Organizing Your Garage

This could be the year you take back your garage and use it for a work shop or even to park your own car!

Garage spaces large and small, often become the dumping ground for anything removed from the house and yard. These can be items that you are not willing to part with, or perhaps seasonal things you are only going to use once a year.

Getting started can be the toughest part of cleaning out the garage. Make sure you have allowed yourself plenty of time, over a weekend works well. Recruit a team to help you out, this way you are less likely to give up before the task is complete.

You will have many categories of stored items, kids’ toys, sporting goods, electronics, season decorations, etc. Have bins labeled as junk, donate, keep and store. To get the most out of your space, it may help to rent a small storage unit for your seasonal items.

Doing this on a nice weekend will allow you to remove everything and start over with an empty space. Visualize the spots you want to make your work space or where shelving can be placed. Remember, if you are hanging shelving racks or slats from the roof, be sure to measure how far back the garage door goes. Keeping a safe distance from the garage door eliminates damage to your totes or the door. Be mindful of where you are placing things that you use more often like your recycle bin that you will need easy access to.

Before moving anything back in into the garage, be sure to remove any cobwebs and sweep the floor.

If you need shelving, there are inexpensive ways to achieve this. “The cheapest way to add storage space in your garage is to make shelves with some shelf brackets and 8-foot-long 1×12 boards.

Pegboards are a good way to separate some of the boxed items you need to keep out. It also works for hanging your tools on the wall so you can keep track of them. Peg boards are inexpensive, roughly priced at $20 for a 4” by 8” sheet.

Pegboard with dowels as dividers
Source : Pinterest

Having the pegboards and shelving in place will help you get a lot of your organizing done right away. Seasonal items or boxes you don’t use that often, place on the higher shelves. Keep your more common items at eye level to make finding them a breeze. Once you have your tools on the board, use a dark marker and trace around them. This will quickly allow you to see what is missing or misplaced.

Now that the shelving and pegboards are up, move to the containers of sorted items. Make sure the “trash” gets to the trash. Do not be tempted to restore these items that you feel you can do without. Your “donate” items can be picked up by a lot of organizations or make that call to stay committed to its removal. Your “keep” pile is the only pile heading back into the garage. The “storage” pile needs to make it to a clean, dry and safe storage facility.

Put the “keep” items in solid containers and label the outside with a general list of the contents. This will save you from having to spend too much time looking for items. Place your bins or totes on the shelves, trying to keep things off the floor.

Another good storage and organizing tip is to use a tote on wheels. These rolling totes give you the freedom to move some of your tools and supplies in and out of the garage with ease.

If you have children, they may leave items out in the middle of the garage where you could run over them. Try using colorful duct tape to mark your parking spot. Measure an outline for your car with enough room to safely open your door. Firmly press the tape down to your outline. Now your little ones have a visual. They can place their toys and bikes outside this line and you get the proper space for the car. All that is left now is to get your car back in its rightful spot.

Check out the links below for more helpful tips for organizing your garage!

–Sue Sage