Time to Organize Your Workshop and Garage

In September the weather begins to cool down. We start to put away our summer equipment. This is a good opportunity to set aside some time to organize your workshop or garage zone. Even if you do this zone once a year, it can easily get disorganized and cluttered because it is so easy just to open the door and drop something “just for now.”

Before you start your project, take a good look at the way it is now. What is working (don’t mess with that area) and what is not working. How do you want to use this zone. Do you plan to:

  • Park your car
  • Store trash cans/recycling
  • Store gardening tools and accessories
  • Pot or repot plants
  • Work on projects and store tools
  • Store bikes and other sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear
  • Store outdoor entertainment supplies
  • Store extra products
Now bring everything outside. If this is a large or very filled area, do it by sections. Sort like with like. Note what is broken or what you have not used in the past year. Get rid of these items or make a note to replace them. Get rid of expired seeds or old chemicals. Give away or sell tools you no longer use. Tool Bank is a great place to donate tools for community projects. http://toolbank.org/
Next decide where to logically place your zones. You want to place items that you use frequently near entrances. As you group your items in each zone, look for containers to hold small items together. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves. A flat basket can hold gardening tools. Use shelves, pegboards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers because, for sure, you are going to want something that is in the bottom container. Label containers that are not clear.
Knock down the cobwebs, sweep the floor, and start putting things away.. You’ll be amazed at how much  room there is now that all the items have ben bunched together and stored away.
Now reward yourself. A hot shower and a cool drink might be just the thing.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

The Zone Plan – Workshop/Garage Zone

I choose to work in the workshop/garage zone during September. The weather has begun to cool down. Summer equipment is ready to clean and store. Fall yard equipment needs to be accessible.

Storage areas can get pretty messy and unorganized in a year. They are not in your main living area and therefore not so visible. It is so easy just to walk in and dump items “just for now.”

I actually have two areas to tackle. One is a small room off the carport that also holds the hot water heater. The other is our shed house behind our home. Whatever your zones are, you should start with deciding the purpose of the area. In your zone, do you plan to:

  1. Park your car
  2. Store your trash cans/recycling
  3. Store gardening tools and accessories
  4. Have a potting area
  5. Have a workbench for projects and a place to hold tools
  6. Store bikes and other sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear
  7. Store outdoor entertainment supplies

Once you deicide how you will use these storage areas,  bring everything outside. If this is a large or much filled area, do it by sections. Sort like with like. Put aside items that are broken or have not been used in the past year. If an item is broken, decide if you need to replace it or just trash it. If you have items that are duplicates or that you no longer use, donate them. Tool banks can make good use of your extra items. (http://toolbank.org ) Get rid of expired seeds, old chemicals, and paints.

Knock down cobwebs and sweep the floor of the area you have emptied. Now decide where each zone should go. If you are working in your garage and plan to park your car, pull the car in now and mark off the space with tape. Allow plenty of room for the car doors to open.

You want to place items that you regularly access near entrances. As you are grouping your items in each zone, look for containers to hold small items that are rattling about. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves; a flat basket can hold gardening tools. Maximize your wall space. Utilize shelves, pegboards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers as you are sure to want something that is in the bottom container. Label the containers.

You’ll be amazed at how much more room you have now that you have discarded some items and bunched together and stored away the rest. Now reward yourself. A hot shower and a cool drink on the deck my be just the thing.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing the Workshop/Garage Zone

The workshop or garage area often ends up as a dumping area. It is not in your main living area and it is sooo easy to walk in and dump something “just for now.” After a while it is very difficult to find things you think are there or even to freely move around. I suggest that once a year you schedule a time to really organize and clean out this zone.

Start with deciding the purpose for this area. Do you plan to:

  • park a car
  • store extra household items like water/paper products/oversized cookware
  • store garden tools and accessories
  • work on projects
  • store household tools
  • use as a holding area for recyclables
  • store sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear

After deciding on how you plan to use this space, determine your zones. Some zone suggestions are:

  • car parking and car related items
  • garden
  • recycling
  • household storage
  • entertainment accessories
  • sports equipment
  • tools

If you have an abundance of tools, you may want to subdivide that zone into plumbing, electrical, wood working, etc.

Decide where to logically place each zone. You will want to place items that you regularly access near entrances. As you are grouping your items  in each zone, look for containers to hold small items that are rattling about. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves. A flat basket can hold gardening hand tools. Utilize shelves, peg boards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers because, for sure, you are going to want something that is in the bottom container. Label containers that are not clear.

