Finally Clean Out Your Garage in These 8 Steps

By Jeanne Taylor, Houzz

On my street, every home has a two-car garage. Yet hardly any of the garages are used to park two cars. Even fitting one car in the garage is a stretch for many of my neighbors. Because let’s be honest: It’s pretty common for the garage to turn into a home’s dumping ground.

Often, people stash something in the garage because they can’t decide what else to do with it. Frequently, these stashed items are rarely used. In some cases, they’re never used. Many of us simply own too much stuff and tend to use our garages as storage units, which works as long as you have adequate driveway or street parking. But if you are downsizing to a condo, loft or apartment, you may no longer have the luxury of expansive garage space. Here’s how to seriously downsize the belongings in your garage in anticipation of a move — especially into a smaller home.

Pulaski Carriage House craftsman-garage

What to Do Before You Start

Schedule time on your calendar. If you’re moving, you may already have a long to-do list. Think about adding the garage to your list and even putting a specific time on your calendar to attack this assignment. In my experience with clients, getting rid of belongings in the garage is a time-consuming job, so I recommend you think in terms of days rather than hours. Also, if you already know where you will be moving to, it’s a good idea to measure the dimensions of the new storage space so you have a feeling for how much you need to discard.

Assess your resources. What resources do you need accomplish this task? For your first step, you might look into ordering a dumpster from your local waste management company to dispose of unwanted items and trash. Also, consider researching charitable organizations that can pick up belongings you decide to donate. A list of consignment stores to sell household items to is another great option. If you have more time and are comfortable doing so, you might consider selling more expensive items on Craigslist or eBay. Finally, you might research a local resource where you can dispose of old paint, pesticides, motor oil and other toxic substances as well as electronic waste. These items cannot be placed in a trash or recycling container.

Collect boxes, packing supplies and large trash bags. A local grocery store or pharmacy is a good place to find free cardboard boxes, and many stores are happy to part with them. Craigslist can be another source for used boxes; people often give boxes away for free after they’ve moved. If you prefer new moving boxes, you can purchase them at a local home improvement store or order them online.

Highcroft Hunting Barn industrial-shed

How to Run Your Garage Purging Session

Clear some space and mark off zones. To keep your job organized, you might want to create as much empty space as possible in the middle of the garage floor. Consider moving the car and other large, bulky items, such as the lawn mower and bicycles, out of the garage. I suggest dividing the garage into six sections: donate, sell, toss, keep, return to someone else, and undecided. You can mark off each section with blue painter’s tape or colored chalk. It is helpful to save room on the floor for a staging area where you can place all items from one category before you make any decisions.

Work on one category at a time. I recommend picking a category, perhaps holiday decor, and then pulling every item from that category out of hiding and placing it in the staging area. Don’t forget about belongings stored in the rafters. Try to make a decision on each item in your category before moving on to the next one. If you really can’t decide, place the item in the “undecided” pile. However, try not to put too much in this pile, because it will only delay the decluttering process.

Expect sorting of family members’ items to go slower. Children who are grown and have permanently moved out of the house often think of their parents’ home as a storage unit. This also can be true for an ex-spouse who has moved out of the family home. You are unlikely to have room to store other people’s belongings in your smaller space. Unfortunately, dealing with other family members can sometimes be emotionally taxing. Because of that, I recommend you tackle these items last. That way, you can plow full steam ahead on culling your own belongings and not let any potentially difficult conversations slow you down.

Keep your goals in mind. If you have trouble making decisions to let go of some items, it can sometimes be helpful to envision your new uncluttered space. To quote Marie Kondo’s best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, only keep items that “spark joy.” If you don’t truly love something or actually need it then, it is time to bid it goodbye.

Below are some common categories you might be tackling, as well as suggestions on what to keep and what to let go.

Flow Wall Storage Solutions contemporary-garage

1. Sports equipment, camping gear, beach chairs and old bikes. Move all sports-related items into your staging area and take a serious look at the things in this category, considering whether you will ever use them again. Yes, it was fun to go camping when the kids were young, but do you really plan to go again? Although I love to be outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, at this stage of my life I also love to retreat to a comfortable bed at night. The same goes for bikes, beach chairs, golf clubs, tennis rackets and ski equipment. Try to remember the last time you used each item. If you golf twice a month, then by all means keep your golf clubs. If the last time you used your clubs was in the late 1980s, it might be time to let them go.

Sports equipment, bikes and camping gear are popular items left behind by family members who have moved out. If that’s the case in your home, take all these items and move them to the “return to someone else” section of your garage. Set a time when the belongings can be retrieved. If family members live out of the area, send pictures of the items and ask them whether you can get rid of them. Consider setting a date for the family members to pick up their belongings they decide to keep.

Christmas 2013 traditional-entry

2. Holiday decor. Many of my clients have collected multiple boxes of holiday decor over the years. This is especially true for people who have raised a family in a large home. Fortunately, holiday decor is often relatively easy to part with since it is in storage much of the year anyway.

