Many homeowners struggle with keeping their custom garages organized. This can be especially difficult if your family has a lot of sports equipment, you love holiday decorating, or you have recreational vehicles.
Thankfully, a cluttered garage can be turned into an organizational paradise with a little elbow grease and some smart purchases. If you're looking to transform your garage space from mess to success, check out these clever ideas and must-have accessories:
- Start with a Clean Slate - The first step to getting organized is shedding things you no longer need or want.
- Establish Your Master Plan - It's a wise idea to create different "zones" in your garage.
- Set up a Workbench/Command Center - a central location for your favorite tools and often-used items you can't live without.
- Use Overhead and Vertical Space to maximize your storage potential.
- Consider Rolling Drawers and Racks - These are flexible and long-lasting organizational solutions.
- Bins and Boxes - available in all shapes and sizes, you can easily find the ones right for you.
- Buy a Label Maker, or make your own - just make sure you label everything.
- Think About the Floors - Stained concrete can make your garage seem even more cluttered.
- Safety First - A locking cabinet and a fire extinguisher are crucial for keeping your family safe.
A messy garage can bring your entire household to a standstill - keep reading for more info on how to reorganize and refresh this useful space for maximum enjoyment.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The always-essential first step to reorganization is ditching those things that no longer serve a purpose and then thoroughly cleaning everything. The venerable folks at This Old House suggest taking a whole day or even a weekend to get the party started, and invite friends and family to help - many hands make less work.
This is a great opportunity to go through everything, including and especially boxes that haven't been unpacked in years. You'll probably find many items in good working order that your family no longer needs, and you can donate these things to local charities to help your community.
Check carefully for signs of critters, bugs, or other pests, and be sure to get rid of expired chemicals - your municipality's website should have a list of places to safely dispose of them. Once you’ve cleared it out, give your garage a good cleaning, including washing the windows and mopping the floors. You’ll thank yourself later.
The Fam With The Plan
Once everything is spic and span, now is the time to plan your new layout. The most efficient garages are separated into zones. Popular home improvement blog Single Girl's DIY offers some wise guidance for what kind of zones to set up:
- Gardening - If you enjoy making things grow, this area will be perfect for your pots, soil, and hand tools.
- Heavy Machinery - For those fans of chainsaws, table saws, or other large power tools, having them grouped together in one spot is what you need.
- Sports - Keep your bikes, kayaks, skis, and racquets near the door for easy access.
- All-Weather Gear - snow boots, rain boots, plastic flip flops, bug spray, whatever you need to enjoy the outdoors all year long.
- For the Kids - Toys, balls, scooters, and play mobiles should be corralled into one accessible spot.
Creating a plan with specific zones for your revamped garage will make the whole process go smoothly and save you a lot of hassle - especially if you're being assisted by your loved ones.
Now for The Evil Genius Laugh
Muahaha! You're the master of your domain, and every fearless leader needs a command center. Create yours in your favorite area of the garage, convenient both to the outside and back into the house, and add a sturdy work surface and convenient storage.
This is where to put important stuff like spare keys, a fire extinguisher, often used tools, and any other favorite things you need to be able to find quickly. You can also keep a household calendar here, hang a whiteboard for notes and reminders, and establish a little oasis where you can complete all of your projects in peace.
Durable workbenches can be purchased or built, and they can be on wheels or designed to fold away when not in use. If you desire something custom, there's no harm in researching how to do it yourself versus hiring outside help.
The Sky’s The Limit
Professional organizers always stress the importance of utilizing all of your space, up to the ceiling as well as every inch of the walls.
Common household garden implements like shovels and rakes can create a hazard if not contained - the perfect place for tools like this is neatly tucked up and away on wall-mounted Slatwall racks. You can also use hooks to mount bicycles, weed whackers, leaf blowers, and other garage-dwelling items to free up valuable floor space.
HGTV recommends using overhead storage racks for items you need to keep but only use rarely, like holiday decorations, ornaments, bulky winter clothing, or camping supplies. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and will keep your treasured belongings safe.
Wheeled carts and chests of drawers can be invaluable in helping you tidy and reorganize your garage. Kitchen carts and office filing drawers can have a second life by being repurposed for holding small tools, paint and paintbrushes, containers of nails and screws, and anything else you want on hand.
Think Outside The Box
Or rather, think about the outside of the box - what kind of storage bins and boxes will work best for you? The style gurus at Bustle think clear plastic ones with a secure lid are the greatest overall - you can see what’s in there, and the lids will protect your things from dust and other damage.
Just make sure any containers you purchase for garage storage are made from high-quality materials so they’ll last. Storing documents and paper items in the garage can attract bugs, so those kinds of things should be moved indoors, as well as photos, which can deteriorate in the heat. If you live in a wet climate, consider acquiring some waterproof boxes that will help keep your necessities safe.
Labels Save The Day
In the old days, label makers were clunky, nerdy, and usually malfunctioning. Today’s models are high-tech and ready to help you stick a label anywhere it’s wanted. Some are Bluetooth capable and controlled by an app on your smartphone.
If you are artistic, you can easily make your own labels with common craft supplies or on the computer. Ones with a chalkboard-like finish are popular because writing can be wiped off and the labels reused over and over. Labeling everything in your garage will be visually appealing as well as key in helping you conquer clutter.
The Floor is (Hopefully Not) Lava
The condition of your floor can have a big effect on the usefulness of your garage. If you’re tired of a stained or unsightly bare concrete floor, there are a range of options you can try, including applying an epoxy coating.
A key part of keeping your garage organized is making sure there’s no debris on the floor. If you’re aiming to park vehicles inside, then you will want to ensure there are no loose nails or anything that can damage the tires or paint job.
Save The Day
Easy access to an inspected fire extinguisher is vitally important - accidents happen and you want to be prepared for any emergency. A lockable cabinet is also crucial for securing things away from children and thieves, such as household chemicals, spray paint, valuable tools, and any other items that can cause harm in the wrong hands.
A beautifully reorganized garage will relieve stress, give you more room, and add great energy to your entire house. It may seem like a daunting task, but with a little hard work and a smart plan, you can make it happen!