’s super handy and does lots of projects.
With the big cleanup complete, the final step is to keep things organized. Instead of putting yourself through the entire ordeal again, set time aside every few weekends — or however often you need — to clean things up.
See, that was simple. We think you’ll appreciate the pleasant experience of getting into a warm car in the morning, and it’s a good feeling to have all your stuff nicely organized where you can find it.