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Garage Know How

Take Back Your Garage -- Organization is Easier than Ever

(ARA) – Yard tools leaning against the walls. Random storage boxes stacked high. From oil-stained floors to the cluttered corners, garages are not usually the first room you show off in your home. But things are changing and the new trend in home improvement is to create a garage that is not only more functional, but one that extends your living space.

“Many homeowners feel the garage sets the tone for the whole house and really is the true main entrance to their home,” says Steve Real, an executive in the automotive category at Wal-Mart. “The great thing about garage organization is that it is completely customizable to each individual’s needs. It can be achieved in steps, so customers can do a complete overhaul or take one step at a time.”

And, do-it-yourself enthusiasts are also taking notice. According to a recent survey by Rust-Oleum, 55 percent of homeowners use their garage for more than just storage and 45 percent spend one to two hours a week there. Imagine a garage with clean floors, organized walls and open, usable space for parking your vehicle or simply doing your favorite hobby. Achieving this is easier than you think. Here are some things to consider:

* Determine the Goal
Take a look at your current garage and decide where you want to focus. Whether doing a complete overhaul or taking one step at a time, think of your final goal. For ideas on where to get started, visit the automotive aisle in your local Wal-Mart.

* Sort and Separate
A great way to start your garage makeover is to get organized. Go through the items in your garage and separate into categories. For example, create piles of sports equipment, lawn and garden tools, automotive supplies, etc. Also, determine how often you use these items. Sort the items into one of three categories: save; giveaway and throwaway.

* Sweep and Clean Floors
Give the floor a thorough sweep to remove dirt and other items. Even after floors are swept, they are often dirty and stained with hard-to-remove substances like oil and gasoline. Why not create a floor that is easy to clean that looks like a showroom floor?

* Resurface Floors
Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield is an easy-to-apply product that features decorative flakes that you sprinkle into the paint while it’s drying to make your garage look like it is an expensive “terrazzo” floor. This special epoxy floor coating looks great and can stand up to the wear and tear of your tires and spills of every kind, protecting against gasoline, oil, antifreeze and even salt.

* Add Matting
Pressed for time and want an easy solution for your garage floor? One of the fastest ways to transform your garage floor and protect it is to simply roll out a 20-foot-long Drymate Garage Floor Mat. This plush, absorbent fabric mat has a patented waterproof non-slip backing that is simple to clean by vacuuming or hosing off. Better than heavy carpeting, these mats are perfect for underneath a vehicle, to dress up an area in the garage to extend your living space such as for a kid’s play area, exercise or card room or even a fast way to prepare your garage for a party.

* Install Storage Options
Organize things up and off of the floor, using organizational tools that utilize any available space such as walls, corners, overhead storage, back of doors and crawl spaces. Consider installing organization solutions by Dorman Products that are heavy duty in design for durable and safe storage in the garage environment. They are also powder coated for a neat and clean look while resisting rust. Pegboards, direct-to-wall items such as baskets, bins and hooks, as well as other free-standing units make your garage safer and more efficient.

* Return Items
After floors and walls are clean and organized, it’s time to return items utilizing your new garage space. Remember to keep safety and efficiency in mind when replacing garage contents.

Imagine the clean look of an organized, efficient garage as the true welcome mat to your home. Visit the automotive aisle at your local Wal-Mart for additional help in getting your dream garage.

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