When it comes time for spring cleaning and overall decluttering in the house, the garage is often overlooked. In fact, it’s often the spot where things “for a rainy day” get stored. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a garage, it’s a great space to utilize– as long as you keep it neat and organized! From tools and sports equipment to gardening supplies and cleaning products, the key to an organized garage is to designate storage zones and stick to a layout that makes sense for you and your family.
Start with a clean slate.
The best way to organize your garage is to take everything out of the garage. If you try to organize the space while everything is still inside, it can quickly turn into an overwhelming mess. Hopefully, you can enlist a few friends or family members to help you with clearing everything out– if not, just take it step by step and be sure to set aside a good chunk of time (which could mean a couple of days, depending on the size and amount of clutter you’re starting with). Create piles with things that are similar grouped together. You can also create ‘donate’, ‘sell’, and ‘trash’ piles for things you no longer use or need. From there, you’ll be able to have a better idea of what it is you actually need to organize and make room for!
Speaking of ‘clean slate’, now it’s time to DEEP clean.
Garages are subject to a lot of dirt and grime. Before you start organizing everything nice and tidy, you’ll want to be sure your garage is fresh and clean. Break out the sponges, brooms, bleach, and vinegar for this project! If you store vehicles in your garage, be sure to mop the floor and remove motor oil stains by laying out clay cat litter to absorb the oil and dish soap to cut through the grease. Then, use a wire scrub brush to really dig in and remove everything from the surface.
Keep it UP!
Get things up off the ground and into cabinets and other storage spaces! A garage is much easier to keep neat and tidy when you have space to move around. Plus, it’s nice to be able to use your garage for its original intention… storing a car or other large items! Don’t let things pile up on the floor– and that includes basketballs, shoes, storage bins, etc. Make a habit of putting things where they belong (i.e. designated shelves, hooks, etc.) and resist the urge to toss them on the ground.
Create sensible storage solutions.
If you decide to use bins, either use clear bins or clearly labeled bins so that you know where everything is when you need it. Also be sure to organize in a way that makes sense for you; for example, seasonal decor can be placed high and out of the way for most of the year, while tools or other things you use more frequently should be placed in easy-to-access spots. If you install shelving, make sure it is sturdy enough to hold what you intend to place on it.
Think outside of the box (or bin)!
While it’s easy to spend a lot of money on storage solutions, that doesn’t have to be the case when organizing your garage. From old shoe boxes to old bookshelves, plenty of items can be utilized for storage solutions. Even old sauce and soup jars can be used to store nails, brushes, and other small items.
Of course, there is no one right way to organize a garage. You may have more sports equipment, an extra fridge, pantry items, woodworking supplies, or a classic car… every garage is different! Be sure to try different things and space-saving techniques until you find the best system that makes your garage work for you and your family.