Organize Your Garage With These 10 Tips

The garage is a catchall for all the things we don’t want to bring into the house. Screwdrivers, rakes, soccer balls, and an array of other household items are stored here, usually in a disorganized fashion. Getting your garage organized and keeping it that way can be a challenge, but these 10 garage improvement ideas make cleaning up much easier.

Garage Improvement Ideas

  1. Clean out the garage

Throwing away or donating things you don’t use anymore is the best way to clear clutter from the garage. Donate any sports equipment your kids don’t use anymore or dispose of things like expired paint and household cleaners. Make sure to read up on how to safely dispose of any hazardous waste.

  1. Get everything up on the walls

Garage walls typically have a lot of unused space, while most items lay on the floor. Mounting shelving, pegboards, bicycles, and tools to the walls frees up a lot of space for organization. Plus, maybe you’ll actually be able to get your car into the garage this way.

  1. Use the ceilings

Just like you can mount things to the wall, you can anchor additional storage to the ceiling. Think of it like an attic for your garage where you can store plastic bins, ladders, or bikes. The Family Handyman has great DIY instructions for suspending shelving.

  1. Buy bins and label them

Now that you have shelving built up along the walls and ceiling, there is space to start organizing all of the odds and ends. Clear plastic bins are great because you can see what’s stored inside. It’s still best to label each bin for quick access.

  1. Hang the small (or big) things

If there are small tools you grab frequently or big tools that don’t fit inside the plastic bins, hang them up in a designated work area. This can be done with pegboard, slat walls, or a magnetic strip. Now, everything still has its place, but it remains accessible.

  1. Use the high low method

If you have large shelving units built into the walls, use the high low method to stay organized. Place items or bins that you don’t need to get into frequently on higher shelves. Place the things you need on a regular basis on the lower shelves. This saves a lot of stress getting things down and putting them back up.

  1. Keep certain items by the door

If you store household products like cleaners or brooms in the garage, keep these things closer to the door into your house. This saves you a lot of time trekking out into the garage to get what you need and it guarantees that you’re more likely to put it back where it goes.

  1. Store similar items in the same place

Give everything in the garage a designated space and store similar items next to each other. This means, keep your Christmas decorations next to the summer ones, the soccer balls next to the basketballs, and the rakes next to the shovels. This eliminates searching and saves a lot of time.

  1. Give everyone a designated place

Much like items have designated places, each member of the family should have a place in the garage where their items are stored. This could be a shelf, a cubby, or a hook. This encourages accountability and reminds everyone to put their things back where they belong.

  1. Keep a trashcan on hand

The best way to immediately clear trash from the garage is to keep a trash barrel in the garage. This also gives you a great spot to unload junk from inside your car so it doesn’t end up on the garage floor. Keeping the small unnecessary clutter at bay makes it easier to maintain an organized garage.

How to Build a Fire Pit

Fire pits are a great addition to any backyard. You can toast delicious treats over an open flame, enjoy an evening with friends, and extend your outdoor activities into the cooler season. There are many pre-made pits you can purchase, but building your own is relatively simple. With just a few tools and materials, you can turn your yard into the ultimate outdoor entertainment spot. Follow these instructions to learn how to build your own fire pit.

firepit

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is look into local ordinances or guidelines that dictate or restrict fire pit placement. You don’t want to start the building process only to be told you can’t use your new fire pit. Then, pick a location best suited for an open flame. Ideally, that’s not near any brush, too close to your house, or somewhere it could affect the neighbors. The last thing to do before you start is gather the necessary materials.

What You’ll Need

50 Basic wall block for a fire pit – actual number may vary

1 fire pit bowl

1 fire pit grate

1 starter log

Building the Fire Pit

Start by measuring the diameter of your fire pit bowl to determine how many wall block you’ll need. As a rule of thumb, 70 block creates a fire pit that’s 4’ in diameter. Then, place the first layer of block on the ground, sitting them as closely together as possible. You can leave the bowl on the ground for this first layer to ensure you build the appropriate size. Next, add the second and third layers on top of the first, staggering the joints for strength. Three rows of blocks should create an adequate height. If you’re not utilizing a fire pit bowl, you must line the inside of the fire pit with fire proof brick. If you have a bowl, it’s safe to now insert it into the pit, hanging the lip of the bowl on the edge of the block. Now it’s time to add the grate. You can choose an option that cover the entire fire pit, including the block, or one that covers just bowl. The last finishing touches are adding a fire, some seating, and your friends and family.

Starting a Fire

Purchase a starter log and add a few other logs to the bowl. Logs will go over or under the grate, depending on why kind you purchased. Light the starter log and watch your first fire in your new fire pit appear. For added safety precautions, invest in a screen to cover the fire. Clear the ashes regularly for the best burn. Now you’re ready to enjoy your DIY fire pit.

Benefits of Composting

Everyone talks about going green, or at least hears about it frequently, but taking the necessary steps to actually doing so isn’t always easy. It’s something that you’ve thought about and maybe even taken a step or two towards doing, but fully committing can be difficult. Composting can be especially difficult to get into, because most people didn’t grow up doing it. The good news is that once you being a composting regimen, it is easy to maintain and there are numerous benefits.
Composting

Helps sustain a healthy lawn and garden

There’s no better friend to a lawn or garden than some nutrient rich compost. Compost is known to retain moisture in the soil to help your grass and plants get all the nutrients they need to be healthy. In addition to that, compost has been proven to suppress both plant diseases and the number of pests. For these reasons, using compost is a great way to keep your garden and lawn healthy and productive.

Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers

For those that prefer the natural approach to their gardening and lawn care, there’s nothing more natural than compost. The all natural components of compost are perhaps the biggest reason for its popularity amongst its users.

Compost also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers Chemical fertilizers are primarily made of non-renewable resources. In addition, chemical fertilizers can successfully grow plants, but do nothing to sustain the soil which can lead to a gradual depletion of many nutrients in the soil. Repeatedly using chemical fertilizers can result in a toxic buildup of chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, and uranium which can eventually find its way into fruits and vegetables.

Reduces methane emissions from landfills

In a time when we hear so much about our carbon footprint, composting is a great way to lower yours without requiring much effort at all. Methane is a greenhouse gas that, when emitted, absorbs sunlight and contributes to global warming. By composting, you are helping reduce the methane being emitted from landfills and creating a more sustainable source of food for your lawn or garden.

How to….

Composting isn’t only for people who have full-fledged gardens or a lot of green space around their house. In fact, it’s something you can do even if you live in an apartment or high rise. See the Green Mountain Compost guide here: http://www.greenmountaincompost.com/how-to-compost-anywhere/composting-at-home/

For those people who plan on composting outside, you will first need to select a dry, shady spot, preferably near a water source. Add brown and green materials making sure that pieces are chopped if they are too big. You can use food scraps that you collect from your kitchen, just make sure you cover them with a layer of brown leaves. And be wary of organic materials that might take a long time to decompose, as they could end up attracting unwanted animals. Moisten any dry materials as they’re added and mix in grass clippings and green waste. The soil will be dark and rich when it is ready to be used.

Composting can also be done inside the house if that is a better option. A special composting bin can be purchased at any garden supplies store.

If you aren’t sure what is compostable and what’s not, be sure to check out http://www.planetnatural.com/composting-101/what-to-use/