Get organized, starting in ‘dumping ground’ garage

The name of Marc Javet’s custom home and garage organization company is a mouthful.

But you might just see the owner of Tailored Living Featuring PremierGarage of Central Toronto around the midtown Toronto area these days advising homeowners on how to reduce household clutter.

The garage, the Bathurst and St. Clair West resident says, is a commonly neglected part of the house — often times “a dumping ground for what’s not needed in the house at that particular time.”

With spring cleaning just around the corner, he has some organizational tips to share on transforming the garage from “just a place to put things.”

The first step to getting an uncluttered and organized garage is to downsize, he says.

“Take some time to sort through the clutter and decide what you really need. Chances are, you can get rid of a lot of the stuff in your garage.”

Next, dividing the space into functional zones — a workshop area, a place to keep the kids’ toys and a dedicated gardening zone — will make it easier for everyone in the family to find what they need and store what they don’t.

“Wall storage is the best way to keep things at arm’s reach and prevent damage,” Javet says. “It allows you to take advantage of the full height of your garage instead of just the floor space.”

Cabinets are a good example of wall storage that keeps bulk items like paper towels and canned goods out of sight. Another idea is to apply grid wall organizers or slat wall panels onto the walls. They are often seen in retail store displays, since they can accommodate a variety of accessories like hooks, shelves, tool holders and sport racks.

“They’re great for hanging or storing sports equipment, camping gear, toys, garden tools, auto supplies and seasonal items like lawn or beach chairs,” Javet remarks.

But it doesn’t end with the walls. Maximizing overhead space is also another useful way to add more storage space in the garage.

Ceiling racks or a hoisting system is good for storing annual gear like holiday items, extension ladders, canoes or kayaks.

“If you have a large family with several bikes, hanging them from the ceiling might also be a smart solution,” he says.

Storing items on the wall and ceiling also prevents them from getting wet and damaged from ground moisture, dust or bugs.

Javet also suggests looking into options for the garage floor, since cement gets damaged from salt, snow, water and car traffic.

Installing floor tiles or a coated treatment that resists oil, gas and chemicals will not only make it easier to maintain and clean the floor, but will also help make the room more livable.

“It looks appealing so people are more apt to use the space not only for storage and parking their cars, but doing house projects, having a little workshop in there, planting or potting, tinkering on engines or whatever you need,” he says.

For Javet, showing clients how to transform a blank, or really messy, “canvas” into a usable, functional and attractive space is one of the best perks of the job.

“Home organization to some is a little bit mundane — get a few hooks, get a few shelves, whatever, I’m organized — but if it’s done right people really appreciate the stress relief that it brings by having a place for everything and actually being able to find stuff,” he says.

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Posted: Mar 5 2014 4:25 pm
Filed in: Home
Edition: Toronto