The garage becomes the repository for all things you don’t know what to do with or don’t have space to store in the house. It can reach a point where you spend too much time searching for the one thing you need, and you can’t even fit your car in there.
What? Are you already there?
Before winter comes, invest a weekend in restoring order to your garage. Not only will garage organization save you from rummaging in the bitter cold, but you’ll also be ready with holiday decorations AND have one less spring cleaning task.
To get you started, here are 6 tips for organizing your garage.
- Empty the contents. Remove everything from the garage. Otherwise, you’ll just move things from place to place. Start with a clean canvas.
- As you’re emptying the garage, have a trash can ready. Immediately discard anything that isn’t worth keeping or appropriate to donate. Set aside a box for the items you will give away—to charities, thrift shops, family and friends. Animal shelters love old blankets, sheets, and pillows. Books can go to your library or senior center. Household items are welcomed at women’s shelters.
- Get zoned “in”. Plan storage zones for your garage. For example, Workshop, Sports Equipment, Gardening, Holidays & Home Decor, and Memorabilia. Zones where you will store items you use regularly should be close to the front of the garage, for easy access.
- Map it out. Your garage has plenty of storage, when you know how and where to use it. Pegboard on the wall is great for storing tools, extension cords, tape (duct, electrical, painter’s masking), and other small items. Closet shelving systems work well in garages, too. And you have the bonus of overhead storage, with hooks and racks that can be mounted to your ceiling. Clear, plastic bins make it easier to find items without opening boxes.
- Label everything. Use large labels that are easily visible to mark the contents of each garage storage container. If you use a pegboard, label what goes where, so that everything that is removed can be replaced where it belongs.
- Stick to it. Once your garage is beautifully organized, keep it that way. Make sure you put everything where it belongs. As soon as you get lazy and think, “I’ll store it there later,” you open the door for the clutter bug to return. And they breed like crazy!