As you go through these possessions, picture the home you will be moving into. Will there be any outside space to decorate, or will you be moving into a condominium or apartment building with little outdoor surface? Also consider decorations for holidays such as Easter, Independence Day and Halloween. If your kids are grown, do you still decorate for these holidays?

I encourage my clients to free themselves first of large, bulky items that are difficult to store. Then think in terms of duplicates. For instance, do you really need five manger scenes or six menorahs? Think about the size of your new space and decide whether you will be paring down the size of your Christmas tree. This may be the time to free yourself of an overabundance of ornaments and only keep the ones you really love. For those you decide to keep, I recommend purchasing an ornament storage box at a local home store. As you sort, you can place the keeper ornaments in the box (or boxes) so that they’ll be ready for the next holiday season.

3. Suitcases, tote bags, book bags and backpacks. For some reason, I often find old suitcases, tote bags, computer bags and backpacks stored in client garages. Your children may have played sports growing up and received a new backpack every new season. Some people have a hard time discarding an almost-new backpack every year. The same can be said for people who collect computer and tote bags from trade shows. Over the years, this free stuff can get out of control.

Reflect on whether these items are adding value to your life and realistically think about the storage capacity in your new home. I recommend saving only the items you have used over the last year, as well as suitcases you use when you travel. Then donate the rest so that someone else will be able to use them.

Storage Shed Interior Design Ideas traditional-shed

4. Gardening supplies. Ask yourself the following questions when deciding which gardening tools to keep:

  • Will you have a yard in your new home?
  • Will you be responsible for yard maintenance or will a homeowners association be doing it for you?
  • Will you have a lawn?
  • Do you even like gardening?
  • Will you be hiring a gardener?

If you will not have a yard or if someone else will be doing your yard work for you, feel free to donate your gardening supplies and lawn mower. If you will have a small balcony or patio where you can have containers, consider keeping a few small items such as a trowel, weeder and gardening gloves.

ORG Garage Cabinets garage

5. Old shoes. Old and worn shoes often find their way to garage storage. My clients tell me they purchase a new pair of running shoes, hiking boots, snow or rain boots, and athletic shoes and put the old ones in the garage. They usually never get around to discarding old shoes, so the collection can become quite large.

You may want to think seriously about disposing of the unused footwear. It might be worth keeping one extra pair of running shoes if you work out in bad weather. That way, you’ll have a spare pair if one gets wet. Otherwise, I would recommend tossing all old shoes.

6. Unwanted household items. Unused furniture, out-of-date framed prints, abandoned craft projects and grandma’s china are all items I have unearthed in the dark recesses of my clients’ garages. Placing these items in the garage may be a way of putting off the decision to get rid of them. But the fact is, your new smaller home may not have enough storage space to house these items.

To discard these items, I suggest bringing them to a local home consignment store or, if you have more time, attempting to sell them on eBay or Craigslist. If you are in a time crunch, you may want to call a charity that can send a truck to pick up your unwanted belongings. Do keep a receipt and an itemized record of your donations for tax purposes. Goods donated to charity are tax-deductible.

Linen Closet Organizer contemporary-closet

7. Warehouse-size household products. Downsizing to a smaller space is a good time to think about whether you want to stop buying toilet tissue, paper towels, laundry soap and cleaning products at warehouse stores. Products from these stores come in large sizes that take up an inordinate amount of garage real estate.

It’s possible that you’re downsizing because your children have moved out. Therefore, you probably don’t go through as much laundry soap and toilet tissue as you used to anyway. Consider using up your stash, then buying normal-size products moving forward.

Stainless Steel Drawers and Roll-Out Shelves from Dura Supreme contemporary-kitchen

8. Old paint, motor oil, other hazardous waste and electronic waste. These items can’t be tossed in the garbage can, so check with your local waste management or trash service to see where you can dispose of these products. Some companies offer a once-a-year pickup of toxic and electronic waste, while others allow you to schedule a pickup. Some counties have a hazardous waste drop-off location where you can bring these toxic products. High schools and middle schools sometimes host electronic waste drives as fundraisers as well, and my homeowners association hosts a biannual electronic waste collection in the spring and fall. Check to see if your homeowners association provides a similar service.

Related Links:
Toss and Replace Worn Outdoor Furniture
You May Want to Keep Old Cherished Family Quilts
Up Next: The Basement

What part of your garage are you going to get cleaned up first? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 Popular Garage Trends

By Becky Harris, Houzz

Vroom, vroom! Whether seeking out a car turntable or a few extra feet to store lawn tools, people were fast and furious when saving these photos to their ideabooks this year. Much like the cars they house, these high-performing garage designs are stylish, sleek, classic, custom and futuristic.

