For most homeowners, learning How to Organize Your Garage can be daunting, but it’s also one of the most rewarding projects anyone can achieve around their home.
Most Garages are designed to “house” our vehicles but sometimes become our go-to storage option: Whatever can’t fit into the house seems to end up in the garage.
Without a clear organizational plan, garages can end up cluttered and difficult to navigate — it’s not uncommon for garages to become so packed with boxes, tools, and lawn equipment that cars end up in the driveway!
If your garage has gotten out of hand, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and declutter this important space! A well-organized garage will increase your storage capacity while making it easy to find whatever you need. You might even be able to bring your vehicles back in!
How To Organize A Garage:
Step 1: “Declutter” Your Garage
You probably won’t like Step 1, but it has to be done. Block out a weekend on your calendar, put together a great playlist, and get to work. It’s time to declutter your garage.
Start by pulling out and opening every box in your garage. Yes, even those boxes in the corner that have survived three moves without ever being opened. Evaluate every single item in your garage and place them into one of four categories:
- Throw away
Be brutal. Donate or sell those old jeans if you haven’t worn them in five years. Those tennis rackets that haven’t seen the light of day in a decade? Get rid of them. The more things you toss, the more room you’ll have for the items that matter.
(Tip: Use the profits from your selling items to invest in organizational items, like shelves or cabinets.)
Step 2: “Sort and Categorize” Your Garage
Once you’ve fully cleaned out your garage and gotten rid of everything that no longer matters to you, take the time to sort and categorize your remaining possessions. You’ll want to store similar items as you re-organize your garage.
Figure out categories that work for you and your family, such as:
- Lawn equipment
- Automotive items
- Sports equipment
- Holiday decorations
- Camping equipment
- Gardening items
- Memories and keepsakes
It can help create physical areas of your garage for each category and move items into their designated area.
Step 3: Create an “Organizational Plan”
- Now it’s time to get creative and figure out exactly how you want to lay out your garage. Instead of going with your gut feelings, devise a garage layout that makes sense for you. Start by measuring your garage to determine how much space you have to work with.
- Next, determine what you want to put in your garage. Do you plan to park your cars in the garage? That’s going to impact your footprint dramatically. Are you a DIYer who wants a workbench and work area in the garage?
- How about putting the treadmill and your weight set in the garage or carving out a corner for your home office?
- Now, draw your garage footprint (wall to wall). You can do this on a sheet of paper or online.
- Determine where you want to put your shelves or if you’ll have space for your motorcycle or that extra freezer. Don’t forget to utilize your vertical space in your plan.
Step 4: Invest in Organizational “Storage Systems”
Now that you have a footprint for your garage, it’s time to gather the equipment you need to put your organizational system in place. The items you acquire depend on your budget and desire to organize your garage. The image above shows you Garage Storage Systems if you have the budget, or You may be able to repurpose shelving items you already have at home.
Some of the most useful organizational equipment include:
- Built-in shelves and racks
- Stand-alone shelves
- Overhead storage racks
- Wall-mounted equipment and bike racks
- Overhead storage nets
If you happen to be a DIYer, you may be able to build much of the storage infrastructure on your own!
Step 5: Pack and Store Items in the Garage
At last, the rubber meets the road. It’s time to pack up your items and store them in your garage. Here are a few things you might need.
Organize Your Garage “With Storage Accessories”
Use Clear Plastic Totes
Plastic totes come in many sizes and are great for packing away decorations, old clothes, books, and more. They are easily stackable and can also fit onto shelves or in cabinets. Select “Clear Plastic Totes” to quickly identify their contents.
Install Hooks and Pegs
If you’ve installed a pegboard, use pegs to organize your tools for easy access.
You can invest in a label maker or write on stickers; it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you clearly label your totes and boxes on multiple sides.
Labeling will allow you to remember what you have and find it easily on your shelves or cabinets.
Use Jars and Smaller Tubs
Use jars or small plastic containers to organize your bits and bobs.
