6 Steps to an Organized Garage
Not sure if your garage needs to be organized? Here’s a quick way to find out: When you park your car in your garage, are you consciously avoiding bumping up against an ever-increasing wall of boxes? When you get out of your car, do you have to shimmy between your vehicle and a bunch of stuff? Most importantly, have you ever considered not parking in your garage altogether because there’s too much junk inside?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it is time to organize your garage. Seems like a daunting task, right? That’s why we’ve created a plan:
As you stand in front of your open garage, gazing into the abyss of clutter, you might wonder, what’s even in here?!?! To combat that problem, take everything—yes, everything—out of your garage (not always possible if you live in a condo or townhouse or strict HOA community, but do it if you can). This will make it easier to see what you’re dealing with when you sort items into piles of things to throw out/recycle, things to donate/sell, things to keep in the garage, and things to store elsewhere.
Put the Garage in Garage Sale
Got items you want to sell? Have a garage sale. You can use the funds to spruce up your garage with a better storage solution (more on that in a minute).
Separate Items Into Categories
Once you’ve finished with the disposal/recycling/selling/
With your garage still empty, now is a great time to install better storage. Think vertically! Vertical storage, that is. Install hooks for hanging, wall-mounted shelves, pegboards, and more. Every available wall can be used for storage. Using shelves instead of stacking plastic bins will allow your items to be more accessible to you. If you’ve ever needed to get something from a bin on the bottom of a very big stack of storage containers, you know how annoying it can be. Shelves will eliminate that problem and prevent injury.
You can also install storage on the ceiling. Purchase an overhead ceiling mount rack. Choose the height based on the clearance your vehicle requires and be sure to take the garage door into account when installing.
Replace bulky cabinets with open shelves. Why? This helps you see where your items are and encourages organization by preventing you from hiding a cluttered shelf behind a closed door. This also frees up square footage, because you won’t have to account for the space a swinging door requires when it opens.
Create Zones in Your Garage and Map Out a Plan
Now, map out your garage and find a place for each category of items. The items you use frequently should be in an accessible place, like close to the door. The stuff you use rarely can go somewhere less convenient. Lightweight tools and gardening supplies can be hung on the pegboard. Less frequently used things, such as seasonal items, can go in bins on your shelving units.
Repeat the Process Regularly
Every year, declutter and clean your garage. Have a garage sale if you find items you want to sell, and reevaluate your storage space—it just might be time to add the corner shelving unit to really maximize your vertical storage. Sure, decluttering your garage is not exactly the most exciting annual tradition, but it’s a commitment you’ll want to keep if you want your garage to remain tidy and organized.