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How to Organize a Messy Garage

by Matthew Wilson

Last updated on August 17th, 2020

Last updated on August 17th, 2020

Let’s face it–keeping the garage organized and clutter-free is much easier said than done. Fortunately, with so many great garage organization ideas and tools available, it is certainly not an impossible task. Whether your garage is packed to the brim with household items and junk or you just need to declutter a bit, the tips and trick we have compiled here will certainly help. If you have ever thought to yourself, “I have no idea how to organize my garage”, then this guide is for you!

Garage Organization

Plan Ahead

Whenever you begin any large task, such as clearing out or organizing your garage, you need to set aside a designated time for the task. It is also a good idea to make a general plan of how you will manage that time in order to complete the task as efficiently as possible. To do this, divide the garage area into sections.

Remove all items from the garage and put the items into piles based on whether you want to keep, dispose of, sell/recycle or donate that item.

Some items that you may find helpful during this process are:

  • Trash bags, bins or a dumpster
  • Cleaning supplies (gloves, household cleaner, sponges, rags, broom, mop)
  • Empty boxes of various sizes for dividing items
  • Plastic storage bins

Also, when determining a time to tackle your garage clutter, try to recruit help from friends and family. Take their schedules and availability into consideration when creating your organizational plan. Having as much help as you can get will make the process even quicker and it will be much less stressful for you.

However, with more people involved, it will be even more important to plan ahead and make sure that each person is assigned particular tasks and fully understands what they need to do.

Research Garage Organization Plans

Once your garage has been cleared out and you know which items you will keep, assess your garage space and come up with a garage organization plan that will enable you to store all of your items neatly within the space you have available.

You can do this by searching for garage organization ideas and products online. You will definitely want to make use of organizational products like shelving units, hooks, bins and cabinets.

Take it One Step at a Time

As you research garage organization plans, you may notice that many plans suggest creating specific zones for the items in your garage. You can accomplish this by putting similar items together or putting items that are commonly used together in the same place. Work on setting up one zone at a time so that the task doesn’t get overwhelming.

The most important thing to remember is that your garage organization plan needs to make sense for you and how you use the items and tools that will be kept in your garage. Place items that you use often in places where you can access them quickly and easily. Items that are used occasionally can be placed on bottom shelves or in harder to reach locations.

Maximize Your Garage Space

If you’re like most people, you have lots of things that need to be stored in your garage. In order to maximize the space you have available, consider using vertical storage options. Overhead storage, cabinets, hooks, pegboards and high shelves can all help to increase the amount of space you have for your items. how to organize my garage

It is also a great idea to incorporate corner-shelving units. A lot of extra space is often wasted due to poor use of corner space.

Corner shelves are perfect for storing small items that tend to create clutter when stored on larger shelves.

Big, bulky items can be stored overhead using ceiling tracks or racks. Just make sure to follow the installation instructions correctly so that your garage’s ceiling can sufficiently hold the weight of the items. When storing items overhead, be sure to leave enough room for people to walk and maneuver in the space.

Wall units are another convenient way to maximize space in your garage. They can be used to store all kinds of tools, accessories, gardening equipment and much more. You can search any hardware or home improvement store to find a wall unit that has all of the storage options that fit your particular needs.

Be sure to also make ample use of hooks whenever possible. If there is a space in your garage for a hook, put one there! You can never have too many and they are a great way to maximize space underneath shelves, on the ceiling and even on garage walls.

Anticipate Future Needs

It is a good idea to also think about what you may need to store in your garage in the near future. For example, you may decide to store your winter clothes,how to organize my garage

Christmas decorations, plants or seasonal furniture in the garage temporarily.

If this is the case for you, be sure to determine which part of your garage will be used for seasonal storage and what will be stored there.

This way, you won’t be scrambling every season trying to find a place to put these items.

Also consider if you or your family will be undergoing any lifestyle changes in the near future that could impact your storage needs. You may be adding a new family member, someone may be moving out, your kids may start a new sport and need to store equipment in the garage, etc.

Be sure to think about any and every need you may have in the upcoming year or so, then plan accordingly with the space you have available.

Where Will the Car Go?

In the midst of all these great garage workshop ideas and organization plans, be sure to think about where you will store your vehicle(s). Storing your car in the garage certainly has a lot of advantages, such as keeping the car safe from theft and damage, sheltering it from the elements and much more.how to organize my garage

However, cars also take up a lot of space. Consider whether it is more important for you to protect your car from the various elements or if you would prefer to use that space for storing other items.

This decision will depend on the area and climate you live in, the size of your garage and how much stuff you will need to keep stored in your garage.

If you absolutely must keep your car in the garage, you can always put any extra items in an external storage shed or rent a storage unit.

What Not to Store in Your Garage

In addition to knowing how to store items in your garage, you will also need to know what items should not be stored in the garage. If your garage is not temperature controlled, then there are many items that should not be stored there, depending on the climate in your area.

Paint

Many people store paint in the garage, but it is best to store it in a temperate location since it can be damaged by very cold or warm temperatures. Read the label on your paint cans to determine at what temperature it is best stored.

Propane and other Flammable Gases

Highly flammable items like propane tanks should be kept outside or at least in an external storage shed that is not attached to your home or valuable possessions. A simple spark can lead to a fire or explosion if the tank happens to leak.

Paper

Paper items and cardboard can be a magnet for insects, mold and other undesirable things. It is best to keep important documents or paper products stored indoors. Unneeded paper items should be recycled.

Garage Safety Items

As with any other area of your home, it is important to keep safety essentials inside of your garage. The most important safety tool to have in any garage is a fire extinguisher. Be sure to choose an extinguisher that is 5 to 10 pounds and has an ABC rating. Place the extinguisher in it’s appropriate mount in an easy to reach location.how to organize my garage

Other safety items to include are: carbon monoxide detector, new lighting, and a garage door opener with auto-stop feature.

As with any other area of your home, it is important to keep safety essentials inside of your garage. The most important safety tool to have in any garage is a fire extinguisher.

Be sure to choose an extinguisher that is 5 to 10 pounds and has an ABC rating.

Place the extinguisher in it’s appropriate mount in an easy to reach location. Other safety items to include are: carbon monoxide detector, new lighting, and a garage door opener with auto-stop feature.