8. We all fantasize about having a garage this neat and organized. Rails with hooks provide space for yard tools, hoses, ladders and more without taking up floor space. Opaque garage doors let light in. The stylishly speckled floor is every tire’s fantasy.

7. There’s more to this bonus stall than meets the eye. Its placement within the architecture transforms the driveway into a courtyard. This is a good strategy that keeps a garage from dominating a home’s facade too much. The little breezeway between the house and the structure doubles as a covered porch for the back door.

6. Judging from the comments Houzzers noted when adding this photo to their ideabooks, its popularity is more about the driveway than the garage. But what’s a driveway if not an extension of the garage? This driveway provides a modern grid that complements the contemporary Mediterranean style of the house. It is composed of poured concrete and turf.

5. Board-and-batten siding, a standing seam metal roof, a dormer and wooden garage doors with windows give this garage the charming appeal of a barn or carriage house.

4. Houzz Australia contributor Larissa Davis likened this fantasy garage to a bat cave, and the analogy is spot-on. The vehicles are just part of a large toy and game collection in this hideout.

3. Sited along the Yellowstone River in Montana’s Paradise Valley, this building serves as a garage, boathouse, Airstream trailer storage spot, and fly-tying and rod-making workshop. The outdoorsy homeowners prefer to walk and enjoy their property than having an attached building.

2. The only thing more eye-catching than the shou-sugi-ban siding on this Park City, Utah, home is the bright orange garage door. The contrast with the snow and the spectacular views of the Wasatch mountains helped nudge this garage to the runner-up spot.

1. Farmhouse-inspired style had a prominent spot across all of the most popular photo categories this year, and garages were no exception. With its board-and-batten siding, charming lanterns, “X”-motif doors, exposed rafter tails and breezeway, this Bluffton, South Carolina, garage was a shoo-in. Another aspect worth admiring is the way this building is so pleasingly scaled and massed. One stall is stepped back, and elements like the overhang help break up the facade. The roofline also keeps the building from competing with the main house’s proportions.

Learn About the Top 9 Siding Materials Here
Find the Key Measurements for Your Perfect Garage
See How Your Garage Can Boost Your Curb Appeal

What garage trend would go well with your home, and why? Let us know in the comments!

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How to Match Your Contemporary Home with a Modern Garage Door

Amarr garage doors Mosaic Window Options

Mosaic Window Options for Amarr traditional steel garage doors reflect your personal style.

Stylish, mid-century modern home design is on the rise, and more people are paying attention to garages and incorporating the garage door in the home’s façade.  Entrematic’s new Mosaic Window Options for Amarr traditional steel garage doors help homeowners capitalize on this trend and design unique garage doors that complement their contemporary home exterior and reflect their personal style.

Amarr garage door with Mosaic Window Options

Turn your garage into a room with a view by placing a window in each garage door section.

In just three steps, add visual interest to your contemporary, mid-century modern or transitional home:

  1. Choose the Amarr traditional steel garage door based on your safety, energy efficiency and durability needs. Amarr Olympus, Heritage, Stratford and Lincoln, in all constructions, are available with Mosaic Window Options.
  2. Choose the panel design that complements the exterior of your home: short, long, flush or ribbed panel.
  3. Create your door design with short or long panel windows, clear or obscure glass, in any standard position on any section of the garage door.
Amarr garage door with Mosaic Window Options

Mosaic Window Options on this Amarr garage door match the vertical lines of the home’s design.

Now you can design an Amarr traditional garage door with Mosaic Window Options for your home!  Visit our Door Designer and tell us in the comments below – what’s your window design?

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A New Garage Gives a D.C. Lot a Boost in Storage, Space and Style

By Mitchell Parker, Houzz

Looking for a garage structure to replace a grassy lot and provide storage and hangout space, these homeowners reached out to designer-builder Keith Vaughan for help. He designed a quaint, jewel-box-like single-car structure with smart storage solutions such as automated platforms that can rise to the ceiling with the push of a button. Meanwhile, a pitched roof allows clerestory windows that bring in natural light, making the new garage a well-lighted yet shady hangout area during sports games.


Garage at a Glance
Location: Capitol Hill neighborhood of downtown Washington, D.C.
Size: 16 by 20 feet (4.9 by 6.1 meters)
Designer: Keith Vaughan of Spectrum Design + Build

BEFORE: This photo shows what the small backyard previously looked like from the row house. The homeowners didn’t have a garage and instead had to park their car in a grassy lot in the alley on the other side of the fence shown here.

They wanted a contemporary garage structure that wouldn’t conflict with the mostly historic style of homes in the neighborhood, and they wanted it to offer storage but also shady space to enjoy on hot, sunny days.

They also had another request: Save the existing magnolia bush, seen here in the rear left corner of the yard.

Beautiful exterior makeover featuring amazing transitional-garage

AFTER: With the fence removed, the new single-bay garage now occupies the back lot. Two sliding glass doors allow the structure to be used as a shady hangout space when the car is parked in the alley.

