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Get Your Garage Organized with Tips from a Pro

April brings rain showers and storms, tornadoes, hail…will your car be safe and protected inside? According to the Insurance Council of Texas, vehicle damage estimates for three springtime 2016 storms in Texas, topped $1 billion.

What is your expense expected to be should your car get attacked by the evil ice? On average, every dent is going to cost between $50 and $125 to repair. There will also probably be scratch damage to surrounding surfaces that will have to be repainted.

Depending on the severity of damage, your hail repair bill could run from $1,500 to over $10,000. Hitting your $30,000 vehicle with $10,000 damage seems pretty pricey when compared to the approximate value of what is most likely stored safely in the garage!

Should you store paint in the garage? Is your garage floor a safety hazard? To help decipher ways to use their garage properly, here are some of the do’s and don’ts of garage storage:

  • Take everything out and group like items together. You’d be surprised at how often people have purchased several hammers because they couldn’t find one.
  • As you’re sorting, try to make decisions that you can. If you know you don’t want the life-size cutout of Pacman anymore, put it in the donate pile!
  • Zone your garage based on your sorted piles. Lawn & Garden items should probably be located near the door you will go through when using them.
  • Be safe. If you must store gasoline for an emergency generator, your lawn mower or for other purposes, it’s important to follow simple safety rules. Fire codes typically restrict gas storage to no more than 25 gallons. Store the gas in containers of 5 gallons or less that have been approved for gasoline. Approved containers include a label or wording directly on the container stating that it meets specifications for portable containers for petroleum products. Never store gas in unapproved or glass containers. Fill the containers no more than 95% full to allow for expansion. Store the container:
    • At least 50 ft. away from pilot lights and ignition sources such as the heat, sparks, and flames from a water heater, space heater, or furnace.
    • On the floor in a place where children can’t reach it.
    • In a garage or shed out of direct sunlight. Do not store in the house.
    • On concrete, place a piece of plywood under the container.
  • Think vertical! Wall space is the most wasted space in garages. What can be hung? Just about everything. Lawn chairs, lawn supplies, garden hoses, extension cords, bikes, holiday wreaths…you name it. Shelving is another way to store vertically. When choosing garage shelving, be sure to pick solutions that will not rust over time. Also, if you choose ventilated shelving, use small bins to store those items that can fall through the shelving.
  • Paint needs to be stored in an area with low moisture and temperature control. Leftover paint stored in a place that gets very hot or very cold will change in consistency, making it unusable. keep the paint cans off the concrete floor because moisture will wick up and create rust. That rules out almost every garage ever built. You’ll be better off finding a spot in a closet inside your house.
  • Photos needs the same type of storage as paint. The garage is not the place for them.
  • Contain what you can. Put the paint brushes, rollers, and paint can opener together into a bin. Avoid cardboard storage as it can become victim of rodent damage.
  • Label it. We label every container possible even if it’s a clear bin. The more time you save in the future searching for something, the better!

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