So you’re thinking about giving yourself the gift of an organized garage this year, and it’s time to start getting estimates. You’re excited about turning your garage into usable space again, but you’re not sure what to expect during an estimate or how to prepare. Here’s what you need to know to be ready.

  1. Clear out the trash.
  2. Toss out those broken roller skates and cracked Christmas yard decorations. Donate the bag of clothes that went out of style with the Backstreet Boys, and recycle that pile of wood scraps you’ve been saving for the last decade because you swear, they’ll be useful. If you want to be organized, you’ve got to be honest: toss the stuff that’s keeping you down.

  3. Sort your stuff.
  4. Sorting your belongings into loosely related piles will help you get a better idea of what gear you need to keep it all contained. Gather up the gardening supplies in one area and the Halloween decorations in another. Collect your tools in one area and make a pile of all the kids’ bikes and toys. It might seem like you’re making a bigger mess as you do this. However, it will be easy to put it all away once your gear is in place.

  5. List your goals.
  6. Write a list of what you think the worst problems are with your garage and what you think would make it the perfect space. Is it so full of clutter, bikes, and lawn care items that you can’t park your car? Do you wish you could use the garage as a shop or work area, but you can’t figure out how to maximize the space? Do you love to garden but that pile of rakes and spades is making you wish you took up knitting instead?

  7. Consider obstacles.
  8. Things like fuse or breaker boxes, water heaters, plumbing or drainage, and attic access panels are common in garages and need a bit of extra care. As you think about how you want your storage space set up, remember that you’ll have to work around these obstacles.

  9. Check out the company.
  10. Before you bring anyone into your home, you want to make sure they are reputable. Be sure they are licensed and insured. If possible, get a recommendation from friends or relatives, or check online to see if you can find a few reviews. Referrals from past customers are always a great way to feel confident about who you are choosing to perform any service in your home.

    Being ready for the estimate and having a plan for your space will help you make the most of your time and your garage. Before you know it, instead of dreading the garage, it will become one of the most useful rooms in your home.

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