Clear out each zone. Determine what you have not used ( that badminton set has not been set up in 3 years or more) or is broken, or expired (seeds, chemicals). These items go away. Knock down the cobwebs and sweep the floor before putting the items away that belong in that zone. You’ll be amazed at how much roomier the area is now that all items have been bunched together and stored away.

Now reward yourself. A hot shower and a cool drink  might be just the thing.

For more ideas on how to organize that workshop, view my YouTube video on Organizing Your Workshop.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vURjz7Agbns

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing the Workshop or Garage Zone

In September the weather begins to cool down. Summer equipment is now getting cleaned up and stored. This is a good opportunity to set time to organize your workshop or garage zone. Even when you do this area once a year, it can get easily disorganized or cluttered because it is not in your main living space and it is soooo easy to walk in and dump something “just for now.”

Start with deciding the purpose for this area. Do you plan to:

  • Park cars
  • Store extra household items like water/paper products/oversize cookware
  • Store garden tools and gardening accessories
  • Work on woodworking projects or store household tools
  • Use as a holding area for some recyclables
  • Store sports equipment/outdoor games/camping gear

Now bring everything outside – if this is a large or very filled area, do it by sections.  Sort like with like. Note what is broken or what you have not used in the past year. Get rid of these items or make a note to replace them. Get rid of expired seeds or old chemicals. Give away or sell tools you no longer use.

Next decide where to logically place your zones. You will want to place items that you access regularly near entrances. As you are grouping your items in each zone, look for containers to hold small items that are rattling about. A clear shoebox without the lid can hold gardening gloves. A flat basket can hold gardening tools. Utilized shelves, pegboards, hooks, and nails to keep items off the floor. Avoid stacking containers because for sure you are going to want something that is in the bottom container. Label containers that are not clear.

Knock down the cobwebs, sweep the floor, and start putting things away. You’ll be amazed at how much roomier the area is now that all the items have been bunched together and stored away.  Now, reward yourself. A hot shower and a cool drink might be just the thing.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Working the Zone Plan – Workshop Area

September is a perfect month to work on the workshop or garage area. The weather is a little cooler. Seasons are changing. The equipment you use in your yard and for recreation and sports is changing. Now is a good time to look at what you have in these areas and determine what you have not used (that badminton set has not been set up in 3 years or more), what needs to be replaced (that trowel and pruner have had it), and what needs to be purchased ( I would love a weeding tool).

While organizing this area, first determine your zones. What exactly is the purpose of this space? Some possible zones are: yard/garden, grilling needs, tools and workshop area, storage for home repair projects, recycling, outdoor entertainment, sports, storage of extra household items like paper towels, water, or out of season cookware. If this is your garage, you might even save a zone to park your car!

Once you know the zones you need, figure out the logical placement of each zone. For items you use regularly, you will want placement near the entrance. Items used less frequently will best be placed near the back of the area. Strive to keep all like items together.

As you group like items, look for containers that can hold smaller items. All seed packets in a clear shoe box, all gardening gloves in a basket, and all gardening tools in a bucket. Utilize shelves, pegboard and hooks to keep everything off the floor. Keep wide walkways so that it is easy to access every zone. If it is difficult to put an item into the correct place, it will probably get dumped on the nearest surface as you enter.

Once you have finished this zone, reward yourself. Take that newly uncovered bike out for a spin.
 
Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Flying Solo – The First Home Away From Home

Are you a parent who is concerned about your child successfully setting up his first home away from home?

This is the time of graduating students, many of whom are setting off to start living on their own for the first time. They may be setting up a dorm room, sharing an apartment, or getting married and setting up their first home. They may have received very good training at home, but this is different. There is so much to keep in mind while setting up this home – as well as starting college, a new job, or a new life.

This blog cannot possibly cover all the information about managing your move and dealing with landlords and housemates. There is not enough space to cover setting up a budget, keeping up with paperwork, stocking the kitchen, or managing time. What I am going to do in this blog is make a recommendation that you take these actions.

  1. If you are in the Metro-Atlanta area, come to Diane Quintana and my workshop – Flying Solo, July 20 at 10:00-11:00. We will hold this workshop at SpaceMakers of America (11415 Old Roswell Rd. Ste. 300, Alpharetta, GA.) The $25 investment will allow you and your young adult to attend.
  2. If you are not able to come to the workshop, purchase Diane Quintana’s book, Flying Solo: A Guide To Organizing Your Home When You Leave Your Parents’ Nest. Her book can be purchased through her website www.dngsolutions.com or through Amazon.

There is something magical about flying solo, so give your child the best liftoff possible and something to hold onto when turbulence occurs.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Workshop/Garage Zone

If you follow the zone plan of organizing one area of your home every month, September is a great month to tackle the garage or workshop area. It’s getting a little cooler. It’s time to think about putting away summer equipment and evaluating your current zone placements.

