Residential garages tend to become catch-alls for all things both needed and not needed in the home. But instead of gigantic storage units, wouldn’t it be more useful for your garage to be organized and uncluttered, a calming space through which to enter or leave your home, rather than a constant headache and source of stress? In an organized garage, you’d store only the things you actually use, including some essential items that every garage should have.
1. A fire extinguisher. The first of these items is a fire extinguisher, but don’t toss it in the corner, leave it on your workbench, or rest it atop a pile of stuff. The fire extinguisher should be wall mounted near the door to your home’s interior if you have an attached garage. If the garage is unattached, the fire extinguisher should be mounted within easy reach of the exit. A good way to maintain your fire extinguisher’s utility is to shake it up every time you change the clocks. (Shake it until your hear that the contents can move around freely.)
2. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors go hand in hand with the fire extinguisher, and their batteries should be checked every time you shake the fire extinguisher. A smoke detector’s job is obvious (hopefully it will alert you to a fire danger while the fire extinguisher can still get the job done); a carbon monoxide detector is also a must-have, as it detects and alerts you to the presence of an odorless yet deadly gas in the garage.
3. Kitty litter. Even dog owners should keep kitty litter in the garage. Not only is the absorbent material a great liner for litter boxes, it’s also great for cleaning up oil spills quickly and safely. Leave a small bag in your garage so you’ll always be prepared.