Simple Hardie board-and-batten siding above an awning gives a bit of texture and interest to the exterior.


Inside, two motorized platforms on pulley systems help make use of the high ceiling space while keeping things such as luggage and supplies accessible. The homeowners use one of the yellow handheld controllers to raise or lower the platforms as needed.

Vaughan left the rafters exposed and painted them black, a style that reminded the homeowners of a brewery trip they took to Colorado.

Standard garage-grade cabinetry and a work bench take care of essential tools and other gear.


A painted and coated concrete floor transitions to pavers that connect the backyard to the home. A TV on the work bench lets the homeowners watch sports and other shows during parties.

A sloped roof allows for south-facing clerestory windows to provide natural light.


In addition to the platform storage, the vertical bike rack and slim cabinets help keep floor space open.


Looking at the garage from the alley, the unimposing structure provides all the storage and hangout space the homeowners needed — with a bit of style.

How could a garage update improve your home? Let us know in the comments below, and find an Amarr dealer near you to help your garage dreams become a reality with a new Amarr garage door!

Architectural designers: Spectrum; structural engineer: APAC Engineering, Silver Spring, Maryland

Related links:
Collaborate With a Professional on a New Landscape Design
How to Put the Ancient Pulley System to Work in Your Home
Extend Your Outdoor Living Space With Help From a Deck Builder

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Amarr KnockOut Doors Make an “Impact” in Warehouses

Amarr KnockOut impactable door

In a busy warehouse, the last thing a facility manager wants to worry about is their dock doors.  However, door damage from forklifts, pallets, boxes, and other frequently-moving items can be a common problem.  Amarr KnockOut Impactable Doors are the solution!

Amarr KnockOut doors are the most versatile and cost-effective impactable doors designed for facilities and busy loading docks that incur moderate panel and moderate to severe track damage.  They are designed to flex and withstand damage to the door panels and track when impacted.  All Amarr KnockOut doors feature heavy-duty retractable plungers that allow the door to release from the opening upon impact.

Four different Amarr KnockOut door models are available for varying degrees of impact and various warehouse and industrial applications.  Let’s take a look at the features and benefits of each model:

Amarr KnockOut doors

Amarr KnockOut doors withstand impacts from forklifts, pallets, boxes, and more.

Amarr 6632 Impact KnockOut Door

  • Designed for moderate panel damage and moderate to severe track damage
  • Economical and budget-friendly
  • 2” thick insulated, foam core panel with damage resistant polymer interior facing
  • Great for food distribution, retail, and general warehousing
Amarr KnockOut doors

Amarr KnockOut doors release from the opening upon impact.

Amarr 6635 SuperImpact Insulated Door

  • Designed for moderate to severe panel and track damage
  • Meets higher wind load requirements
  • 1-3/4” thick insulated, foam core panel with damage resistant polymer interior panel skin
  • Great for food manufacturing, heavy industry, and heavy distribution
Amarr KnockOut door hardware

Interior construction of the 3/4″ thick non-insulated Amarr 6600.

Amarr 6600 SuperImpact Non-Insulated Door

  • Designed for moderate to severe panel and track damage
  • Meets higher wind load requirements
  • 3/4″ thick non-insulated 7-ply wood core panel durable enough to handle heavy impacts
  • Great for dry warehousing, heavy industry, and heavy distribution
Amarr KnockOut doors

Amarr KnockOut impactable doors deflect blows from forklifts.

Amarr 6634 SuperTherm KnockOut Door

  • Designed for moderate panel damage and moderate to severe track damage
  • High R-value option perfect for cold storage facilities
  • 4” thick insulated, foam core panel with damage resistant polymer interior facing
  • Tight perimeter weatherseal prevents energy loss

Amarr KnockOut doors are a long-term, lower cost solution than frequently replacing damaged dock doors.  See an Amarr KnockOut door in action in the video below!

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Introducing MultiView Doors – Unique and Modern Aluminum and Glass Garage Doors

Is your eye drawn to sleek, modern designs with clean lines?  If so, your tastes align with many homeowners, architects and builders today.  The demand for contemporary garage doors is increasing, and Entrematic is excited to meet that demand with the new Amarr Aluminum MultiView collections for commercial and residential applications!  As unveiled at the International Door Association EXPO in Atlanta in April, the residential Amarr Horizon HO1000 and commercial Amarr 3582 are unique aluminum doors that combine strong, horizontal lines with long, narrow expanses of equal sized glass to make a distinct statement and increase curb appeal.

Amarr Horizon HO1000 residential Aluminum MultiView garage door

The new Amarr Horizon HO1000 residential garage door boasts a contemporary design to complement modern homes.

