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Great vintage garage. Coll old parts and tools

6 Steps to Spring-Cleaning Your Garage


Spring is in full swing, with summer just around the corner.  Have you done all your spring-cleaning yet? One area of your home that might not get the overhaul it really needs is the garage. From camping equipment to trashcans to toolboxes, the garage can be a black hole of stuff that stacks up throughout the year.  If your car spends the night in the driveway or your have to clear a walking path through boxes of Christmas decorations, it’s time to spring-clean your garage.  Before the weather gets too hot, try these six spring-cleaning steps to clear out the clutter and make your garage useful again.

Take it all out. ALL of it.

If your garage is overrun with clutter— from garden tools to car accessories to kids’ toys— shifting your mess from the garage to the driveway can help you get started with a clean slate.  It may seem counterproductive to just move the clutter from the garage to the front lawn, but emptying the garage is helpful because: 1) it gives you more room to sort and organize, and 2) you can survey the space you have available, so you can plan your organization strategy. It also helps to start grouping things together as you remove them. Are your fishing poles tangled with the rakes? Are the flowerpots encroaching on the paint cans? Placing alike items together makes them easily accessible when you begin re-stocking the garage.

Get rid of what you don’t need.

According to This Old House, organizing professionals estimate that only 30% of people actually store their car in their garage! Why do the rest of the 70% park elsewhere? Too much stuff stuffed into the garage. When it comes to what should be stored in your garage, stick to things that you want to use over things you just want to keep. (Use the basement or attic for keepsakes!)  After you’ve moved your garage contents to the lawn, look over everything and get rid of the things you don’t need. A good rule of thumb is to toss anything you haven’t used in at least two years, and of course anything that just doesn’t work anymore. Bonus: since everything you’re getting rid of is already outside, plan a yard sale for some extra cash!

Get in the zone(s).

Once you’ve cut your clutter down to size, don’t immediately start packing everything back into the garage.  Here’s where a little tactical thinking can help make your garage more functional and organized.  With your remaining garage contents, separate your garage space into zones. A tool zone, a gardening zone, a sports equipment zone, a workspace zone— group together alike items in the same location for easy access, so you never have to look for your wrenches in the garden trowels ever again. Don’t forget the most important zone— the auto zone. With less stuff and a strategic floor plan, you can join the 30% who can fit their car into their garage!

Build storage up and out.

If you don’t have enough storage in your garage, there are a few quick additions you can make to maximize your newly zoned layout. Utilizing shelves and tall cabinets along the walls provides ample room to store smaller items and bins. Hooks and pegboard on the wall offer a way to neatly store tools, cables, and other items you want to keep readily available. A workbench that folds out of the wall gives you useable space that you can easily fold away when not in use. With a little handy work, it’s also possible to use what would otherwise be dead ceiling space for storage, with a system of sliding overhead bin caddies. As a final touch, break out the label maker and get all your bins and boxes labeled to quickly identify the contents.  Make a weekend project out of overhauling your garage space, and you’ll have a more efficient, manageable workspace slash garage

Put everything on wheels.

An ingenious organization tip from Popular Mechanics is “Everything on wheels!” If you routinely work in your garage, adding wheels to your equipment allows you to easily maneuver around, and re-organize as needed depending on your latest project.  Put caster wheels on your cabinets, chairs, benches, drill presses, and more to quickly move things around and— the ultimate goal— make more room for your car.

Buy a car lift for your garage!

Another way to maximize the available space in your garage is by installing a car lift! Whether you want to keep your classic car and your everyday autos in the same garage, or you have smaller vehicles to get out of the way when not in use, a car lift is a beneficial investment.  A car lift affords extended storage space, instantly doubling your storage capacity from one space into two. If you frequently work on your automobiles, you’ll also gain more access to work on your vehicles and in your garage.  A garage car lift like those from Backyard Buddy should be durable and versatile to safely store all kinds of vehicles.  In addition to cars, you can use a BYB lift to store trucks, ATVs, motorcycles, boat trailers, snowmobiles, and more.  Take advantage of the vertical space available, and create more possibilities to work within your garage with a freestanding residential car lift.

If your garage has accumulated enough junk to be the subject of an episode of Hoarders, it may seem like an arduous task to try getting the mess under control.  But starting with a plan to tackle this spring-cleaning project is the key to making your garage an organized workspace again. Take everything out, get rid of nonessentials, and then plan your strategy to organize and store your stuff.  For extra organization, try adding wheels to make equipment mobile, and install a car lift to optimize your available space.   With a little elbow grease, these six steps to spring-cleaning your garage will get rid of the clutter once and for all— and get your car back in its proper place!

Classics & Modern Cars — there’s more to it than meets the eye.

What drives a person to want to invest in American Classics? (Pun intended.)

There has been much discussion over the decades amongst car collectors, forum debaters, and  salesmen within the auto industry on the pros and cons of buying “American.” Depending on the product, angle of presentation and/or a person’s prejudices, answers may vary.
Regardless the angle or opinions you may have that has shaped your perspective on these cars, history tells a story that is worth repeating.

They have and continue to hold a unique place in the heart of car buyers for many reasons and patriotism isn’t their main incentive. While there isn’t one simple answer to this, a combination of factors play a part and some may surprise you!

A classic car has a story

A classic car has a story and for many, when they encounter a classic, history speaks: engine sounds, hand-crafted auto parts, genuine leather, uniqueness and style unparalleled by modern-day car finds. Before assembly lines and robots, cars were treasured and parts were thoughtfully and carefully made by hand. Designers and craftsmen were not hindered by constraints such as crash tests or aerodynamic drag coefficients. Instead, they were free to explore and reflect current trends and culture, delivering desirable and memorable treasures that could stand, and have stood, the test of time.

