Are you still holding off on your annual deep clean? Or maybe you’ve tackled the inside of your home but are forgetting the outside. Many often forget about the garage, and it can look like a wall of mismatched items. Between shovels and lawn chairs, what’s the best way to organize your garage? Keep reading to learn about effective organization tips you can do today.
Pre-Planning Is Key
The first, and one of the most important organization tips, is planning. Before we haul everything out and start rearranging, it’s important to plan. Set aside a full day or weekend to get this job done in one go.
Are there any items you could move to the shed instead? Some items may end up being tossed or donated throughout the process as well. You may also find some things that aren’t necessary to always keep in the garage. For example, winter-related items could go in your shed or basement during the summer months. However, if you must store these things in the garage, we have some organization tips for you below.
What Will Your Garage Be Used For?
Decide where you want your items to go for maximum organization. Where will you store tools? How about your children’s bikes? What’s the best place for car-related items? Draw a rough sketch of your garage and begin planning the new home for all your items. Some like to use their garage for other purposes as well. Maybe you want to make a mini-workout studio or use the space for entertainment. Throughout the process, be sure to remind yourself what you want your garage’s function to be.
Take Everything out
Now that you’ve decided what to keep, group everything together and place them in piles on your driveway. Group like items together so you know exactly where they will go. Another organization tip is to group things based on how often you use them. Everyday items should go together. This way, they’ll get priority when you store them on a shelf later on. For seasonal or holiday items, you can put these away where access isn’t as easy since you won’t be needing them as often.
Since you’re organizing, now is a great time to clean your garage. Use this opportunity to sweep and get rid of those dust bunnies. With a clean slate, you’ll find it easier to put everything back.
Lastly, you should add garage door maintenance to your cleaning and organization list. This one often gets overlooked but can be costly. Conducting routine garage door maintenance is simple and can help elongate your garage door’s lifespan.
What Not To Store
There are a few items that you should keep out of your garage.
For example, you shouldn’t store paint in your garage. Paint can’t handle extreme heat or cold and needs to be in a more stable environment.
The second thing to keep out of the garage is pet food. Pests like mice could find it and lead to problems you don’t want to face.
If you have an extra fridge or freezer, try storing it inside if you have space. Because garages aren’t as temperature stable as indoors, the appliance must work extra hard. This especially goes for garages without insulation. The winter months can be particularly cold. You’ll therefore find yourself with a higher energy bill.
Because space is precious in a garage, vertical storage is the way to go. Vertical storage allows you to store items against a wall, like a shelving unit, and conserve space.
For chemicals or cleaning supplies, use a storage locker with a lock. This way, children won’t get into it.
For a heavy-duty shelf that will hold all your belongings, look for a steel shelf. These can bear the weight of heavier items and won’t fall over.
Here's Another Organization Tip
When using bins, be sure to label them. Use a label maker or permanent marker to make your storage look more cohesive and visually pleasing. This will also prevent your family member from asking you where things are.
Again, we want to maximize the space we’re working with. Wall-mounted storage options are inexpensive and easy to set up. Wire racks are a durable and popular option for many. Unlike wood, you won’t have to worry about moisture damage over time.
Beforehand, plan out where you want the shelves to go. This will prevent any mishaps on shelf spacing. You should also keep like and like together. Your garden or car-related items should stay together.
For those with children, here’s an organization tip. Group their items and position them lower for easy access. Labelling and designating a shelf for their items will help encourage them to use that space.
Using corner space will also help maximize your shelving. Corner shelves can help save even more space. Use these higher-up floating shelves for seasonal items like holiday decorations.
Hooks & Hangers
Now that we’ve covered shelves, hooks and hangers are another great option for storage. This organization tip helps keep clutter off the floor.
What are some things you can use with wall-mounted hooks and hangers? You could hang:
- Power Tools
- Bikes, Scooters And Skateboards
- Extension Cords
- Sporting Goods (Skis, Tennis Rackets, Hockey Sticks, etc.)
Another organizational tip that you might not consider. For bulkier items like ladders or shovels, it’s best to place them on the wall furthest from your vehicle. You don’t want these to fall off and cause damage accidentally.
Living in Alberta, we’re no stranger to swapping out our tires twice a year. However, tires are bulky and awkward to store. For this organization tip, invest in a tire storage rack. There are a few styles available, depending on what your space calls for.
You can store tires on shelves but beware of cheap or homemade ones. Tires are heavy, and some may not hold up. The last thing you want is the shelf to rip out of the wall.
A tire dolly is another option. Simply stack your tires and keep them in the corner. This way, you won’t have to worry about a shelf toppling over.
Get It Done With Ease
Planning will make this weekend task much more bearable. Keep in mind what you want to keep and discard when organizing your belongings. Give your garage a nice clean, and don’t forget to perform routine garage door checkups. When organizing, use vertical storage, wall-mounted shelves, and hangers to maximize space. We hope these simple yet effective organization tips inspire you to give your garage a fresh look.