Strength and security

Both the residential Amarr Horizon HO1000 and commercial Amarr 3582 are constructed of 2” thick extruded aluminum rails and stiles.  The doors also feature our ClearView aluminum strut system that reinforces the door, adds more durability and does not block the viewing area.

The Amarr 3582 commercial Aluminum MultiView door is a strong and stylish option for storefronts.

The Amarr 3582 commercial Aluminum MultiView door is a strong and stylish option for storefronts.

Maximum visibility

The new Amarr Horizon HO1000 and Amarr 3582 both feature glass expanses up to 8’2” wide for unobstructed views.  This allows for sophisticated and modern horizontal lines that complement the contemporary design of many homes and commercial buildings today.  For commercial buildings, this also means more LEED points in the Views and Daylight areas.

Amarr 3582 commercial Aluminum MultiView door

Wider glass expanses allow for more views and natural light, which translates to more LEED points for commercial projects.

Design with no limits

Does your home or building have unique style and color needs?  Match your exterior with 6 anodize, 21 powder coat, 26 PVDF (Kynar®) and unlimited RAL custom color finishes available in Amarr MultiView doors.  Customize your MultiView door even further with 10 different glass options, from Whiteout to Black Ice.

Amarr Horizon HO1000 Amarr 3582 Aluminum MultiView door color options

Are you ready to make a statement?  Find an Amarr Dealer near you today!

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Product Roundup: 8 Hottest Amarr Products at IDA EXPO 2017

Entrematic's booth at IDA EXPO 2017

Entrematic’s booth at IDA EXPO 2017

The International Door Association (IDA) EXPO 2017 was held last week in Atlanta, Georgia from April 20-22 and this year’s Entrematic booth was packed with new and exciting Amarr products!  Unable to attend, or looking for a recap of the weekend?  Look no further!  Here are the eight hottest new Amarr products from the Entrematic booth.

28. Amarr 2732 – This new addition to the Amarr commercial product family, shown here in Amarr Color Zone custom paint color, is a 27 gauge, triple-layer, 2” thick insulated door for a lower cost, sustainable and energy efficient alternative.


  • 27-gauge steel
  • 2” polystyrene insulation
  • Available up to 24’2” wide
  • Wind load approved
  • Available Fall 2017

37. Amarr Color Zone – Embrace your inner designer and customize the color of your Amarr residential and commercial steel garage doors.

Highlights: colorzone

  • Choose from over one thousand Sherwin-Williams SnapDry™ paint colors – resistant to dirt, fingerprints and UV weathering
  • One more layer of protection from the elements – your chosen color is applied as a top coat to Amarr pre-painted, galvanized steel sections
  • Available on all Amarr residential or commercial steel sectional doors, except Amarr Carriage Court
  • Available Summer 2017

46. 40’2” Wide Doors for Amarr 2042 & 2742 – Our two energy efficient 2” polyurethane insulated door models are available in widths up to 40’2”, perfect for the agriculture industry segment.  We showcased the hardware for these doors at IDA.


  • 8” specially designed trusses with high strength-to-mass ratios, making them lightweight and strong
  • Proprietary hinge saddle 5/8” roller carrier system minimizes stress on the end hinges by segregating hinge and roller carrier loads
  • 5/8” long stem rollers for superior strength and long life
  • Height and width combinations up to 2,200 pounds total door weight without center pick-ups
  • Available May 2017

55. Mosaic Window Options – Reflect your personal style by choosing the window placement on any Amarr traditional steel garage door with Mosaic window options.


  • Have short or long panel windows, clear or obscure glass, in any door location in a standard position on any section of an Amarr traditional steel garage door
  • Available in Amarr Olympus, Heritage, Stratford or Lincoln garage doors
  • Available with Short, Long, Flush or Ribbed Panel designs
  • Available May 2017

4. Amarr Horizon HO1000 – With our new Aluminum MultiView Garage Door, wide views and sleek horizontal lines give a great contemporary look to any modern home.


  • 2” thick commercial-grade aluminum frame construction
  • Single glass expanses up to 8’2” wide with no vertical center stile on 8’ wide doors
  • Equal glass height in all sections of a door
  • ClearView Strut System for non-restricted viewing area
  • Standard anodize finishes and special order Kynar (PVDF) and powder coat paint finishes available
  • Available May 2017

73. Amarr 3582 – The new commercial Aluminum MultiView Door model can help your building projects attain LEED points with more natural light.


  • 2” thick extruded aluminum frame
  • Equal glass height in all sections of the door
  • ClearView Strut System for non-restricted viewing area
  • Standard anodize finishes and special order Kynar (PVDF) and powder coat paint finishes available
  • Available in 1” increments up to 20’2” wide
  • Available May 2017

2. Introducing the Amarr 6632 Impact KnockOut Door and the Amarr 6634 SuperTherm KnockOut door – the most versatile and cost-effective impactable doors that are designed for facilities and busy loading docks that incur moderate panel and moderate to severe track damage.  Designed to flex and withstand damage to the door panels and track when impacted.


