Organizing a garage can be a difficult task. It is the one place in the house that we use for so many things other than storing our car.
Like a junk drawer, it tends to be the one place we toss things until ‘later’. Even this organizer is guilty of this. So let’s see if we can get this place decluttered and take care of those ‘later’ things right now.
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Organizing Your Garage
Do an Assessment
Before you do anything, grab a piece of paper and write down all the different ways you are using your garage. Start with storage. What kinds of things are you storing in there? These can be:
- gardening tools including your mower
- sports equipment including bikes
- automotive items
- holiday/seasonal decor
- trash/recycle bins
Next, write down all the things you actually do in the garage. For some of you, this could be:
- DIY projects
- store your car (this can be difficult for some with very cluttered or small garages)
- automotive work
Now, looking at your lists, determine whether any of the items can be stored elsewhere like a shed, attic, or basement. If you need help organizing these spaces as well, click here.
Create a Plan
The next thing you will want to do is take measurements of your garage. This includes the space between the garage door (when it is lifted) and the ceiling.
After doing this, go ahead and make a sketch of your garage creating spaces for the items you listed in this first part. This will also help you figure out whether you will need to do a little DIY or shopping for things to help you with this space.
You can also use our free Project Planner printable to help you with this part.
Purge and Clean your Garage
So, before you head out and purchase any organizing help, start sorting through your stuff. Begin by going through everything and making small piles of categorized items. Remember to use your assessment list of all the things you keep in here.
If your garage happens to be too cluttered to even walk through, then you will need to do this part on a nice day where you can make piles outside the garage. And this is exactly what happened to us.
Below is our garage before organizing it. We have been doing renovations on our first floor since the start of the year. Six months into it and our garage just became cluttered with stuff and we could barely walk through it.
As you sort, you will also need to make three extra piles: recycle/yard sale, donate, and trash. In fact, have a black garbage bag for your trash pile. This will keep you from looking at these items and changing your mind.
Most likely the flooring in your garage is concrete. And if you do keep your vehicle in it and/or do automotive repairs, chances are you will have oil stains. So, give it a good wash.
Click here to learn how to deal with certain stains and how to get the floor looking spotless.
Next, you want to do any DIY that will help with your organization. (Refer to your plan/layout). This includes installing shelving, hooks, pegboards, and cabinetry.
Take advantage of vertical space. Many garage ceilings are high so use that space for things you don’t use very often like seasonal decor. For this space, try Fleximounts. We love ours for storing our holiday decor. [Will update with photo soon]. Just remember: do not block your garage door when it is rolled back.
Don’t forget to check out Pinterest. There are lots of inexpensive and sometimes free ways to organize your garage items. Just place the item you want to be organized in the search bar followed by “organization hacks“, and you’ll find tons of ideas.
As you empty spaces in your garage, start cleaning it. If possible give it a fresh coat of paint. If you do decide to paint it, go with white paint. This will brighten the space especially if you use it during the evenings and/or it has no windows.
Once you are done with any DIY, it’s time to put your ‘keep’ items away. As you do so, label bins and even cabinet storage shelves. Just remember to store things you use often at eye level or below.
Before Pics of our Garage
Below are some of our before and after pics of our garage organization.
After Pics of Our Garage
Try to keep your garage organized by dealing with items right away. Don’t do what I did and ‘put it there’ until you have time.
If your garage is sorted and labeled, find where your items go and place them there. Before adding a new item, see if the garage is an ideal place for it. If it is, find the best spot to go in.
Show your kids where to keep their stuff like sports equipment, sports balls, pool toys, etc.
If you have a workbench/DIY/automotive repair area put back tools where they belong by the end of the day. It is so easy to lose track of tools if you do not store them where they belong.
If you keep your car stored here and all of a sudden you’re finding it hard to park because of clutter, then come back to this post and follow the steps again. Hopefully, it won’t be as bad as the first time around.
Make a date to go through your items. I like to do this during certain seasons. As you pull out your holiday decor and decorate the home, go through all those items. Get rid of broken ornaments or lights.
On the first days of good weather in the spring, make a date to clean your garage and make sure items are where they are supposed to be. This is also a great time to get out your summer gear and put away any winter gear. Then, do the same thing in the fall.
Let’s Get Organizing
Now, it’s your turn to get your garage organized. Need to organize your car as well? Click here to learn how to declutter, clean, and organize your vehicle.
Know someone who could use this post? Use the share buttons above and below this post to help them out with their garage.
So, how do you organize your garage? Let us know by commenting below. Have photos? Email them to me at [email protected] I’d love to see how you did with this challenge.
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