The garage is the junk drawer of our homes. If an item doesn’t have a place inside the house, it quickly gets tossed into the garage. Even with the best intentions, the garage can devolve into a hodgepodge of sports equipment, cleaning supplies, holiday decorations, and toys. Then, you need to find the luggage for an upcoming trip and have to pull everything out to find it.
Thankfully, it’s possible to organize the garage so your belongings and car can coexist in the same space.
Start with a plan
Before you dive into your garage, create a plan for the big clean out. You can set aside a full day or weekend to get the job done. If you’re short on time, break it down into several jobs over a few weekends. Make organizing the garage a family project to make the task go faster. Make sure you have the right tools at hand to make the process go smoother. You don’t want to waste time driving to the home improvement store mid-cleaning! A few helpful supplies include a shop-vac or broom, heavy-duty trash bags, and a catch-all basket for smaller odds and ends.
Now is also a great time to figure out how you want to use the garage once you’re done. This plan will guide your process. Divide the garage into zones for the different types of items that will be stored in the garage. Common zones include:
- Car parking/supplies
- Sports and recreation equipment
- Seasonal décor
- Workshop/work area
Creating zones, like a department store, will make it easier for everyone to know where a particular item should be placed. It’s recommended to start with 4 zones and expand out as needed.
Clear out the garage
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to get started. Clear everything out in the garage and begin sorting based on your chosen zones. Determine whether you’ll keep, toss, donate or sell each item. You’ll want to get rid of any items that are broken beyond repair, things you haven’t used in a couple years and any expired household chemicals.
For any items you’re keeping, group them together based on zones so you know exactly where to put them when it’s time to store everything away.
Do a basic cleaning
Before putting your items back into the garage, take advantage of the empty space and give it a good cleaning.
Plan garage storage
There are a lot of different types of storage systems. Don’t rush out and buy a custom system! Your first step is to assess your remaining items that will be stored in the garage and plan how you want to store them. You don’t have to run out and buy a fancy storage system. You can start with what you have now and build up as needed. Here are some common storage options:
- Shelving units: this can include wall-mounted shelves or stand-alone shelving racks
- Wall storage: pegboards or fancy storage systems can be customized to fit every storage need
- Storage cabinets: cabinets are best for items that need to be securely stored like chemicals or paint
- Overhead storage: the ceiling is valuable storage space. Place rarely-used items like holiday decorations and other items that can’t easily be stored on the walls.
Stackable plastic bins with lids are great to store items. Even if you use clear bins, be sure to label everything so you can quickly determine the contents of a bin without having to open it.
Keep your garage looking great
Congratulations! You’ve put in the hard work to get your garage organized. Now it’s up to you to keep it maintained. Garages are high traffic areas so take time to review and make sure everything is in its proper place. This can be done on a weekly or monthly schedule or as often as needed. Thankfully, once the garage is organized, it’s simple to keep it organized.
These tips help make your garage more organized so you’re able to use the space more efficiently. An organized garage means you can easily access your gear and other belongings, meaning you’ll spend more time enjoying them instead of looking for them.
If you find you simply need more space, a new home may be the answer. Whether you are buying your first home or ready to build your dream home, Simplicity can help. We build homes throughout the Northwest in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and are ready to help you find the right home plan for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about new home construction!