The garage is that one place where all of the clutter
seems to gather. It is a convenient location to store things – rakes, bikes,
dog food – and they get pushed into a corner or against the wall. But before
you know it, you have an ill-functioning area that is full of clutter and
When you start to organize your garage, you should keep
in mind that this activity means designating a place for everything while
keeping your goods available for everyday use. The following are five steps to
help convert your garage from clutter to clean.
#1 – Sort your items.
To begin, sort and categorize all the items in your
garage. The easiest way to do this is to completely empty your garage so you
can see everything you have. Separate the tools from the sporting equipment,
and the garden supplies from the household goods, and you will quickly realize
how much stuff you have. Only then will you be able to determine the best ways
to organize and store everything.
Misplaced items in your garage should be returned to
their proper place. Also take note of the things that don’t belong in the
garage – and find a new home for them (by relocating them to the basement or
attic). For the items you no longer want or need, you can recycle them, donate
them or set them aside to sell at the next community yard sale.
#2 – Separate seasonal items and equipment.
To keep lawn maintenance tools accessible yet out of the
way, install a special rack on which to hang them. Near the beginning of every
season, rotate out the equipment that you’ll no longer need and bring in the
tools you will need. For instance, if winter is coming, it is good to have snow
tools like snow blowers, ice scrapers and snow shovels handy (and the fun toys
like skis, snowboards and sleds close, too). The basic principle is to store
the items that you use on a regular basis in a way that makes them accessible
every time you need them – without creating clutter.
#3 – Add shelving units and cabinets.
When organizing your garage, consider adding additional
storage space to help keep the garage tidy. Shelves and cabinets can be mounted
on the walls. Also, think vertically: shelves can be mounted above where the
hood of your car gets parked to store those less-used items such as camping
equipment, Christmas decorations or partially used cans of paint.
#4 – Create a workshop.
If you regularly use your garage as a workshop, why not
dedicate an area just for this purpose? Install (or build) a workbench or table,
hang a pegboard for tools and keep a sturdy toolbox easily accessible.
#5 – Relocate trash and recycling bins near the garage.
To easily dispose of unwanted items from your garage,
relocate the trash and recycling bins to near your garage entrance. This way
you won’t be tempted to keep certain items simply because the trash bins are
too far away.
When organizing your garage, keep in mind that there are
many pre-fabricated storage options available at home improvement stores.
However, if you want your space customized, hire a handyman to custom-build
storage to your specific needs. Although it might be an investment, the
long-term benefits of having a fully-functioning garage will be well worth it.