What’s in your garage? If you’re like many Americans, it’s “everything but my car.” In fact, according to a GarageTrends Survey, the average American stores $6,500 worth of gear-ranging from sporting equipment to luggage-in the garage.
If the thought of tackling all that clutter makes you shudder, rest assured, there’s a solution. Lifestyle expert Korey Provencher has a simple system for transforming your garage from a parking lot for your stuff into a cheerful, organized space that makes life safer, easier and more efficient.
“Stop thinking of the garage as the world’s biggest closet,” says Provencher, a frequent guest on ABC’s “The View.” “With my S.T.O.P. system, in one weekend your garage can become the most useful room in the house.”
S.T.O.P. and Get Garage Clutter Under Control
Provencher’s S.T.O.P. system will help people go from paralyzed to organized:
S-Sort: Haul everything out into the open so you can see what you have-and what you can get rid of. Sort it into categories like tools, toys and sporting equipment.
T-Talk and Trash: Get the whole family involved and decide what you need, what you can donate to charity and what’s just trash. While you’re throwing stuff away, give that grungy tennis ball hanging from your ceiling a toss-with new technology, you won’t need it anymore to park perfectly every time.
O-Organize: Don’t put anything back until you’ve created a manageable system. Organize by category, by seasons or create different color-coded zones so family members have their own space.
P-Place: Put everything away and make a family pact that everyone will always put things back in their place. The point is to stay organized for life, not just a few weeks.
With the garage organized, Provencher also recommends a 21st century technology makeover. “The new garage door openers are much quieter, more stylish and some even come equipped with a battery backup,” he says. “You can also add accessories that will automatically turn on the lights in the garage or house or alert you if the garage door is open. And remember that tennis ball? Replace it with a laser-operated device that helps you park perfectly every time.”
Here’s a technology checklist from The Chamberlain Group, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of garage door openers and home access accessories:
• The EverCharge Battery Backup, available on the professionally-installed LiftMaster brand or the Whisper Drive Plus, will provide power to the garage door opener, keypad and remote controls for up to two days during a power outage.
• The easy-to-install Laser Garage Parking Assist is the high-tech replacement for the tennis ball. It guides you into the perfect parking spot every time by displaying a bright laser light onto your dashboard.
• If you leave the door between the garage and house unlocked or have accidentally left the garage door open during the day or, worse, the night, Chamberlain’s Garage Door Monitor is a must. The sensor sends a signal to the Monitor inside the house and will flash a red light if the garage door is open.