Are you tired of treating your garage like a storage unit rather than a functional space where you can park your car, store equipment, and more? You’re not alone. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that one out of every four homeowners with a two-car garage has so much clutter filling the space they’re unable to park their car.
Just because your garage is disordered that doesn’t mean you’re a messy person. Unfortunately, the garage is often the place in your home where stuff lands. It’s the out-of-sight, out-of-mind location which makes the garage the perfect place for clutter to build until one day you realize that box of holiday decorations is completely inaccessible.
Though the thought of organizing this clutter may seem overwhelming, it is possible and can be done. With some expert advice and tips, you can transform your cluttered garage into an organized sanctuary with utilized space and customizable design features.
From determining where to start and which products to incorporate to figuring out which garage system and cabinets will work best for you, these tips will help you create and retain a perfectly organized garage.
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- Commit To Making A Change
- Purge Your Possessions
- Make Categorized Piles
- Clean ‘Til It Shines
- Multi Car Garage Organization (1, 2, & 3 Car Garage Plans)
- Figure Out The Best Storage System For You
- Bring Your Garage Design To Life
- Key Tips from the Experts
Thoroughly cleaning and organizing your garage is a big task that’s going to take time and determination to complete. Thus, before you begin the process, make sure that everyone involved in the project (family members, roommates, etc.) are fully committed. Block off a couple days or a long weekend when you can complete the organization project with thoughtfulness and dedication.
Once you have the time and commitment you need, it’s time to get started.
The only way to regain order in a cluttered garage is to make an even bigger mess by emptying out the space and evaluating what you have to work with. Along with clearing out bigger equipment like outdoor gear, maintenance tools, and storage boxes, you should also pull out the contents of every drawer, shelf, and cabinet in your garage, even if they already appear organized.
It’s important to note, too, that simply moving things around and calling it “reorganized” will quickly result in more chaos and clutter. Again, commit to completing the project to ensure your garage will have the best organization possible.
Sift through all of the items you’ve removed from your garage and make piles of like items. For example, group automotive tools together, pair yard tools with yard tools, and designate a pile for sporting goods. The more specific you get with your piles, the easier organizing will be.
Keep in mind that one of your most important piles will be your “discard pile.” In this pile, create subgroups of things that you want to either donate or throw away. This pile is critical if you wish to reduce clutter. It will allow you to make the most of your available space and more easily access the items you do keep. To help you determine which items you should discard, ask yourself:
- Have I used this item in the last year?
- Does this item work properly? If not, will I get around to repairing it within the next year?
- Is this a high-cost item or does it have any sentimental value?
You should also throw away damaged or broken items that are beyond repair. Giveaway duplicate or outdated items that you’ve replaced with newer versions. Recycle any scrap metal and take throw-away items directly to the dump. Consider hosting a garage sale if you find yourself with a significant amount of “giveaway” or “donate” items.
After you’ve purged your garage of its contents, grouped similar items, and discarded all unwanted or unused items, it’s time for the second most important step in garage organization: cleaning.
Use a concrete degreaser, deck brush, or pressure washer to thoroughly clean the garage floor. Combine warm water and a squeeze of liquid dishwashing detergent and give your garage walls a good wash (if they are painted).
You’ll also want to clean all of the usable items that are going back into your garage. Whether you wipe things down with a wet rag or spray them off with a hose, you’ll want to ensure that everything is clean when it’s time to reassemble your garage. After all, putting away dirty tools, muddy bikes, or dusty boxes back into clean new spaces will slightly defeat the purpose of cleaning and organizing.
Your garage is the place your car calls home. You don’t want to crowd your cars with too much storage, garden equipment, etc., so proper organization is key. Here are some tips for planning your garage space around your cars:
- 1 Car Garage: Since you have limited space, you have to make the most of it. Go with a garage organization that is simple and utilitarian. Plan a system that hugs the walls (with plenty of garage wall hooks to take advantage of vertical space) so it doesn’t feel too cramped when the car’s parked inside.
- 2 Car Garage: A two-car garage gives you more space to work with. Think cabinets, workbenches, and organization systems that utilize two or three walls with plenty of options for storage. You may even have the makings of a respectable workshop space if you decide to only park one car in the garage.
