The garage plays a lot of different roles in different houses. It might function as the spot where you store your cars, a cave where you hang out and watch sports, or a place to store holiday decorations. If your garage functions as sort of an all-purpose storage space like it does for many homeowners–then it might be a bit of a mess. You probably aren’t utilizing all of that space in the best way that you could. In this post, we’re going to check out some better ways to organize your garage which will get the most stuff in the smallest amount of space.
Make Enough Time
The only thing worse than spending a day organizing your garage is spending a day organizing half of your garage. Make sure that you have enough time to undertake the project, then add a few hours to that amount of time. If you don’t have enough time, prepare to do it a different day.
Find Your Cleaning Playlist or Podcast
Maybe it’s your favorite sports team playing on the radio, maybe it’s a playlist of indie rock songs that simply inspires you to go the extra clean-mile, or maybe it’s a podcast with delightful personalities that gets you chuckling while you clean. Whatever it is, you’ll need the right kind of entertainment to push you through the purgatory of cleaning the garage.
If you share your garage with family, roomates, or partners–get help when you clean. This will make sure that everyone pitches in but also that everyone knows where their stuff is! It’s also easier to get rid of stuff when everyone is peer pressuring each other to get rid of stuff that isn’t needed.
Buy Storage Containers
A general lack of storage containers can make even a sparsely populated garage feel like an absolute mess. Just seeing objects sitting out in the open makes everything feel messier.
Get Rid of Stuff
There are two ways that you can get rid of stuff, one being more permanent than the other. First of all you can get real about what camping gear you really don’t use anymore and the fact that you probably aren’t ever going to pull out the kiddie pool again. If you do that, then you can donate stuff to thrift shops to get rid of stuff in your garage. But the second way that you can get rid of stuff is by moving it to a more permanent storage solution. After all, for many people, the garage acts as a sort of secondary storage space. It is where you put stuff that doesn’t belong in the assorted cabinets and cupboards of the house, but also doesn’t belong in more long term storage solutions like the attic or basement. If the garage is the long term storage solution for your house, then maybe it’s time to get rid of stuff.
Messes get created in garages over time when the garage accumulates new objects that don’t fit the categories and bins that the garage has been using. This means that when you start to organize the garage for the first time in a while, one of the most important things to do will be grouping objects by the kind of object that they are and the situations in which you might want to use them.
Of course, you’ll have to use some discretion here. After all, it makes sense for all the holiday decorations to go in the same place, because they all get used once a year. But what about sports stuff that gets used weekly versus stuff that gets used once a year, and car stuff that gets used once a week versus once a year or only when something breaks.
You may want to create a different category for objects that you use frequently, to make sure they remain accessible.
Organize Categories by Usage
Holiday objects go to the once or twice a year section and other categories sort of get arranged by how often you use them. This will help when you are allocating floor space. The key here is to think like a retail manager–a friendly one. You want your high-volume objects to be easy to access, while the specific objects that you have to go looking for once a year need to be memorable and labeled but can be on a higher shelf or towards the bottom.
Maximize the Space
Shelves, ceiling storage, and pegs on walls will be your biggest allies in the fight to maximize storage. Investing in bins and storage solutions for your garage allows you to keep more of your stuff without throwing it a way. Only problem is that most people want to organize their garage without buying anything for it. If you are going to make purchases, remember that using the walls and ceiling is the key to organizing your garage. If there is any way to put wire bins on the walls and use pegs to hang things–do that. If you have a way to store things on the ceiling–do that. The floor is for the most-used objects, and the less you have on the floor the better. Here is some advice for space maximization:
- Use small shelves for car care products. This helps organize all the bottles and cans without just dishing them into a disorganized bin.
- Use racks on the ceiling. If you’ve got camping gear, holiday stuff, beach gear, and other categories of specific goods, there is a way to install tracks on the ceiling of the garage and fit them with sliding bins. You can even label the bins on the bottom!
- Hooks. Hooks are a great friend to any garage storage system, because almost anything that you want to store in a garage can be hung on a hook. They are especially helpful for putting long garden tools horizontal along a wall of the garage.
- Clean before making the trip to the store. It’s way easier to figure out what kind of storage you’ll need to purchase once you know everything that needs to stay in the garage.