You may find yourself storing items in your custom garage that don’t fit inside of your home, and those possessions can really add up. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that a quarter of people with two-car garages can’t fit their vehicles inside because of excess clutter.
Even if your garage is filled to the brim, it’s still possible to reclaim this space. Efficiently organize your garage and restore order by:
- Setting Aside Enough Time to Organize
- Trashing or Donating Possessions You No Longer Need or Use
- Sorting & Categorizing Everything
- Investing in Proper Storage
- Installing a Vertical Organizational System
- Setting Up Stations
- Sealing the Threshold
- Keeping It Organized for Good
If you’re ready to organize your garage, here are eight steps to cut the clutter for good.
1. Set Aside Enough Time to Organize
Organizing your garage isn’t a project that is going to happen overnight. To really tackle the clutter, you need to set aside at least two days to dedicate to this process. Back-to-back days, such as an entire weekend, are recommended to prevent your items from sitting in piles for too long.
2. Trash or Donate Possessions You No Longer Need or Use
The first thing you’re going to have to do when organizing your garage is to get rid of items you no longer need or use. Take two to three hours to thoroughly inspect every item currently in your garage. Do you still have bikes your kids have outgrown? Are you stockpiling tools you no longer need? Separate these items into two groups, a trash and a donate pile. Throw out or recycle belongings that are broken. Donate the usable items to your local Goodwill.
Purging your garage will free up space for the possessions you want to keep. Remember that there are certain items that are never safe to store in your garage, including paint, propane, pet food, and paper products.
3. Sort and Categorize Everything
After you get rid of all excess clutter, it’s time to start sorting and organizing what you want to keep. Typical garage items will fall into one of four categories, automotive, sports and recreational gear, tools and gardening equipment, and seasonal items. Once these items are properly sorted, you’ll be ready for the next step!
4. Invest in Proper Storage
Once everything is grouped and categorized, it needs to be efficiently stored. There are a couple of smart garage storage solutions worth investing in. These include stackable, clear plastic bins with sealable lids, clear jars, and a lockable cabinet to keep items that aren’t kid-safe.
Clear storage containers will allow you to easily view the contents inside while the sealable lids will prevent pests from getting into your belongings. Buy a label maker and stick large, visible labels onto the containers to make accessing your items a breeze.
Keep items you regularly take with you in a grab-and-go basket next to the door. These can include umbrellas, reusable shopping totes, and rain boots.
5. Install a Vertical Organizational System
When it comes to optimizing efficiency in your garage, you need to maximize every inch of storage space available. This includes vertical wall space. Installing a vertical organizational system will free up precious floor space so that you can easily park your car or set up a workshop in your garage once again.
Some vertical solutions include Slatwall racks, wall-mounted cabinets, and overhead racks. All of these options will enable you to easily see and find your items, as well as save space.
6. Set Up Different Stations
Remember how you grouped and categorized your items? Now it’s time to put your hard work to good use. After you’ve freed up floor space, you can transform a corner of your custom garage into a gardening station or workspace. Store all of your gardening supplies in one corner. Consider adding a small workbench along a far wall of your garage next to where you stash your tools. Having separate stations will ensure that everything has a home.
7. Seal the Threshold
An organized garage isn’t any good if it’s still exposed to the outside elements. Pests, rain, snow, or windblown leaves can all wreak havoc on your garage. Be sure to seal all openings with rubberized strips, including the space where your garage door hits the floor. Not only will this keep your belongings safe, but it will minimize cleanup efforts.
8. Keep It Organized for Good
Give your garage a once-over every week to ensure that everything is neat and organized. This is especially important during the spring and summer months. Use a natural pesticide to keep insects at bay when your garage door is open. You can also use kitty litter to effectively absorb grease and oil spills. Keep a dustpan and broom near your workspace to quickly clean up after working on your projects.
If you’ve been parking your car in the driveway because there is no room in your garage, it’s time to get organized once and for all! Schedule a weekend to de-clutter, categorize, and neatly store your items. You’ll benefit from having a clean and tidy space where you can work on passion projects, keep your vehicle safe, and easily find the belongings stored there.