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    Organizing Your Garage for Maximum Winter Enjoyment

    If you would have told us a year ago that we’d be looking at our garages for the next semi-outdoor, socially-distanced meeting place to socialize with family and friends, we probably would have cast you off as crazy. Yet here we are, and even though the calendars say 2021, the rest of winter is going to look a lot like 2020 for most of us.
    Since you’re contemplating setting up a space in the garage for socializing, cleaning and organizing now is a time investment that will really pay dividends. Even though cleaning and organizing often feels like a never-ending process, it’s also the most inexpensive way to protect your home value is to keep it clean and maintained. More often than not deferred maintenance on a home will result in asset deterioration and ultimately have a big impact on the value of a home.
    Here’s some tips from our friends over at Queen B Organizing for transforming your garage into a truly usable space this winter (and let’s not forget about spring and the rain that lingers…)

    Use What You Have

    If a family in chilly Manitoba can transform a garage into a Winter Wonderland to host their Christmas celebration (note: pre-covid-19), then why not you?  All it takes is some creative thought, time, and shared resources to make it happen.

    There are three main considerations for revamping garage space: storage, light, and warmth. How you design and decorate it is limited only by your imagination!

    Storage – Chances are your garage is a catch-all space for decorations, tools, and household items you don’t use on a regular basis. If you don’t already have adequate storage and shelf space for your things, now is a good time to get them organized and out of the way. Think of it as a Christmas gift to yourself to have items carefully stored away and labelled for easy access.

    Shelving is key to eliminating clutter in a garage and having items off the floor will protect them from weather and other potential damage. If you are clearing out someone else’s garage for a small get-together, what a wonderful gift you would be giving them, a gift that will save them time and energy for many years to come!

    Light– Chances are, the overhead lighting in the garage is functional, but will not provide the kind of ambiance you want for your new room. This is where Christmas lights, patio lights, and strategically placed lamps help set the mood for your space. Do you want a bright and sparkly space, or a warmer and more subdued environment? There are so many lights to choose from!

    If colored Christmas lights are your thing, string them around with abandon. Borrow strands from friends or family if you don’t have enough of your own.  You can choose to have all your lights be the same or mix and match them according to your whim.  Battery operated candles can also provide some light in windows, on shelves, and on tables. Hanging light colored curtains around the garage can make the space feel cozier and will also reflect some of the light.

    Warmth – Depending on whether your transformation is meant to be short or long term, several fairly simple and inexpensive options for heating or retaining heat are available to you, such as insulation, weathers stripping and electric space heaters. Be sure to consider the number and ages of visitors when locating heaters of any kind and be sure to only use an electric source appropriate to the heater.

    Additional heat may not even be necessary if folks wear their favorite ugly sweater or Christmas hat. Be creative with your dress code and laughter will warm the hearts of all.

    Setting the Scene

    Now that your space is organized, warm, and well-lit, consider placing furniture in ways that best suit your planned activity. Are you hosting a small meal? Or having close family over for cocktails to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop? Perhaps you want to set up space for gift drop-offs or cookie exchanges or other holiday activities?

    Keeping recommended social distancing regulations in mind, plan the amount of seating (if any) you’ll need around the space you have.  Some indoor/outdoor carpeting can help provide both warmth and decoration. You can bring patio furniture in or living room furniture out or set up folding tables and chairs that can easily be cleaned and stored between events.

    The Rest is Up to You

    Decorating is optional, of course, but why not go the extra mile and make the space special with holiday décor, family memorabilia, a Christmas tree, or mistletoe?  You can do this as a gift to your loved ones, or plan to do something together in your newly arranged gathering space. (Friendly gingerbread house competition, anyone?)

    Having an organized and welcoming space to share holiday memories during this unusual holiday season can help bring those “in your pod” together in creative ways.  If you are unable to host any visitors at this time, this project can can help you prepare for the new year when everyone can gather safely together again. Why not plan ahead in hope for 2021?

    If you need help planning or organizing this project, or have another year-end need, please reach out to Queen B Organizing and they can help bring you the gift of peace that comes with having a project completed.

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed, but want to give the whole cleaning and organization thing a go yourself , download our free guide + cleaning schedule to help you make sense of what things need to be cleaned and maintained in order to keep your home’s value in top shape.

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