It’s time to let go of our messy garage habits from winter and bring a breath of fresh air into one of our most cluttered spaces.

Once you have the clutter removed and can see what you have to work with, you may decide to take your garage makeover one step further and create a convenient space for crafts, gardening or other hobbies.

However, if you need actual functional living space, you can also find that kind of space in your garage.

Insulation, a sub floor and heat will be needed to potentially transform the space into photography studios or and arts and crafts space.

Whatever your garage dreams might be, it all starts with a clean slate. Home expert Bob Villa advises homeowners to break the task into three steps:

1. Clear the clutter. Take everything out of the garage and group the items you’re eliminating into four piles: toss, recycle, donate or sell. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year. Have a garage sale, donate to a church rummage sale, or arrange to move everything from appliances to tires and trash, donating and recycling whatever is possible. Find local recycling centers where you can safely dispose of paint and chemicals.

2. Make a plan. Now that the garage is empty, decide whether the space could benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Then begin to group items by task or interest — from garden tools and containers to sports equipment. Other logical groupings include holiday décor, kids’ stuff and a workshop area with space for a sturdy bench, plus a pegboard or cabinets.

Once you’ve determined what zones you need, work logically to fit them in for easiest access.

Think vertically, to use a ton of wasted space. In addition to hanging rakes and tools, consider hanging bikes and a wheelbarrow on hoists and overhead racks.

3. Choose tailored solutions. Use smart organizational products like wall systems, storage cabinets, adjustable shelving, workbenches, hooks, bins and tubs.

Once you have cleaned out your space, you can decide to dream big or to dream small, in redefining your garage. Creating new storage systems in your garage will certainly be a big step in the right direction, without costing a lot of money. A bigger dream might be to make that space into a family room, an extra bedroom, even a master bedroom suite.

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