My 5 Best Garage Organization Tips
Here are my best garage organization tips to take your garage from piles to smiles!
Why are so many garages disorganized?
Garages are usually the catch-all space of a home — the “everything drawer” of all the other rooms of the house. It’s filled with all variety of items- from tools to old paint, to holiday decorations. Garages become increasingly disorganized over time and because of all the clutter, most families can’t even park their car in their home’s garage.
A lot of families struggle to keep the garage organized for several reasons. First, a lot of garages don’t lend themselves toward order. In fact, they have a lot in common with your typical storage unit: they are not heated or air-conditioned and have little if any, storage solutions like shelves or racks.
Second, the garage is a shared space. When a particular family member “owns” a space in your home, like a bedroom, it’s easy to assign the chore of cleanup. But shared spaces can be a little bit tricky- “who is responsible for this mess anyway?” It’s easy to form the habit of just tossing an item in the garage, or setting it by the door with the intention of putting it where it belongs later rather than placing it in its designated place. Now that we are aware of the major problems that we face in this space, let’s get started with these organizing tips that will turn your garage back into the useful space it was intended to be.
1. Garage Organization Tips: Schedule Time To Organize
If your garage is a jumble of tools, old toys, sporting equipment, and trash, it’s a good idea to schedule a weekend for a major cleaning. Put it on the family calendar and host a yard sale — spring is always a good season for major organizing.
2. Garage Organization Tips: Start With The Big Stuff
When you’re ready to get started, take any large, moveable items out. This includes lawn mowers and large tools. Of course, if you’ve managed to squeeze a car or two into your garage, park that outside temporarily as well. It’s easier to clean up without large objects in your way.
Tackle the big items first: bicycles, sporting good equipment, yard tools, etc. Put them where they belong. If something needs to be tossed out or donated, do it. There’s no sense in hanging on to items you don’t want or never use. If something needs to be repaired, affix a tag or piece of tape on it indicating such and take care of it later.
Once you’ve sorted and stored the big stuff, you can start decluttering your smaller items.
3. Garage Organization Tips: Grouping Like with Like
If there’s anything on the floor, put it on a counter or shelf. If the shelves are in complete disarray, spend no more than a few minutes organizing them.
The best approach is putting like items together. For example, if you have five cans of paint on the floor and an empty shelf, put all the paint cans on that shelf. Put productivity ahead of perfection. Every item doesn’t have to be perfectly labeled and sorted to be organized. You just want to be able to find items and replace items in your garage quickly (and safely). If at a later date you’d like to do a more thorough sorting and labeling, you can.
4. Garage Organization Tips: Get Everyone Involved
If your husband (or wife) is handy and has a ton of tools, it may be a good idea to give him a plan for decluttering. Allow him to clean and organize his tools. It’s win-win: he’ll still be able to find his tools with ease and you don’t have to worry about breaking any of his equipment. Larger tools should be given specific space on tables, shelves or the floor. Smaller tools can be stored in boxes, bins or clear jars. Cabinets are ideal in a garage because you can quickly stash things out of sight. They are also a good place to put anything hazardous. Either lock the cabinet or put items on high shelves so small children won’t be able to reach them.
5. Garage Organization Tips: Small Steps Count
However, you don’t have to complete a major overhaul to make progress. If your garage has some level of order — you generally know where things should go — then a 15-minute decluttering can make a huge difference. Progress adds up over time and soon enough you’ll be able to park your car in your garage again!
The most organized garages are those in which everything has a place. It could be on a wall, on a shelf, in a cabinet or in a designated floor area. It’s helpful to label each area so that when you do a 15-minute decluttering, you know where everything goes. (This is especially true if you have family or friends helping out.)
6. Garage Organization Tips: Commit to a Plan
If you’d like to overhaul your garage but are short on time, schedule 15-minute blocks of time each week for the next few months. You’ll be amazed at how much decluttering you can accomplish with a plan to tackle specific areas. Oh, and don’t forget to park your car in your freshly organized garage!
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