Give Your Garage New Life
Organizing your garage isn’t necessarily fun, but there’s nothing so satisfying as transforming a cluttered mess into a clean and organized space. Give yourself time, work through each step, and don’t cut corners.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel: You’ll finally be able to walk into your garage and find whatever you need. You may also discover that you can store even more in your space when you start with a plan.
So, take a deep breath, pick a weekend on the calendar, and finally, get ready to put your garage in order!
How To Organize A Garage -Video From Lowes:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How Should I Design My Garage Storage?
A: Begin by planning a footprint for your garage. Measure your garage to determine how much space to work with. If you plan on keeping your vehicles in your garage, you must account for that in your footprint.
Now, determine how you’ll use the leftover space. Should you add shelving units? A workbench? Wall hooks? The right design will depend on your space and the items you have to store.
Q: How Can I Organize a Small Garage?
A: Developing an organizational system is even more important when you have less space. The best way to organize a small garage is to use as much vertical space as possible.
Go UP with your storage vs. going sideways (horizontal). Add shelving and hooks to the wall and install a vertical hanging shelf.
Here is an Ideal Storage System for a Small Garage (Custom) with room for everything you should need:
Q: How Do You Build Garage Storage Shelves?
Your steps will depend on the storage solution you want to build, but you’ll likely need some know-how, a good sander, and cutting tools.
How-to video and Tutorial for Building Storage Shelving:
Q: How Do You Hang Tote Boxes From The Ceiling?
There are a variety of ceiling racks available to purchase that are fairly inexpensive, depending on the size and materials.
Q: What is the Best Way To Organize Garage Cabinets?
A: If you have existing garage cabinets, remove everything and anything you no longer need. Next, group like items together. Finally, label any containers.
Q: How Do You Build a Workbench for Your Garage?
A: Do you want to turn your garage into a project space? Start by building your workbench. It’ll take time, effort, and patience, but you can do it. Take a look at this DIY workbench project from Best Home Gear.
Q: What is the Best Way to Install Pegboard In a Garage
A: Pegboard is a great garage organization solution, especially if you own a lot of tools and want to keep them handy. It’s not too difficult to hang a pegboard in your garage:
- Measure your wall space to determine the size of your pegboard.
- Purchase pegboard sheets from your local home improvement store.
- Cut the pegboard to size using a circular saw or jigsaw.
- Paint or stain the pegboard.
- Drill holes in the wall of your garage (use a stud finder to find the studs).
- Insert drywall anchors into the holes.
- Use drywall screws to attach the pegboard to the wall.
- Attach your tools and hangers to the pegboard.
For more tips and a list of materials to hang a pegboard, check out this article from Home Depot
Q: How Should You Organize Shovels and Rakes?
A: Lawn and gardening tools can occupy a lot of garage space. One of the best ways to organize them is to get them off the ground. Consider installing a storage rail along the wall of your garage and attaching hooks to the rail.
Then, hang your shovels, rakes, and other gardening tools along the rail in a neat row. You can even buy hooks for hoses and utility wires.
Q: How do you Store Fishing Rods in the Garage?
A: One of the easiest ways to store fishing rods is to install two rows of vertical hooks on your garage wall. Set the rod’s base on one hook and the front of the rod on a second hook.
Organizing a Garage is a task most homeowners don’t put at the top of their must-do list. After all, the kids (or your spouse) will mess it up again. Well, maybe not. If you follow the steps we provide above, you will discover a theme that will help you long after you finish this project.
“Organization” means identifying each item with a purpose (for keeping) and finding the most suitable place to store it. Therefore, if you don’t need it – you don’t store it.
This might sound like an oversimplification, but it’s a proven technique for reducing clutter and stress in your life.
Good luck organizing your garage and finding ways to enjoy your garage a lot more!
Additional Reading and References:
Packing Tips for Moving from U-Haul.Com
How to Pack a Moving Truck (with pictures) Wikihow.com
Best National Moving Companies – Forbes.Com
Cheapest Way to Build a Wood Privacy Fence – Besthomegear.com