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Make Garage Safe For Kids

Updated on December 26, 2016

Christmas holidays are associated with food, love and the family, but it could also be put to good use by revisiting certain parts of the family home.

The garage is for cars but it is used as a storage in some homes. Family members should go to the garage and remove stuff they used as kids, identify what is in the boxes, throw things out or take them to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Value Village and other thrift stores.

Reasons For Organizing The Garage

  • Your kids are popular at school and they bring home friends regularly.
  • There are kids under five, the world's greatest explorers. We don't want them to get hurt while they are touching and tasting.
  • You want to find things and not say: 'I don't know in which box I put those books.'

Year End Holidays

Some of the clutter in the garage is nothing but old things your grown-up kids left behind. Use their presence at home during Christmas to clean the garage.

It can be daunting if you have a boat moored where the second car is supposed to be, or if you have the old refrigerator you did not throw away when you bought a frost-free one.

The holidays might also be the right time to discuss a family book. Who will write it and what photos do you need?

Lunch Will Be Served

The troops shall be fed. It will be a good strategy to tell people who live at home or out of town that there will be a sumptuous lunch after cleaning the garage. I wouldn’t call it a bribe. Incentive. Some folks work better if they are incentivised. Is this a real word? Never mind. Dictionary later!

  • Place chicken thighs, drumsticks, wings and chicken breasts in a big foil tray.

  • Add marinade made with less sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, crushed garlic, sage, rosemary and black pepper.

  • Marinade in the morning and push the tray into the oven at noon, or an hour before lunch.

  • Grated carrots with raisins will make a great bridesmaid.

  • Make sure you have ingredients for a Greek salad.

  • Dessert is canned yellow cling peaches in light syrup and fresh cream. Ice cream for the kids? No problem.

Garage Audit

What is in the garage? That would be a good starting point. You need a clipboard to write down answers to the question: Why am I keeping this?

Maybe kids should do the writing so that you can correct their atrocious spelling. Answers will help you decide whether you need a recycling or moving company or you can dispose of unwanted things yourself. Surely you can do the following:

  • Manufacturers’ boxes that came with the microwave, the Bosch music system, electric serving tray, kids’ toys, will have to go to the recycling dumpster.

  • The photocopying machine you used in the last millennium must go to those special plants that recycle electronics.

  • The two-person bike you kept although you are divorced, should go to a second hand shop, somewhere. In fact, all unused bikes should be donated.

  • The work-bench you do not use because you are no longer into carpentry or you were just plain bad at it must go, together with its bad memories.

  • Cans of old paints, have no business to be in the garage or anywhere in the house.

  • The old gardening hose is redundant, now that you have a sprinkler system.

  • Golf irons are not sold in dollar stores. You bought them because you thought you will be the next Tiger Woods or Ryo Ishikawa of Japan. Donate golf bags to organisations that introduce golf to kids from poorer communities.

Ryo Ishikawa, PGA golfer from Japan.
Ryo Ishikawa, PGA golfer from Japan. | Source

Washing The Garage

  • Remove everything from the garage.

  • Park cars on the street or the lawn if you have a big yard.

  • Wear rain boots and hose garage from top to bottom.

  • Go to the store, leaving the garage to dry out.

Clear bins are better.  Remember, if it cannot be seen, it cannot be found.
Clear bins are better. Remember, if it cannot be seen, it cannot be found. | Source

Colour-Coded Garage

There are products you can buy at the hardware store that will make your freshly-washed garage ‘eye-friendly’ meaning, you should be able to find things just by glancing around. The rule of thumb is: If it cannot be seen, it cannot be found. Therefore, that out goes those cardboard boxes.

Storage products with colours can spruce up your garage and help you identify storage contents by colour i.e. my seedlings are in the green pail, pliers and screwdrivers in the red pail, garden gloves in the brown one etc.

Labelling is important if you cannot find see-through storage bins. Label them, the same way you label food in the freezer.

Top Shelves

  • Wash rain and snow boots and line them up on top shelves.
  • Wash backpacks and cloth material luggage and hang them on coloured hooks.
  • Take sleeping bags to the cleaners and store them on the top shelf.
  • Cooler bags should be cleaned before placing them on top.

One Dollar Garage Sales

Homeowners hosting garage sales seem to be lonely. It is quite common to see just the husband and wife sitting outside, without a customer in sight. Garage sales are less popular for a variety reasons.

  • Dollar stores sell everything from plastic tables to plastic flowers.

  • Leather goods are less popular than they used to be.

  • Wood is no longer regarded as a sign of durability.

  • Second hand things are frowned upon as ‘hand-me-downs’.

Therefore, the best solution might be $1 garage sales, which is practically giving things away, but you want to get rid of them don’t you?

I got the idea from the film Waiting To Exhale based on Terry McMillan’s book. Angela Bassett’s character sold all her husband’s clothes and things like golf clubs for a dollar, when he left her. The morale of the story. Consult with your partner before cleaning out the garage.


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