  • 2” thick insulated foam core panel with damage resistant polymer interior facing
  • Tight perimeter weather seal to eliminate air infiltration and light gaps
  • Heavy-duty steel track with retractable plungers to allow door to release from track upon impact
  • Amarr 6634 SuperTherm KnockOut door designed for perishable and cold storage facilities that require high R-value
  • Available May 2017

1. Amarr Residential Garage Door Openers – The Amarr 840 and Amarr 860 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Openers drew the most attention at the Entrematic booth.  With remote control via a smartphone and bright light for working in the garage, the Amarr garage door openers allow dealers to provide a well-designed, unique, branded “door-opener” package that homeowners will prefer.


  • Dimmable LED lighting: Amarr 840 – 1600 lumens (100W equivalent); Amarr 860 – 3000 lumens (200W equivalent)
  • Sound dampening technology for reduced vibration
  • Smartphone control (iOs and Android) with the Entrematic App
  • Amazon echo, Google Home, and HomeLink compatibility
  • 800N DC motor; belt and chain rail compatible (7’, 8’ and 10’)
  • Includes 3-button remote, Wi-Fi wall station, and photo eyes
  • Available Summer 2017
Amarr 860 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener in action at IDA EXPO 2017

Amarr 860 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener in action at IDA EXPO 2017

An Amarr Dealer Appreciation event, hosted by GTO Access and Entrematic, also took place during the IDA EXPO at STATS sports bar in downtown Atlanta.  We want to thank all the 150+ dealers for joining us for the evening.


Look for these new Amarr products at your local Entrematic Door Center.  See you next year in Las Vegas at IDA EXPO 2018!

The Entrematic booth team at IDA EXPO 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia

The Entrematic booth team at IDA EXPO 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia

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How to Clear Out the Garage in 7 Days

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz

If you are ready to transform your garage from dumping ground to a useful, well-organized space, this plan is for you. It breaks down a monster of a task into manageable steps, so you can stop fearing your garage and finally start using it again.

Garage Interior traditional-garage

Not only is the garage generally filled with cars, oil spots and an assortment of stinky chemical stuff, it also has a reputation as the black hole of the home, the place where you put things and then never see them again. Here’s how to change that.

Make a plan of attack

Depending on the state of your garage, you may need to clear a weekend to kick off this task. Get help if you can- and keep an eye on the weather. You need to be able to drag stuff out of the garage so you will have more space to go through it. The first two days include the hardest work; the rest of the week is about putting things back together and creating storage that functions well. Read over the whole plan before beginning and make adjustments as needed.

Also, before you get started, take a moment to envision the way you want your garage to look when you are done. How do you want to use your garage? Do you need to make room for your cars, carve out space for a workshop or create a smartly organized storage space for seasonal gear? Keeping your goals in mind will help you stay focused during the week’s tasks.

Day 1: Purge

Before diving in today, it will help if you take a moment to set up several areas: hazardous waste, garbage, recycling, donate, sell and keep. Rent a Dumpster if you need it, but keep in mind that you should be able to recycle, donate or sell most of what you no longer want or need. Once you have your zones in place, begin pulling things out of your garage and sorting them. (Don’t try to sort stuff in your garage — you won’t be able to really clean or organize your garage if you try to sort it in place.)

What to keep:

  • Important memorabilia
  • Things you have used within the past 12 months
  • Things you have a definite plan to use in the near future (such as workout gear you forgot you owned)
  • Spare materials for your home, such as paint and tile

Categorize your keepers:

  • Holiday decorations
  • Gardening supplies
  • Tools
  • Paint and home repair
  • Car care
  • Memorabilia
  • Seasonal gear
  • Sports equipment
  • Miscellaneous

Get rid of everything else. Thinking you might someday want to use something is not a good reason to keep it. Each item you keep that you do not use, love or truly need is taking up precious space in your home and in your life, space that could be used for something more worthwhile. Give it away, sell it, pass it on … let it go.

Garage contemporary-garage

Day 2: Clean and inspect

Because they can house everything from cars to paint cans, garages get dirty. Sometimes really dirty. And while a little dirt is to be expected in a garage, keeping up a basic level of tidiness can help deter critters who may think of taking up residence in your boxes of stuff. Today is the day for a clean sweep.

  • Remove everything from the garage, if you haven’t already.
  • Inspect the garage for signs of rodents, pests and water damage. If you find signs, make a plan to treat as needed.
  • Vacuum or sweep up dust bunnies and major dust from the corners. Wear a dust mask if you are sensitive to dust.
  • Sprinkle powdered detergent liberally on cement floor oil stains and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush and warm water. Rinse and let dry.
  • Thoroughly sweep the floors.
  • If you want to get the floors extra clean, spray them with a hose, scrub with an old mop, rinse and sweep out excess water. Let them dry completely before bringing back any of your stuff.

