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The garage at your house is one of those places that inevitably becomes a place to store everything that you don’t know what else to do with. Over time, many homeowners realize that they have filled this space with so many things there is no room to fit anything else in. Sometimes this even includes cars, lawn maintenance items, bicycles, and the things that belong in the garage. Allowing this to happen creates more than just an eyesore—sometimes, storing all of these items that you never use in your garage leads to rodent infestations and dangerous fire hazards. The key to avoiding this clutter and maintaining a clean, functional space is learning to organize your garage. If you find that you are accumulating too much unnecessary junk and losing the vital area you need to store your vehicles and tools, consider these helpful tips to maximize your garage space.
Garage Organization Tips and Tricks
Learning to keep a tidy garage is not a difficult process; you need to know the basics of home organization and develop the skills to let items go when you no longer need them. Your garage is more than just a place to park. It is a safe space for your cars to protect them from the damaging effects of the sun, snow, ice, hail, and other damaging weather elements. Having a large amount of clutter in the garage increases the chance of items falling on your vehicles or scratching them as you pull in and out. Some of the many items people tend to store in their garage that aren’t necessary include:
- Artificial Christmas trees
- Coolers, tents, and other camping gear
- Old furniture
- Extra refrigerators and freezers
- Gardening tools
- Household items that need to be repaired
- Outdoor patio furniture and seasonal lawn ornaments
- Sports equipment
- Items being saved for a yard sale or donation
- Old tires
- Trash and recycling bins
If you are ready to take on the garage organization’s task, you need to start by coming up with a few garage organization plans based on the amount of space you want to free up and what items you feel are essential to keep in the garage. The next step, after getting some brainstorming done, is to purge. To open up vital space, you will most definitely need to get rid of some old things you don’t need. Take stock of everything you have in the garage. Depending on how cluttered your garage is, you may need to empty everything into the yard and driveway to complete this step of the process. It may seem to be a daunting task, but you will be glad you took the time and made the effort when you have a clean, spacious garage again.
Once you know all the items you have stored in the garage, the next step is to evaluate what can go and what needs to stay. It is often difficult to let items go that you feel you may need one day, but it is an important step that you must take. Many times, the best rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in at least a year and have no foreseeable use for in the near future. Many items suffer from dry rot, rust, moths, and other factors that render them useless after years of storage anyway, so chances are you will need to buy new if the time arises that you need these items again. Many items can be donated, given away, or stored in a place that makes more sense, but you will find that you have a lot of unnecessary junk in the garage that can simply be thrown away. One of the most common items that take up space in the garage is old paint cans that you are keeping for touch-ups. If the paint has broken down over time, you won’t be able to use it anyway, so the best approach is to take a picture of the label identifying the color if you need to buy more and dispose of the old paint cans appropriately.
How to Organize a Messy Garage
Sometimes homeowners find that their garage isn’t packed full of unnecessary items, but it is just messy and disorganized. The good thing is, you can learn how to be more organized. It may take a little effort and discipline, but if you learn organization techniques and practice keeping up with them, you will be very pleased with the results, and you will be able to use your garage for parking and repairing some of those broken items you want to keep. Keep these garage organization ideas in mind as you begin tidying up and making your garage more functional.
Adding cabinetry in your garage gives you a place to store large and small items neatly and out of sight. This makes your garage look nicer and allows you to have “a place for everything,” as long as you put items back in their appropriate places after you use them. You can keep everything from tools and cleaning supplies to Christmas trees and decorations in your garage cabinets.
2 Piece Set Floating Storage Garage Cabinet, Stainless Steel
Garage Storage Cabinet, Freestanding, 32-Inch Wide
60″ Storage Cabinet, 3 Pc
If you have space above your garage ceiling, you may be able to add a pull-down stairway or ladder to access the space and turn it into an attic. You may need to lay down some plywood or flooring material, but this is often unused space. If your garage doesn’t have a ceiling but has joists that run overhead, you may still be able to create this type of space. Just be careful of letting this area get cluttered. Be sure to follow the same method of only keeping items you need and keeping them neatly organized in this space.
Overhead Storage System, Ceiling Mount Garage Organization Rack
Overhead Garage Storage Rack
Garage Ceiling Storage Rack Lift
Use the Walls
There are many ways to make use of your garage walls for storage. You can use everything from slat wall systems and pegboards to shelving, tool racks, and hanging bins to keep things neat and organized on your garage walls.
Galvanized Steel Pegboard Pack
Slatwall Organizer Kit
Wall Mounted Garage Storage Organizer
5 Quick and Cheap Garage Organizing Ideas
If you are looking for some quick cleanup tips that protect your vehicles and help make your garage look nice, here are a few tips without putting in too much elbow grease.
1. Divide your garage into zones.
Create four to six areas in the garage where related items are stored. Organize these items in their respective areas, and be sure to put them back in the proper spot after use.
2. Create parking bumpers.
Screw pool noodles from the dollar store on the walls of your garage at the height where you are likely to bump them while parking.
3. Build shelving on the walls.
You can install shelving units that you purchase from home improvement stores or build your own shelves to keep items neatly organized along the walls of your garage.
12 inch Black L Shelf Brackets
4. Garden tools.
Items such as rakes, hoes, and snow shovels can be stored neatly along the walls of your garage, using pegboard, or using boards to make a tool rack.
Wall Mount Tools
5. Use overhead space.
There are various ways to utilize the ceiling of your garage, either by adding hooks to hang items such as bikes or building a system of overhead bins to keep items organized.