Clutter can pile up in the garage if you’re not careful. Go through the treasures in your possession and get some new garage storage. You can organize this area of the home using the free space on your floor, walls and ceilings.
Do you want to use your garage to protect your car from harsh weather, but accumulated junk forces you to park in the street? Use this guide to discover some brilliant garage organization tips.
How to Start Organizing Your Garage
To help you organize your garage, make a checklist. Here are some garage organization plans to consider. Make sure you have these items on hand before you start your cleaning project:
- Vacuum, mop or broom
- Trash bags
- Baskets or cardboard boxes
1. Schedule Time
Be realistic about how long this project is going to take you. Organizing the garage takes the average person about a day. The project may take longer, depending on the weather or family obligations.
Take out your calendar and find a day you’re available to start organizing your garage. Look at the next couple of steps and figure out how long it’ll take you to complete each task. Knock out the cleaning project on a sunny spring day, or spread it out over a couple of weeks.
2. Sort Your Clutter Into Piles
Clear all your possessions out of the garage and put them in a visible area. Grouping your belongings into the following piles is how to declutter your garage.
- Keep: Store these items in temporary boxes until you know where you want to make their forever home.
- Toss: Throw out these items in trash bags for garbage day.
- Donate: If your items are in good condition, but you have no use for them, consider donating them to a local charity.
As you examine each item, think about how often you use them. Sort your things in categories, like sporting equipment or tools. You should donate or get rid of items that don’t fit in a group and don’t serve a purpose in your home.
If you’re not sure about keeping or tossing an item, put it to the side and work on the rest of the pile. After a couple of hours, go through the heap again and decide what to do with those miscellaneous items.
3. Organize Your Garage Into Zones
Split your garage into different categories and put things in their respective places. Each of the items in your garage needs a special place to call home. That way, after you use something, you can put it back where it belongs.
How to arrange your garage depends on what works for you and your family. You could use any of the following categories to decide where to put your possessions:
- Car supplies
- Sports equipment
- Children’s toys
The items you use the most should be in accessible places. Put the recyclables by the garage door and bring them outside. Keep things that could be harmful to your children or pets in high places they can’t reach.
Organizing your garage in zones also helps your family find their belongings. You know where you put everything, but other members of your household should be able to find them even when you’re not around. Creating space for each item in your garage will make it easier to find and put back their possessions.
4. Brainstorm Storage Options
You could use different types of DIY garage storage to put away your stuff. Use storage space that’s easy for you to access when you need the items in your garage. Here are some ideas to get organized.
- Plastic storage boxes: Instead of flimsy cardboard boxes, uses plastic boxes for permanent storage. Waterproof plastic containers are easy to transport and protect your belongings better.
- Labels: If you use plastic bins or drawers, group all similar items together in the same storage unit. Have a permanent marker and white masking tape ready for labeling your possessions.
- Shelves: Install shelves to keep items off the floor. Shelves also help you see and access your possessions.
- Built-in cabinets: Take advantage of wall space with cupboards. You could put items you don’t use every day in these storage units. Lock tools or harsh chemicals out of reach, away from pets and small children in your household.
5. Keep the Garage Clean
After you’ve done a sweep of your garage, you should keep it clean. You’ll be able to maintain your garage better when you do a quick clean once a week. Now that you’ve removed the excess clutter, it’ll be easier to maintain.
Here is how to keep your garage clean.
- Put your car in it: When you park your vehicle in the garage, you’ll have less space for clutter. Make a habit of parking in your garage, so you don’t throw other items in that space.
- Clean the floor: Schedule time to sweep or mop the garage floor. If you have an unfinished concrete garage floor, use a mop to clean the floor. Research care tips for your garage’s floor material if you finished it with wood, laminate or epoxy.
- Put items away after you use them: Now that you have a designated space for all the items in your garage, you have to put them back where they belong after you use them. There’s no excuse for leaving things on the floor or in front of the entry door.
Space-Saving Garage Storage Ideas
As you figure out where to store the items in your garage, put your car in the space. Measure the area around your vehicle to find out how much free space there is for storage. Here are some DIY garage storage ideas.
1. Use Plastic Bins and Containers
Plastic bins help you store your items in different categories. Keep your stuff out of the way with these clever garage storage ideas.
- Opaque storage bins for privacy: Colorful plastic storage bins help you hide items you’d rather keep out of sight, like sports equipment or seasonal clothes. Remember, guests may peek into your garage on the way into your house, so this space should be tidy. Opaque bins keep your valuable possessions out of reach from nosy neighbors.
- Floor-to-ceiling plastic bins: Use clear plastic containers to see what’s inside them at a glance. Organize them on shelves by category or family member. Sturdy plastic bins will protect your possessions from moisture and heat damage.
- Labels: Sticker tags help you know what’s inside your bins. Labeling your containers allows your family members to know where to return things when they’ve finished using them. You could use sticker labels or create labels out of vinyl adhesive with a cutting machine.