Decluttering tasks: While your floors dry, visit your piles of stuff left from yesterday.

  • Transfer things from oddly shaped containers or falling-apart cardboard boxes into sturdy plastic bins. (Another strike for cardboard: rats and other rodents can easily chew their way in and use any soft material they find inside to make a nest.)
  • Use smaller open-top bins to organize frequently used supplies like gardening gear and tools.
  • Use color-coded labels to identify the contents.
  • Don’t mix contents. If you start with a box of childhood memorabilia, don’t toss in swimming suits at the end. That will make it impossible to find things later!
Surprise Garage Makeover! eclectic-shed

Day 3: Make a storage plan

Standing in your garage with a clipboard, draw a rough floor plan of the space. Mark where each category of stuff will go. As you complete the rest of this week’s tasks, fill in details about where you are storing what. And be sure to keep this plan — it will come in handy when you’re ready to pull out the holiday decorations!

Gabe & Kelly's Garage Addition traditional-shed

Day 4: Get everything off the floor

Storing stuff on the floor of the garage invites mildew and water damage, and makes it easier to let things get messy again. If you do not already have a storage system in place, now is the time to get one.

  • Use vertical space. Consider adding tall shelving units and a ceiling-mounted platform.
  • Use the walls. Don’t let a wall go to waste! If you have two walls filled with shelving, fill the other one with wall-mounted storage. It can be as fancy as a custom storage system or as simple as a pegboard and a row of wall hooks. Bikes, tools, shovels, rakes and sports gear can all be hung on the wall, avoiding the dreaded floor pileup.
Garage and Home Storage Ideas traditional-shed

A ceiling-mounted system like this one makes excellent use of space. Stack plastic bins (just be sure you label them and face the labels out) on top, and hang bikes and other gear from hooks underneath.

Monkey Bars of Wichita contemporary-shed

Store the least frequently used stuff in the highest spots.

  • Top-level storage: Childhood memorabilia and old documents that must be stored long-term
  • Medium height: Holiday decorations and seasonal gear
  • Lowest: Gardening supplies, home improvement tools and sports equipment

Day 5: Finish the job.

If you still have a huge pile, don’t freak out. Now is the time to finish the job so you can move on to more important things … like rewarding yourself with an ice-cold drink.

  • Take your hazardous waste to the proper disposal or recycling facility. Check Earth 911 to find a place that collects hazardous waste and other recyclables. You may be surprised at what can be recycled — even old clothing and textiles, coat hangers, running shoes and broken appliances, to name a few.
  • Make a run to a local charity shop with your donation items. Shelters and nonprofits in your area may also be looking for specific types of donations, so it’s nice to check into those first if you can.
  • Plan a yard sale if you have things left you want to sell.
Mudroom Garage contemporary-shed

Day 6: Make an entrance.

If your garage connects to your home, you probably use it as an entrance — which means you could use a mini mudroom in the area near the door. Put down a doormat to trap oil and dirt before people step foot in your house; provide a boot tray or shelving for shoes, and a few hooks or a standing closet for coats.

Garage Envy traditional-exterior

Day 7 and beyond: Keep up the good work!

Decluttering tasks:

  • Stop thinking of your garage as a dumping ground for things you don’t know what to do with, and start thinking of it as the useful, accessible storage area that it is.
  • When you put something new into storage, be sure it is in a secure, labeled container, and mark it down on your storage plan.

Cleaning tasks:

  • Wipe up oil spots as soon as you notice them and sprinkle on kitty litter to soak up the most of the stain before it sets.
  • Keep a box in the garage to collect items that need to go to a special recycling or waste center (like motor oil and paint) and make a trip there whenever the box is full.
  • Set a date for at least once or twice a year to give your garage a thorough cleaning.

What is the biggest cleaning or decluttering problem you face in your garage? Tell us in the comments below!

Related links:
Shelves to Create Your Own Storage System
Closet Design Ideas to Inspire You to Organize – Finally!
Cleaning Strategies for Busy People

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Insulated Garage Doors: The Sensible Solution for 5 Common Garage Problems

These days, many homeowners are finding increased value, and even increased happiness, in a new garage door.  That’s no surprise – according to a study done by LiftMaster, 7 out of 10 homeowners use their garage door as the primary entrance to their home.  Though garage doors are so prominent on our homes today, many garages are still “unconditioned space,” meaning there are fewer barriers to the outside than there are in a living room or a bedroom.  An insulated garage door is a great addition to your unconditioned garage space to solve common problems in garages.

Most Amarr garage doors offer two types of insulation – polystyrene and polyurethane.  Either material will improve the insulating value of your door, though there is a difference between the two.  Polystyrene provides adequate insulation at a great value, but polyurethane is denser and is a superior insulator.

