The garage is the universal space for dumping just about anything, whether we intend it to be or not.
With gardening supplies, chemicals and cleaning products, power tools, pool toys, and last year’s Christmas decorations, it’s no wonder that they can get disorganized quickly and leave you feeling a little on edge every time you step inside.
Although the garage is home to all of our random bits and pieces, that doesn’t mean it has to be chaotic. These large spaces have the potential to be so much more and if you know the right way to lay everything out, you might surprise yourself with how much room you actually have.
How do you organize your garage, then?
Although there’s not a one size fits all approach to fixing your garage, the first step to organization is to clean it out so you know you’re working with and what needs to stay or go.
Secondly, allocate space for everything and use a smart way to categorize everything, so that when it’s needed in the future it’s within easy reach.
If your garage is looking less than organized, we’ve got some tips that can help you out. You’ll learn how to organize your garage, clean it the easy way, and make the most of the space you have so that it exceeds your wildest dreams, creating a space that you love being in rather than wanting to run away from.
- 1 Cleaning Your Garage
- 2 How to Organize Your Garage Tools
- 3 Making the Most of the Space
- 4 Related Questions
Cleaning Your Garage
There’s no way to effectively organize your garage without first cleaning it out. This is arguably the largest part of the process and it requires a few different steps to do effectively, but once it’s clean, you’ll find it easy to get organized without any clutter in the way.
Empty the garage
Clear some space on your front lawn or driveway and go through the garage, emptying every single thing out. No matter how large or small, remove it from the garage so that there’s absolutely nothing left behind.
Keep and discard piles
Make two separate piles from everything in the garage, with one being the things that you want to keep and the other things that can go. If you find there’s a lot of stuff to be thrown away, organize for a large waste container so the trash can go straight in there.
Separate the discard pile
Anything that’s not being thrown out but still in your discard pile will need to be organized next.
Depending on what you want to do with it, you could give the items away, donate them to a local charity, or sell them. Whatever you do, make sure there is nothing left before you move onto the next step.
Deep clean the garage
Starting from the top and working your way to the bottom, give your garage a deep clean. Depending on how dirty is it, this could look different for everyone.
Remove oil stains from the floor, wipe down dusty and moldy surfaces, clean the garage walls, mop the floors, and then dry everything completely before moving on.
Plan the layout
Before you put anything back in the garage, you’ll need to plan the organization stage. To see what you have left, sort it into piles of the category it belongs in, like gardening tools or holiday decorations.
Once you have an idea of what has to be stored and how much space you have in the garage, you can move onto the vital step of getting organized.
How to Organize Your Garage Tools
The way the garage is organized will be the most important part of this process, but it’s not a one size fits all approach that works for everyone.
As our garages and their belongings are all so different, you might find that some of these options for organization work better than others. Feel free to mix and match so you get the methods that will keep everything in order best.
The power of pegs
Pegboards are one of the simplest ways to organize your garage and make use of the space on the walls. You could utilize one large board or smaller boards for different categories of items, and they make sure everything is easy to reach but stored away neatly.
Categorize your goods
To make everything easier to find, you’ll want to keep everything sorted into categories.
These categories will be different depending on what you keep in yours, but most people would find it helpful to have a gardening center, a hanging rack for yard equipment like rakes and shovels, a fishing gear spot, power tool cabinet, and storage area for kids’ toys.
Come up with a color-coordinated system that allows you to categorize the items in your garage.
Smaller bits and pieces can get easily lost, but if they’re branded with a colored sticker or tag, you’ll know to place them in the corresponding place so that random items aren’t left lying around.
Keep things on display
Not everything in your garage has to be locked away or stored in a cabinet, as some items can benefit from being on display permanently.
Gardening equipment like rakes, pruning shears, and outdoor brooms may do better hanging on a board so that it’s within easy reach and always there to remind you to get the job done.
Make a monthly effort
Rather than having to do a colossal clean up every year, why not set aside just half an hour each month to get organized.
During this time, you can put things back where they belong, tidy up the shelving, and throw anything out that’s no longer needed. It’ll ensure your garage is always in good shape and prevent things from getting out of control again.
Making the Most of the Space
No matter the size of your garage, you’ll always be able to keep it full of random bits and pieces.
If this sounds like a common problem at your house, you need to know how to utilize every inch of space you have. Check out these tips for making the most of the space your garage has and how to take advantage of it.
- Ceiling racks: These racks are mounted to the ceiling, giving you extra space to store whatever you need up high. Be sure to follow the weight guidelines for ceiling racks so that they’re not overloaded.
- Fold-down workbench: Rather than having a workbench that’s always sticking out, why no install one that folds down when you need it. This will free up space for other things but still give you a solid workspace for working on.
- Pegboards: Pegboards allow you to store items flat against the wall and without obstructing the garage.
- Stackable shelves: If you’d rather use shelving, choose the type that lets you stack them on top of each other so that you’re taking up vertical space only.
- Corner shelves: A smartly placed corner shelf takes advantage of the studs that are already there and gives you more room to put things without taking up important real estate in the garage.
- Bike racks: Rather than keeping bikes standing up in the garage, a hanging bike rack lets you utilize wall space to keep its storage streamlined. You can have multiple bikes on the one wall, and they’re easily lifted up and off when you want to ride.
- High spaces: Not everything in the garage has to be within easy reach, and if it is, you’re not utilizing the space well enough. Think about items that don’t get used that often and look for places up high that you can store them.
The garage is one of the most practical spaces of the home, but only when it’s clean and in order.
With the potential to hold so much and be a haven of organization, our garages need a bit of work to get to this point, but all hope is not lost. If you’re planning on cleaning out the garage and finally organizing it, we’ve got the answers to some FAQ that can make it happen.
What Should Not Be Stored in a Garage?
We often put things in the garage simply because it’s got the most space, but some items won’t do well in there, no matter how convenient it may be.
You should never store fresh food, canned food, paper products, clothing, and propane tanks in the garage, either because they’ll become damaged or can do serious harm with incorrect storage.
Can You Store Chemical in a Garage?
Most chemicals are fine to be stored in the garage, as long as they’re kept within the recommended safe temperature for storage.
All containers should be kept out of reach of children, labeled with their contents, and in a lockable cabinet so that only adults can use them.