- Open baskets: Use baskets without lids to store items that you need to access more often. Narrow bins serve as a great place to store trash bags. Put these baskets on the floor or a low shelf so you can reach them.
2. Take Advantage of Vertical Wall Space
Instead of having all your items on the floor, use the wall space in your garage for extra storage. Here are some garage wall organization ideas.
- Vertical shelves: Install shelves to use as much vertical wall space as possible. You can put wall shelves at any height. Choose from plastic, wood or metal shelving, depending on much weight you need them to hold. Check the instructions from the manufacturer before installing them.
- Track system: A bar along your wall can hold hooks or shelves. You could store rakes, tools or buckets with these versatile systems. Use a track system for items with awkward shapes like landscaping equipment. Track systems can accommodate most of your garage door storage ideas to maximize all the wall space in your garage.
- Wall hooks: Use wall hooks to store bulky items, so they’re not on the floor. Hooks don’t take up a lot of room on your wall, so you have space for more storage. You could store a bicycle on a wall hook.
- Metal shelving units: If you have concrete walls, use metal shelving units in place of wall shelves. Push these shelves against the wall to leave space on your floor for your car and other items. Metal shelving units can withstand the extreme temperatures of uninsulated garages. They’re also sturdy enough to hold heavy weight.
- Pegboard: Install a pegboard on your wall to hang anything you like. This unit is a great place to organize your tools so you can see them all at once. Pegboards are handy for cleaning supplies and other lightweight items.
- Bag dispenser: Mount a bag dispenser on the wall to keep track of old shopping bags. Most bag dispensers stick right onto the wall without needing any extra equipment.
- Cabinets: Mount cabinets onto the wall to store items you don’t use every day. Make sure to lock products with harmful chemicals in these cabinets if you have small children.
3. Add Ceiling Storage
If you run out of floor and wall storage, install any of these garage storage solutions onto your ceiling.
- Ceiling ladder lift: Instead of leaning your ladder against the wall, create a lift mounted from the ceiling. Organize your garage in such a way that it’s easy to access when you need it.
- Overhead storage racks: If you’ve used all the storage space on your floors and walls, consider building up. Easy-to-install metal storage racks can hold hundreds of pounds. Make sure to allow enough space for your garage door and garage door opener. You could store seasonal items or luggage in these storage racks.
- Storage pulley system: A storage pulley system gives you access to bins in high places without the need for a ladder. You could use a pulley system to store items that you want out of sight, but that you need to access more often. Consider using this system for gardening equipment or seasonal decorations.
- Overhead loft: You could use the extra space from your high ceiling by creating an overhead loft. Make sure you have enough clearance for your car to store items you don’t need to use as much, like camping equipment.
Unique Garage Organization Tips and Tricks
Since you’re doing this yourself, you have more flexibility with what you use to store your items. Here are some exciting, one-of-a-kind ways to save the items in your garage.
- Store your bike with a hook or pulley system: You could install a hook on the ceiling or wall for flexible space for your bike. You could also use a pulley system to bring the bike to the ground for easy transport.
- Use magnetic storage: Metallic shelves, tracks or cabinets can be home to small items like tools to put them in a visible location.
- Merge like items: You should group similar things to save space. If you’ve bought several boxes of nails, buy one storage container for all of them.
- Create a drop-off zone: At the end of a long day, it’s easy to throw your stuff on the couch or living room floor. If your kids play sports or you often work in the yard, create a place to dump your stuff when you’re tired. Make sure to put the items away when you’re ready so that you could avoid making a mess in your garage again.
Adding Finishing Touches to Your Organized Garage
When you’ve organized your garage, consider what you could do to enhance its appearance even more. You may notice some paint chips on the wall or some scuff marks on the floors. Think about how you want to use your garage. Is it where you park your car or a place to work out in the morning?
Here are some finishing touches on how to clean up your garage.
- Deep clean: When deep-cleaning your garage, wear gloves in case you come across any bugs or harmful chemicals. Dust the garage from top to bottom, starting with the ceiling and ending with the floor. Wipe the walls and doors with warm water and mild detergent. Mop the floor or hose it off, allowing a couple of hours for it to dry.
- Flooring: Look at your garage and figure out how you want to use this new space. If you don’t have much extra room to spare in your house, the garage could be a great place to set up a gym or an office. To create a more inviting place, add an area rug to the garage. If you’re going to use it as a home for your car, you could leave the floors bare. Most garage floors only need an epoxy finish to restore their shine.
- Repair or replace the garage door: Your garage door has taken some hits over the years. If you’ve had issues with opening your garage door, consider getting it repaired. If you’ve had your garage for a while, you should upgrade to a new garage door and garage door opener.
Finish Your Garage With a New Garage Door From American Overhead Door in Connecticut
A sturdy garage door can protect your clean garage. As a Clopay Master Authorized Dealer, we specialize in providing high-quality garage doors in Connecticut. Browse through our collection of residential garage doors to upgrade your living space. You should also get a new LiftMaster garage door opener to go with your new door. For more information, give us a call at 860-347-1507 or contact us online.