- 3 Car Garage: If you’re the proud owner of a three-car garage, it’s likely that you’ll have plenty of space to work with. If you’re a two-car household, then that means you can dedicate the entire 3rd space to whatever you want. Utilize garage organization systems for larger spaces and make the most of the room that you have. WIth proper organization that 3rd space could become a home gym, workshop, auto shop, crafts area—you name it.
Often times the size and shape of your garage determines what type of storage will work best. By using a free rendering service, you can have a better idea of what garage organization plan will help you best utilize your garage space.
Keep in mind that when considering different garage organization ideas, you’ll want to keep as much stuff off of the ground as possible, so strongly consider different garage shelving units, cabinets, and wall storage ideas. Solutions like storage hooks, baskets, hangers, cabinets, and drawers facilitate organization in a strategic way and give off a chic and high-end look.
Take a look at this list of storage system features to determine which accessories would be most useful in your garage:
- Small hooks: Good for helmets, backpacks, bats, gloves, fins, and individual lawn chairs.
- Long hooks: Ideal for shovels and rakes, power drills and saws, multiple lawn chairs, saw horses, and bats.
- S-hooks: Designed for broom, mop, shovel, rake, and other handled tools.
- Nylon strap hooks: Useful for extension cords, belts, cables, tie-downs, and garden hoses.
- Big mouth utility hooks: Great for blowers, trimmers, ironing boards, chainsaws, irons, and other heavy tools.
- Double Ladder heavy tools hooks: Strong enough for ladders, doilies, heavy bags, kayaks, step-stools, surfboards, snowboards, and other heavy items.
- Vertical bike hooks: Specially designed for bicycles
- Ski sports hooks: Perfect for snow skis and poles, water skis, and snowboards.
- Racket sports hooks: Can hold up to four tennis rackets (or rackets of similar design) and four sleeves of balls.
After you determine which type of storage system would work best in your garage, it’s time to plan and install the elements that will bring organization to life. By using a planning guide, you will be able to design your garage like a pro, no matter if you need storage for small spaces or storage for a multi-bay garage.
From sketching your garage floor plan on paper and integrating customizable design features, like Flow Wall and Dave Kindig’s customized garage makeover, to installing your storage system, you’ll be able to create a unique space that offers the organization solutions you need and the aesthetic appeal you want.
Once you’ve installed your storage system, it’s time to give all of your belongings a home. Hopefully, your items are still categorized by their purpose (i.e. sporting gear, tools, maintenance equipment, etc.), as this will make arranging your garage easier. Put items you frequently use in easy-to-access locations and things you don’t often use in harder-to-reach places.
Lastly, be sure to label things like storage bins, screws and nail containers, etc., to save yourself frustration in the future.
As if the above guide wasn’t enough, here are some key tips from organization experts. These little tidbits can help you find the right solution for your unique needs:
Storing Seasonal Items
“If your garage has exposed rafters, use them to your advantage. Lay a piece of plywood across the beams to create a makeshift shelving unit. You can then use this extra space to alternate storing your summer items and holiday decorations depending on the season.” -Mr. Handyman
Group & Label
“By storing your stuff in different labeled boxes and bins, you will not only organize the garage, but also make your life much easier when it comes to bringing the items back to their right place.” -Lauren Haynes, Domestic Cleaners
Make Room For Your Car
“Drive your vehicle in and open the doors to mark the space you have for storage and organization, otherwise you risk not being able to open your car doors.” -Jamie Novak
“Different types of things should be stored in different areas. For example,your gardening supplies should be kept together in one area, whereas your sports equipment should be kept separate but together in another. By creating zones, you help make it easier to find things when you’re looking for them.” -The Betty Brigade
Storing Bikes & Ladders
Rubber coated hooks are still the gold standard when it comes to bike storage. To ensure that the hooks are safely secured, make sure to pre-drill a starter hole before installation and secure them into ceiling beams for added support. No bike to hang?
Those rubber hooks can also be used to store ladders. -Mr. Handyman
Keep a Place for Donations
“A great way to keep your whole home organized is to dedicate a space in your garage for donations. When the space fills up call for a pick up or drop the items off to an organization.” -Jamie Novak
Want to know more? Download our Garage Storage Solutions eBook today for more tips and insights to organize your garage today!