It’s easy to see why a semi-outside, storage-like area that’s big enough to fit cars in there, DOES in fact, collect things. There are lots of daunting tasks when it comes to homeownership, but cleaning and organizing a garage seems to oftentimes be at the top of that list - and it’s easy to see why.
Thankfully, as with anything - things get a whole lot easier with a plan. Here are our favorite tips on organizing your garage:
Set Aside a Weekend
To avoid exhaustion by trying to fit everything in within a single day, and to be sure you have time to actually finish the project - set aside a full two days of a weekend to truly dive into organizing your garage - and the right way at that.
Remove, Sort & Decide
Before you can begin organizing, you need to know what you are really working with. To do this, experts say it’s best to pull everything out of the garage and go through each item to decide whether to keep, sell/donate or trash. Don’t discount this step as it can likely save you a LOT of trouble if you are able to have less to organize in the first place. Also, not what to NOT store in your garage such as paint (doesn’t keep well at the typical high and low temperatures of a garage), propane (dangerous around potential car sparks!), anything paper (bugs love it), and pet food (a critter magnet).
Once you know what you’re working with, map out where it makes most sense for everything to go. If it’s helpful - literally draw out a floor plan. Be strategic about where you place things. Things that are often taken out of the garage (like bikes, lawnmowers, etc.) should be kept close to the door. Also think about the vertical real estate and how to best use that space. Plan for things used or needed often to be at eye level, while reserve super high, low or other harder to reach places for for less used or needed items. When strategizing how to fit everything in, try to avoid as much as possible on the actual floor of the garage as that leads to more clutter and less space to move around. Instead, think about how to:
- Utilize Walls
Get creative with the walls. If you park in your garage (which we recommend you do!), the wall space is really all you do have. Depending on what you are trying to organize and how much space you have, there are many different ways to set up. There is the “hanging” method where you can create your own flexible way to hang things with pegboards (works especially well for tools), and similarly, you can create flexible storage with slats on the wall. For awkwardly shaped, large items - we recommend hanging them on the wall individually. For ways to store and organize along the walls, search through HGTV’s ideas or Family Handyman’s ideas. Whatever you do, be sure to take advantage of the corners of the garage!
- Don’t Forget the Ceiling
For longer, flatter items - the ceiling will be your best bet. Whether it’s skis, kayaks, bikes that are rarely used, or ladders - you don’t want something that long and flat to take up a majority of a garage wall when it could simply be hung or stashed overhead. There are DIY options, as well as plenty of options to buy and install or companies to pay to install for you.
Plan to Revisit
While you may absolutely love how your garage turned out, don’t leave it alone forever! Be sure to mark some time on your calendar to re-visit and maintain the hard work you put into the garage so that it never has to be a full weekend again! Even if it’s twice a year, you’ll be surprised at how much it helps.