AURORA, Ill., Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- From tools and stools to trunks and junk, it seems that the garage is home to just about everything these days – except the car. In fact, for the vast majority of Americans (nine out of 10*), the garage is much more likely to be serving double-duty as a workshop, tool shed or recreational area, according to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults.* This multi-purpose situation often results in a hodgepodge of disorganized items ranging from gardening tools, old furniture and sports equipment to bikes, half-empty paint cans, and even moldy magazines. In sum, enough stuff to trip over, ding your auto, and fall from the rafters.
Making matters worse is that 70 percent of Americans use the garage to store potentially dangerous equipment such as saws and power tools, while nearly 60 percent store flammable liquids, such as oil, gasoline, propane and kerosene, as well as other dangerous chemicals, including pesticides and other lawn care products in their garage space.* Considering that only 27 percent of Americans report* feeling confident that their garage is "very organized," many garages aren't just cluttered and inconvenient – they're also a potential safety threat.
To help educate Americans about the importance of garage safety and organization, The Lehigh Group, maker of Crawford®-branded garage and home workshop organization products, declared "National Clean Out Your Garage Day." This annual observance, now in its sixth year, will be recognized across the country on Saturday, Sept. 6.
"We established 'National Clean Out Your Garage Day' to occur on the first weekend after Labor Day, a time when much of America moves from summer to fall, and items such as bikes, outdoor toys, sports and camping gear, lawnmowers and garden tools are put away for the season," said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for The Lehigh Group. "This is a great time to take stock of the safety of your garage, and to de-clutter and re-organize as needed to make this space safer and more functional."
According to the survey, the garage is the most disorganized area or room of the home by a wide margin, and 42 percent of Americans admit to either having never cleaned their garage or to only cleaning it once a year or less. However, the task need not be overwhelming or expensive. In fact, the addition of just a few shelves and other organization products can easily add functionality, safety, and peace of mind.
The experts at Lehigh offer these basic guidelines:
Sort the Mess
Separate items into categories such as auto supplies, lawn and garden tools, holiday decorations, and sports equipment. Then, pitch, donate or sell items you don't use. Before organizing and storing, take a multipurpose push broom to sweep the garage floor, or wash down the floor with a water hose.
Zone It Out
After deciding what stays, separate the garage into zones for storing each category of items, and then identify the most appropriate storage method.
One great storage strategy is to use the vertical plane to keep the floor free of clutter. Garages provide ample wall and ceiling space that can easily be used for vertical storage through use of hanging shelves, pegboards, storing rails and overhead systems. For example, Crawford® brand has specially designed wall hooks that will hold a leaf blower and its power cord in place, and secure other equipment like wheelbarrows, rakes and shovels. Additionally available are the Crawford® 5' Adjustable Storage System and the Crawford® 3' Sliding Grip Clamp Organizer, both built for strength designed to easily hold more than 25 pounds of equipment. Flexible mesh storage products that hang on the wall are particularly suited to accommodate awkward items, from pet toys and work gloves to tennis balls.
Be an Organized Sport
Establish a solid game plan to organize the typical plethora of sports gear as well as the family's fleet of bikes. Crawford® brand offers a wide range of products to help, such as grip clamps for bats, and complete sports organization systems to accommodate hockey sticks, balls, helmets and more. For bicycles, cost-effective screw-in hooks and flip-up bike hangers, along with pulleys, are ideal ways to keep bikes off the ground and out of the way while they're not in use.
Securely Store Hazardous Items
Place toxic materials such as paint, paint thinner, weed and bug killers, fertilizer and gasoline in high cabinets or lockable tool chests to keep out of the reach of children. Use well-supported shelves to store cleaning solutions and vehicle fluids. Be sure to secure tools and wrap up extension cords via tool hangers.
"One final critical tip: Always remember to follow all manufacturer instructions regarding weight limits when using wall hooks, rails and shelving," said Hanson.
Crawford® brand offers a wide variety of organization products ranging from basic hooks and tool holders to specialty items designed to keep garage and workshop spaces clean, orderly and safe. Most Crawford products are easily found at hardware stores across the country. For more information about Crawford® products, visit www.crawfordorganization.com.
*The Lehigh Group Home Safety and Security Survey results are based on the responses of 1,007 adults in the United States who answered a telephone survey from July 31 through Aug. 3, 2014. Results are accurate to +/-3 percent points with a 95 percent confidence level and can be generalized to the entire U.S. adult population. For a complete report, contact Tim Young at (312) 565-4628 or [email protected].
About The Lehigh Group
The Lehigh Group is a worldwide supplier of diverse but related consumer products to the home improvements market under the brand names Crawford®, Lehigh®, Storehorse®, Ultra-Hold®, M&K Industries® and Leslie Locke®. It is the largest maker of rope, cord and twine in the country, and also the leader in innovative storage and organization products for the home and garage. Product offerings also extend to automotive tie downs, peg hooks and pegboard accessories, and the broadest line of clothesline and clothesline accessories in the market.
The Lehigh Group is owned by Lehigh Consumer Products, LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of Jarden Corporation (Rye, NY)NYSE:JAH, a leading provider of niche consumer products used in and around the home. For more information, visit www.lehighgroup.com or www.jarden.com.
About Jarden Corporation
Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of a diverse range of consumer products with a portfolio of over 120 trusted, quality brands sold globally. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Outdoor Solutions: Abu Garcia®, AeroBed®, Berkley®, Campingaz® and Coleman®, ExOfficio®, Fenwick®, Greys®, Gulp!®, Hardy®, Invicta®, K2®, Madshus®, Marker®, Marmot®, Mitchell®, PENN®, Rawlings®, Ride®, Sevylor®, Shakespeare®, Stearns®, Stren®, Trilene®, Völkl®, Worth® and Zoot®; Consumer Solutions: Bionaire®, Breville®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, Sunbeam®, VillaWare® and White Mountain®; and Branded Consumables: Ball®, Bee®, Bernardin®, Bicycle®, Billy Boy®, Crawford®, Diamond®, Dicon®, Fiona®, First Alert®, First Essentials®, Hoyle®, Kerr®, Lehigh®, Lifoam®, Lillo®, Loew Cornell®, Mapa®, NUK®, Pine Mountain®, ProPak®, Quickie®, Spontex®, Tigex® and Yankee Candle®. Headquartered in Florida, Jarden ranks #356 on the Fortune 500 and has over 30,000 employees worldwide. For further information about Jarden, please visit www.jarden.com.
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SOURCE The Lehigh Group