Mechanically, modern cars are quite different when it comes to car control and operation. Modern engines are now a sealed unit with components that are usually unserviceable by the average person. Advancements in technology have influenced car designers to embrace electrical systems that can now control steering, clutch usage, torque vectoring, and more.
While these systems seem to offer improvements on efficiency and safety, car character and uniqueness are really lacking. Older machines are intricate mechanical systems that function not off of pre-calculated driver aids installed within an electronic-brain, but in harmony with thousands of individual parts tuned to work together and dependent upon direct input from the driver. Today’s modern vehicle just can’t compete with this type of authentic driving experience.

One thing is for sure, getting a new car serviced can sometimes make you want to pull your hair out with the amount of money it can take to fix a problem! Take changing a fuel pump for example. What takes one person thirty minutes of work on a 1955 Chevrolet and $45 in parts might take multiple people and a lot more time to do on a 2006 Saturn. A complete assembly would be required because the gas-gauge sending unit is built-in and the fuel pump is located inside the gas tank which would have to be emptied and dropped in order to get to! The times have changed the way we take care of our cars and now due to complex engineering and electronic systems we usually have to pay someone else to get the job done.

Classic cars

Classic cars offer the driver and admirer personal experience, unique style, and an appreciation for true craftsmanship. All of which is hard to find in most modern cars manufactured by robots and in assembly lines for fast reproduction and quick money. While modern cars are safer, faster, more dependable, and more economical than the cars of the past, many classics have stood the test of time and have lived to tell about it, making car owners proud on many levels.
Your grand kids’ “classic car” will be a lot different than the ones in your Backyard Buddy Lift today. Soon the Chevrolet Stingray, will rest in your grandson’s garage taking the place of your 1969 Boss 429 Mustang, and it will be his most prized possession.

So when it comes to comparing classics and modern cars, you can see that “there’s more to it than meets the eye.”    Investing in or having a special interest in Classics goes beyond what many would say is a hobby. It’s a coveted experience that keeps driving us towards them and leaving us in awe of a different era and timeless memories packaged in steel, leather, and sounds.

Car Collection displayed on Backyard Buddy lifts

This classic car collector trusts Backyard Buddy

Keep America Working

As we talked about in our last blog, we are spending some time to strongly encouraging our fellow Americans to buy American-made products. Yes, Backyard Buddy is a proud American company that makes its lifts in the US, using American steel and American-made components, but that’s not why we started this campaign.

When you buy American-made products, you not only keep your money right here in the United States, you also provide jobs for your neighbors, your family, and all of your countrymen. The past two generations have seen staggering numbers of jobs go overseas, starting with the manufacturing sector, and now moving into the service and even the professional sector. These jobs once put food on the tables right here in the USA, but now are paying pitiful wages to foreign workers who often have no health, safety, or legal protections. And once these jobs go away, they very seldom come back.

The end result is a stagnant American economy, household incomes that buy less than they did 50 years ago, and giant big-box stores where you will be hard-pressed to find any product  that didn’t cross an ocean to get there, and even harder-pressed to find a quality product that will last.

Politicians have been paying lip service to American jobs for so long that we suspect they talk about them in their sleep. But for all the good they’ve done, they may as well continue sleep talking. They are not the ones with the power to turn this around.

You are.

The only way to get the US economy back on track and provide good middle-class jobs is for each of us to demand and buy American-made products. As long as companies can keep selling us cheaply-made foreign junk that boosts their profits, they will. But even today, the customer is always right, and if every one of us buys as many American-made products as we can, and demands American-made products where we can’t find them, suddenly there will be American workers making quality American products again.

We know how this sounds, but we mean it: You can save America. Speak with your dollars when you buy American-made products. Talk to your family and friends about the importance of buying American. Post our latest video on buying American https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfxj6TZhjOo to your social media accounts, email it to your friends, and show it to your family and co-workers on your phone or your computer. But please, spread the word, and Be American, Buy American.

A Backyard Buddy car lift will help get my projects going again

Classic Chevy pickup hot rod on a 4-post car liftWe were shooting the bull with one of the guys who does creative work for Backyard Buddy a little while back. He’s a real car guy that’s been involved with restoring his own cars for over 30 years now, and he shared some of his thoughts about our lifts with us.

Gary mentioned how as he’s gotten older (like all of us), and that it’s been getting harder to get up the ambition to work on his projects. He lives in the northeast and always plans to accomplish a lot during the winter months when the cars are off the road. But even with a heated garage, once the floor freezes it’s not much fun to lay on the floor and try do nice, detailed work. He blames age, but it might just be all those years of laying on his back and working in a cramped space catching up to him. All the old joints are starting to ache more and the cold doesn’t help. He thinks having a Backyard Buddy lift will help get his projects going again!

He built a new garage three years ago with nine-foot ceilings anticipating getting a lift to at least get his cars up high enough to work on comfortably, if not completely overhead. Like a lot of us, he’s always got one or two more project cars lined up and is running out of storage, so a Backyard Buddy Lift would help in that area too, as far as letting him store one car under another.

It would be great to be able to get the cars off the ground, even if it’s not at standing height. He’s thinking it would great to be able to fabricate an exhaust system like he’s doing now, or just to do simple maintenance like oil changes or cleaning up the chassis after a road trip.

What do you think? Do you have a Backyard Buddy lift and think having one would get Gary motivated again? Would making your projects easier get you motivated again?