Amarr garage doors are available with no insulation (left), polystyrene insulation with vinyl backing (center), or polyurethane insulation with steel backing (right).

Amarr garage doors are available with no insulation (left), polystyrene insulation with vinyl backing (center), or polyurethane insulation with steel backing (right).

Problem 1 – My garage is too cold!

In areas of extreme cold temperatures, an insulated garage door is a must.  If you find that your garage stays cold in the winter, consider upgrading to an insulated garage door.  Without insulation, garage doors will not keep out much of the cold or seal in much heat.  An insulated garage door could mean the difference between a below freezing temperature outside and an above freezing temperature in the garage!

Problem 2 – My garage is too hot!

Yes, an insulated garage door helps your garage stay cooler than the rising hot temperatures of summer.  If you find that your garage gets as hot as a summer day, upgrade to an insulated garage door.  Non-insulated garage doors will not keep out much of the hot air or seal in any cooler temperature inside a garage.  An insulated garage door could mean almost a 20 degree Fahrenheit difference between the outside temperature and the temperature in the garage, according to Remodeling magazine!

Problem 3 – I have living space attached to the garage that’s frigid in the winter, and my energy bills are high.

Conditioned spaces attached to garages also benefit from a “buffer zone” created by an insulated garage door.  Because insulated garage doors keep the temperature warmer inside the garage than outside on a winter day or cooler inside than on a summer day, they act as a buffer and help maintain the inside temperature and keep energy costs down.  According to the polyurethane manufacturer Dow, an insulated garage door can help the average homeowner save up to 20% on their annual energy costs.

Is your garage so cold that your car is affected? Insulated garage doors can fix that.

Is your garage so cold that your car is affected? Insulated garage doors can fix that.

Problem 4 – The garage door is so noisy, I can hear the opening and closing when I’m in the house.

Did you know that insulated garage doors minimize noise when in motion?  The insulation dampens the clattering sound that non-insulated steel garage doors often make, meaning insulated doors are significantly quieter and provide much-needed relief for many homeowners with loud garage doors!

Problem 5 – My kids have hit the garage door with their basketball and caused so many dents that I have to replace the door!

Good news for homeowners with playful kids: insulated garage doors are considerably more rigid than their non-insulated counterparts, thus helping them endure minor impacts, such as rebounded basketballs.  Polyurethane insulation provides the most strength.

Want more benefits of insulated garage doors?  Check out the following infographic from our polyurethane manufacturer, Dow, courtesy of Door + Access Systems Magazine! Click the picture to view it in full size.


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Amarr 3552 Aluminum Full View Doors Help Create Dynamic Learning Environment

The Amarr 3552 commercial aluminum full view door is a popular overhead door for automobile shops, fire stations, sports complexes and restaurants – but what about schools?  Aluminum full view doors are known for letting natural light indoors from the outside, but with this architect-driven project, Amarr 3552 doors also helped to create much-needed flexibility and space in an educational environment.

Amarr 3552 doors add flexibility and space to an innovative learning environment.

Amarr 3552 doors add flexibility and space to an innovative learning environment.

Student enrollment at Elysian K-8 School in Billings, Montana doubled in two years, causing the need for a remodel and expansion.  Plans called for an innovative educational environment, unlike any other in the region, with a design that complemented nearby single-family housing developments.  Two architect firms were brought in to achieve this vision.

The aluminum full view doors needed to “break down the barriers of a traditional classroom approach, encourage collaboration among teachers and increase the flexibility of space,” according to Lucas Larson, the school superintendent during the renovation project.  Let’s take a quick look at how the Amarr 3552 doors meet these three needs:

The aluminum full view garage doors met the challenges of the school's new design.

The aluminum full view garage doors met the challenges of the school’s new design.

Break Down Traditional Barriers
The Amarr 3552 aluminum full view doors allow for so much more than the typical classroom-box school design.  With doors located in hallways, in the library, and in classrooms, more natural light is able to filter in and workspaces are dynamic, facilitating learning.  Students can even write and draw on the glass panels in the door with colorful dry-erase markers!

Encourage Collaboration
When at least one door is open, classroom space is larger and students are able to collaborate together on projects, especially across different disciplines and subjects.  This helps students learn to work together in cross-functional groups.  Teachers can also work together and teach the children in groups.

With the garage doors open, classroom space becomes collaborative for students and teachers alike.

With the garage doors open, classroom space becomes collaborative for students and teachers alike.

Increase Flexibility of Space
In the school’s Yellowstone Room, art and science are taught separately, but children from up to three different classrooms combine when the Amarr 3552 garage door is open.  The various combinations of open and shut doors create a flexible and exciting environment for teachers and pupils alike.

To learn more about the use of Amarr 3552 aluminum full view garage doors in the Elysian K-8 School, including BIM software usage, safety challenges, and more ways the garage doors were able to meet the facility’s challenges, download the complete architectural case study here.

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