The SOS Guide to an Organized Garage

Organized garage

1.  Sort and Purge

Start off by removing everything from the garage. Yes, that’s right.  Everything!  Move it all onto the driveway so you can see what you have.  This makes it easier to decide what to keep, what to donate and what to throw away.  Recycle what you can and properly dispose of paint and other hazardous waste.

While sorting what you plan to keep, group like items together.  This will make it easier to decide how much space you’ll need to set aside for your various categories.

Now…see that empty garage?  Go ahead and give it a good cleaning before putting things back. 🙂

2.  Create Zones

Create zones to store like items together.  This makes it easier to find what you need quickly.  It also helps family members put things away in their proper place.  After all, you’re not going to all this trouble for nothing!

Some of the most common zones for a garage are tools, lawn and garden, sports equipment, camping gear, car care, holiday decorations and home care (things like paint and extra tile).

3.  Contain and Label

I’m a big fan of clear plastic containers.   Translucent tubs make it easy to see what you’re storing at a glance, especially items you place up higher.  Having uniform containers also makes it easier to stack items on shelves and keeps things looking tidy.

Now, if you like a little color, go for it.  Red tubs for Christmas decorations, orange for Halloween, green for gardening, etc.  I recommend labeling the bins so you know at a glance what’s inside.

For smaller things like tools and hardware, think about clear stackable bins and pegboard.  Hanging tools makes it easy to see what you have and allows easy access.  I also like to transfer nails, screws, bolts, etc. to labeled containers that are easily stackable.

For long-handled tools like brooms, shovels and rakes, use heavy-duty hooks and holder.

Here are a couple of ideas:

Storing sports equipment has never been easier.  There are so many options for hanging skis, bikes, balls, etc.  Here are some links to a few handy products:

And remember to label everything.  Even if you use clear bins, it’s smart to slap a label on the outside.  And for those small bins full of nails, nuts and bolts?  Time consuming?  Yes.  Worth it?  Yes.  You’ll never have to guess what you have stored inside.

4.  Use Vertical Space

Now that everything is sorted by category, it’s time to put things away zone by zone.

Get things off the floor.  Garage walls are a treasure trove of space.  Use them!  Whether you decide on free standing shelves, ceiling mounted shelves or opt for a custom storage system, keeping the floor clear means you can store the most important thing in the garage…your car!

Ceiling-mounted storage is an excellent use of space because you can store seldom-used items like holiday decorations out of the way.  That leaves wall space for storing the stuff you use most often.

Here are some links to shelf, wall and ceiling storage ideas:

What’s in your garage right now? Do you have plans to tame the clutter? Or do you need a little help?  I’m here for you.