An organized garage makes life easier and more efficient. It just feels better when your garage is organized and your items are easy to find. Not to mention, if your garage is well-organized, you can fit 2 cars in it (or 3 for some of you). Keeping your car in the garage will prolong its life and value. Let’s start by considering the different things most people have in their garages…
- Assorted Tools
- Holiday Decorations
- Surplus Supplies
- Sports Equipment
- Garden Tools
- Boxes of Unused Items
- Bikes, Skateboards, Strollers
Most only have a 2 car garage, if you’re lucky you may have a few extra feet of space to the side or the back… or possibly a cubby and a closet.
Garage Organization Tools
- Storage Bins
- Peg Board
- Shoe Rack
Tip 1: Set Aside a Whole Day for the Task
Cleaning out the garage is time a consuming effort, but once it is done your life will be easier and more efficient. Make sure you have plenty of time to go through every item, including every box and every pile of junk.
Tip 2: Recruit Family & Friends for the Job
Cleaning the garage requires lifting heavy items and installing shelving, etc… You will need a few extra hands around to carry the weight. Make a day of it and be sure to serve refreshing cold drinks and a delicious lunch!
Tip 3: Sort Items
Sort the items in your garage first into 3 piles: Keep, Donate, Toss. Later you will need to organize your items according to use such as lawn equipment, sports equipment, tools, cleaning supplies, etc…
Tip 4: Remove Unused, Broken Items
Once you’ve sorted the items in your garage, decide how you will get rid of the donation items. According to “This Old House,” these items should get the boot: outgrown toys, items that are broken beyond repair, expired household chemicals (which may need special disposal), and anything you haven’t used in two years or more. If you have a hard time letting go of things that have sentimental value, snap pictures as keepsakes. Anything that is damaged or you don’t use anymore should go to the dump. Large pieces of furniture you don’t want anymore can be hauled away by a junk-hauling company such as 1800GotJunk.com.
Tip 5: Move These Items Out of Garage
Move flammable items like propane tanks out of the garage to prevent a fire hazard. Paint can be ruined if left in high or low temps, so be sure to stow paint in a temp controlled environment. Paper items should not be stored in the garage because these are a magnet for bugs and roaches. Also, find another place for your fridge/freezer if possible. It is a huge energy drain to keep a fridge cool in a hot garage. Also, keep your pet food out of the garage as rodents and other creatures may think you’ve left it for them. At the least, make sure pet food is kept in sealed containers.
Tip 6: Develop a Plan
Create a floorplan of your garage including the dimensions and location of obstacles such as hot water heater and windows. You can take your dimensions to a garage-organization place such as Container Store to get ideas for shelving and storage options.
Tip 7: Install Shelves & Hooks
Most garages don’t come with built-in shelving system, so you may need to install some shelves if you want a clean garage for both of your cars. Ceiling-mounted shelving is very handy and gives much needed room, especially for the standard size garage. You may also want some lower shelves for items you use more often and for stowing your storage bins (see Tip 4). The goal is to keep everything off the floor so there will be plenty of room for your car. A pegboard is also invaluable for hanging lightweight tools, some sporting good, hats, helmets and exercise equipment such as a jump rope.
Tip 8: Purchase Storage Items
It’s better to know the exact number of bins you need and also an idea of where you will place everything. You will need several clear stackable storage bins (Rubbermaid) as well as smaller jars for holding odds and ends, screws and tools. You may also want cabinets without doors. Cabinets with doors give you an excuse for staying disorganized because they hide everything. Cabinets without doors are open, allowing you to see what’s there.
Tip 9: Epoxy the Floor
An antiskid floor coating resists oil stains and wipes clean as easily as a kitchen countertop does—plus the color chips and paint disguise any imperfections
Tip 10: Positioning Your Car
Now that your garage is clean, you have room to park your car! Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling to help you know when you’re in the right spot. Have a glass of lemonade and find a watering hole for summer swimming.