If you struggle to keep your garage clutter-free, you’re not alone. This is a space that doesn’t get a lot of love, and homeowners often use it as a dumping ground for the things they want to keep out of the main living areas. Unfortunately, it starts looking messy, and it gets hard to find the things that you need.
Are you ready to say goodbye to the clutter in your garage? Schedule a weekend to attack this task, then follow our simple advice. Your garage will be looking great in no time.
Ditch the Junk
Start by carefully going through all of the things in your garage. You need to get rid of any of the things you don’t use. Deflated balls, broken gadgets, and things you haven’t touched in years should go in the garbage. Anything your kids have outgrown or that someone else might appreciate can go in a separate pile to donate or sell. You could have a garage sale to clear out some of the clutter. The things you want to keep will all need to have their own place eventually, so think about where you’re going to store these items.
Some people find it helpful to lay everything out in the middle of the garage. From there, you can start putting things away.
Make a Plan
Think about how you want to arrange your garage. Start by creating “zones” to keep things more organized. For instance, bikes and outside toys can go in one spot, while tools and holiday decorations go in another.
Draw it out on paper, so you can see what it looks like. Drawing things with measurements noted is especially helpful. This will allow you figure out how much space you have for shelving and other storage systems you may been to buy. This way, you’ll be able to make sure that there’s still space for your cars after you’ve put everything into the different zones.
Step Up Your Storage Game
If you want your garage to look organized, you need to have proper storage. Large plastic storage bins are a good idea, and shelving can offer a convenient place to stack your bins. Hooks are also handy for hanging things on the walls or ceiling.
Some people like to use cabinets in the garage because they can close the doors to keep things out of sight. This works well for smaller items like tools, so keep that in mind when you're planning out what you need for storage.
While containers certainly make storage easy, you need to make sure that you know what’s inside each container! You don’t want to open up each one every time you need something. Some people choose clear containers so they’re able to easily see what’s inside. Others like to print labels to go with each container.
If you decide to go with labels, keep a master list that has more details about what’s inside. You might label two boxes as “Holiday Decorations,” but in your master list, you’d then add that the first box contains ornaments, garlands, and stockings, while the second box contains the outdoor holiday decorations.
Use All of the Available Space
Don’t let any space in the garage go to waste. While shelving is often necessary for keeping things organized, those shelves cut into the square footage of the garage. You can save some of that space if you hang things on the walls or above from the ceilings. Of course, when doing this, you need to make sure your belongings are safe and secure. You don’t want anything to fall and cause damage or injury.
Pegboards are an excellent way to keep you organized. You can also try simple screw-in hooks, as long as you ensure they are located at studs (don't put them right into the drywall). Another option is a bin with bungee cords for oddly shaped items attached to the wall, to create a type of "cage" for storing, a great idea if you have a lot of balls. Plus, your kids will love stretching the cords to fit all the balls in!
Personalize for Your Own Needs
Every family has its own needs. Look up ideas to help with the specific things you have. Kayaks could be hung on the walls or put up in the rafters when not in use. Pool noodles could help keep fishing rods stand up against the wall without falling over. Creating “parking spaces” for kids’ bikes using paint or tape will help them properly put things away.
Little things like this make a big difference in keeping your garage organized, so you need to come up with ideas that fit the things you have.
Keep it Clean
Once you’ve gone through the work of completely organizing your garage space, you want it to stay clutter-free. The key is to keep up with it! Make sure your kids know where things belong, and they put things away properly when they’re done using them. Once a week or even once a month, take an hour to go around the garage and clean up things. You’ll feel happier when everything is in its place.
De-cluttering the garage definitely takes some time and effort, but when you can easily find everything you need when you need it, you’ll quickly see that it was energy well-spent.