Start by listing all the zones this area has. Some possibilities might include yard/garden storage; tools and workshop area; storage of home repair projects; recycling center; storage of extra household purchases like paper towels, cleaning materials, or soft drinks; storage of items for outdoor entertainment; sports equipment storage; and if it is your garage, maybe even a zone for parking your car!

Next envision where to logically place these zones. For items that you use regularly, you will want your zones near the entrance. I want my bike near the front entrance for example. On the left side of my workshop one wall is all gardening/lawn equipment with the lawn mower near the entrance.

As you group your items together, look for containers that can hold your smaller items. All seed packets go in a clear shoebox or all gardening gloves in a basket or all small gardening tools store together in one container with a handle.

Utilize shelves, pegboard, and hooks to keep items off the floor. Don’t stack items on top of each other because, for sure, you are going to want what is on the bottom. Keep wide walkways so that it is easy to access every zone, otherwise you will wind up just dropping items at the entrance instead of walking back and placing them in the proper zone.

Now grab a big black trash bag and purge in every area. Goodbye to old seeds, dried paint, gloves with holes, rusty nails. Use your broom and duster to clear away the heavy dirt and cobwebs as you go.

Once you are finished with this zone, reward yourself. Admire your clean, organized space. Now hop on that bike and ride up to the coffee shop!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Defining Room Zones

When you are organizing a room or area, it helps to divide the area into zones. First make a list of all the things that are done or stored in that area. Then mark off an area for that activity zone and place all appropriate items into that zone area. Resist putting items somewhere just because they “fit.”
In my workshop I have zones for gardening, painting, entertaining, sports, home repair, recycling.
I try to place my zones so that the ones I use the most are near the door. The gardening/yard zone is the first zone on the left. I use items from this zone weekly and it is my largest zone. Some large items are on the floor like the lawn mower and wheel barrow. I try to keep all other items either hanging or on shelves.
The painting zone is on the left but far back into the corner. I may only go to this zone once a year.
Straight back on the back wall is my entertainment zone. I use this area two or three times a year. The croquet set is next to the entertainment zone and my bike is leaning up against the work bench on the right wall. (my sports zone- not very sporty)
On the right, nearest the door is the electronic recycling zone. I will go to this area about every week as I pick up recyclables from my clients.
Just beyond that on the work bench is my home repair zone. I have my basic tools there and underneath the bench is wood. I will also place items here that need repair.
This same zone plan idea will work for any room. Just think of all the activities that happen in the room and lay out your zones. Then keep what you need for those activities in the zone.
This helps you know where items belong and makes it easier to put items away.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Sort and Purge

When working on an organizational project, the first steps are to sort and purge. Take all items that are related and put them together. When organizing and cleaning my workshop, I took all painting materials and put them in one pile. I put all yard maintenance material together. All household tools are in a pile and all items stored for outdoor entertaining are grouped together. Sports items are together. All items being held for electronic recycling are grouped together.
One of the big advantages of grouping the like items together is that you see where you have duplicates or items that are no longer being used. I somehow ended up with 3 ladders. I need 2 because they are different heights but 2 of the ladders are very similar in heights so I am purging the shortest one. I ended up with about 5 drop clothes- 2 were purged. I had 2 pruners- one not very sharp so it went.
Purging means the item goes away. It does not necessarily mean it is thrown away. Of my purged items, some were thrown away, some were given away, and some simply really belonged in the house.
Now it is easy to determine the different zones in my workshop and to return all items to the proper place.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Decatur Book Festival

This past weekend was the Decatur Book Festival. I look forward to this event every year. This year I was in the booth – Get Organized! – with 3 other organizers. This gave us a chance to sell our books, sign up people to participate in our upcoming workshop (From Vision to Victory Workshop- at Eagle Eye Book Shop- Sept. 11, 18, & 25), give information about our services, and for those who visited our booth and were interested in organizing – give them passes to our next NAPO meeting.
Every year I enjoy talking with all of the people who stop to look at our before/after pictures, share their organizational challenges or victories, talk about book ideas they have, or ask questions about our NAPO organization or the Atlanta Hoarding group. I always end up meeting people who become new friends and colleagues.
It is also fun to go around and visit the other booths. I love to see the new books that are out and some of the products concerning the books. Other authors are in their booths and enjoy chatting about their books.
And as with any festival, there is all of that good food and good food smells, the sound of people talking and laughing,and the children’s parades. The festival ended with the Zydeco band and some great dancing by the gazebo.
I am already looking forward to next year.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer