Garages are great: they’re the perfect storage space of a house, where you can always find exactly what you’re looking for…or not! Has your garage become so messy, cluttered and disorganized that you can barely use it? Things might tend to get stuffed and piled in every corner, leaving you with a daunting mess to look at. When this happens, there’s only thing to do…Project Garage! Check out our tips on organizing your go-to storage space for a fully functional, clean and organized garage.
First Things First
Before you tackle this huge organizational plan, there are a few basics to keep in mind. First, this doesn’t have to be a solo person project! Enlist the help of your family, friends or neighbors to make this project simpler. (Make a deal that anything you put in the “donate” pile, helpers get first pick!) A garage clean-out probably isn’t a single day project either, so a little patience will go a long way.
Next you’ll want to clear everything out — yes, everything! The only way you’re going to clean and declutter efficiently is if you actually know what all’s hidden in there. Once you’ve taken everything out, start making 3 piles — keep, donate, trash. Be smart here: if you didn’t even know the object was in your garage, or you haven’t used (or thought about it!) in a while, you may want to consider donating or trashing it. Once you have all the items you’re keeping, it’s time to move on to step 2.
Plan a Layout
Mostly everything you do is better if there’s some sort of plan, idea or list behind it, including organizing your garage. It doesn’t have to be a perfect interior design sketch, but having a rough drawing of your storage space and where everything is going can be useful. One important thing here is to find a place for everything! If you can’t find room for something, really think about whether it’s necessary to keep.
If it is, find a spot for it by removing other things or getting more storage; if no, then get rid of it. Something that’s really helpful in planning out your organization is to group all your items on your garage floor. Put the gardening tools, sports equipment, tools, etc. together so you see exactly what groups and items need to be stored away. Now that you have a plan, time to put it into action!
Because your garage is meant to store items (and even cars…who knew!), it’s important to utilize the maximum storage possible in whatever space you’re working with. Using the wrong storage containers, size or shape can lead back to a messy piled up garage that’s not capable of fitting everything you need it to. Shelving — whether metal racks, doored cabinets or homemade wooden planks — is an important and necessary part of storage. If your garage allows you space to put shelving racks, then do so because you can place many items on one storage space. This is also a good way to group like-items together.
Workbenches also come in handy because they double as both a place to store tools as well as a workspace. They can be bought and installed, or even made from scraps you have around your home (just search the internet for tons of ideas). These workbenches provide drawers, hanging space, cabinets and cubbies to give you great storage. (Bonus: they don’t take up a lot of space!)
Another big way to maximize the storage space in your garage is to utilize vertical and ceiling room. The walls and ceiling are taking up room in your garage so if you don’t use them, it’s just wasted, empty space. Instead hang shelves, pegboards or crates on the walls; you can also hang hooks and racks from the ceiling. Then you can hang big items like bikes from ceiling racks or on vertical metal poles. You can place hanging tools on the pegboard, and sports equipment in wall crates. It’s best to place items you don’t use very often in ceiling storage to provide room for more frequently used items.
Label it All
At last! You’ve decluttered, grouped and organized everything you possibly can and you’re left staring at a neat, clean and organized garage. You did it…but there’s still something missing. Just this one simple task can really put the cherry on top and maximize all of your hard work you just did. Label everything! This may seem tedious, but once everything has a label it’ll make future use of the garage much easier. Labeling allows you to find things quicker down the road and it’ll keep your garage tidy because you know how and where to put things back. After you’ve labeled everything (even things that may seem silly like basketballs or bike helmets), take a step back and admire your hard-earned organized garage space!