The garage is one of the most overlooked spaces in the house – or next to it in some cases! It can easily become a dumping ground for items that don’t have a proper place, resulting in a cluttered mess. However, with a little bit of effort and some clever organizing, your garage can be transformed into a functional and efficient space that will work for you, not against you.
Here are 10 tips on how to best organize your garage – and to keep it that way!
Tip 1: Declutter and Sort
Before you begin organizing, you have to clear away everything you don’t need anymore. Take everything out of the garage and sort through it. Create piles or boxes for the following categories:
- Things you want to keep at home
- Things you want to keep but not at home
- Things you want to donate/sell
- Things you want to throw away
This process requires a certain amount of ruthlessness. Keep only the things that you use frequently in the first group, as they will remain in the house or in the garage. The second group isthings you still need, but not every day – decorations, furniture, clothes, sports gear, etc. These go into storage for when you need them later.The third group will live on to make someone else very happy. The fourth goes to recycling or trash. Now that you’ve sorted everything out, it’s time to organize!
Tip 2: Use Vertical Space
One of the best ways to maximize space in a garage is to use vertical space. This means using the walls and even the ceiling to store items. Install shelving units, pegboards and hooks to hang things like tools, spare parts and ladders. Install pulleys or hoists on the ceiling to hang items up there – this is great for bicycles and other light-but-bulky items.
Tip 3: Invest in Good Storage Solutions
This step can make a huge difference! Consider purchasing plastic storage bins that are durable and, most importantly, easy to stack – remember Tip 2! Label the bins with the contents so you can easily find what you need. There are even organizing apps that will generate labels for you.
As for the items in group two – those that you want to keep but not at home – the solution is self storage. There are plenty of self storage facilities out there which offer a large variety of sizes and amenities, including climate-controlled units for sensitive or valuable objects.
Tip 4: Create Zones
Creating zones in your garage is an effective way to keep items organized and easy to find. Divide your garage into areas based on the types of items you need to store. For example, you can have a zone for tools, one for sports equipment and one for gardening supplies. Once this is done, your battle with entropy begins – make sure to put everything back in its proper zone after you’re done with it!
Tip 5: Use the Back of Your Garage Door
The garage door is one of the most overlooked storage spaces, but it can be a great spot to hang items like brooms, shovels and rakes. However, take great care when choosing what and how to store on the door, as some items can interfere with the opening mechanism while others can fall off and cause injury!
Tip 6: Prioritize Safety
Speaking of causing injury, make sure that heavy items are always stored on lower shelves or on the floor. Keep flammable materials like gasoline and paint in a separate area that is well ventilated and located away from any heat source. Also, make sure your garage is well lit to avoid tripping over objects.
Tip 7: Keep it Clean
Sweep the floor regularly and wipe down shelves, boxes and bins to avoid the buildup of dust and grime. Consider installing a garage mat to protect the floor from spills, stains and chipping.
Tip 8: Make it Visually Appealing
Just because it’s a garage doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty! This can be achieved through something as simple as a cohesive color scheme or theme to make the space come together. Paint the walls a bright color and don’t be afraid to put posters up. Making the garage a pleasant space to be in will encourage you to use it more often.
Tip 9: Create a Maintenance Schedule
Once your garage is organized, it’s important to keep it that way! Write up a maintenance schedule and set aside time each month to go through the garage and ensure that everything is in its proper place. If something no longer has any use, it’s time to donate or throw away. You can do light maintenance monthly and then a deep clean and declutter once a year. Your garage will thank you!
Tip 10: Get the Whole Family Involved
There is strength in numbers! Getting the family involved can make the process much easier and more enjoyable. Work together on each of the tips above, and you’ll be done in no time! Encourage your kids to take ownership of their own sports gear or toys by giving them a designated area to put them in. It will teach them a valuable lesson about responsibility and organization.
Create a Functional and Efficient Garage
Once you break it down into easily manageable tasks, organizing your garage looks a lot less daunting. Start by decluttering, take advantage of verticality and create zones. Then plan out regular maintenance to keep everything spic and span. Lastly, use a storage unit to keep the useful but rarely used items, it’s a lot cheaper than the equivalent space in your home.
Don’t forget to involve your family, not just for the efficiency but for the experience and life lessons too. You’ll have a garage that the entire house can be proud of!