Unless you’re in the habit of organizing a yearly yard sale, it’s safe to suspect that your garage may be overwhelmingly cluttered with the remnants of passing years, a growing family, hobbies and tools.
Cars, snowblowers, lawnmowers, bins filled with holiday decor, bicycles and saved mementos are only a few items that many families store in their garages, creating mountains that make finding what you need difficult. Fortunately, a few garage storage ideas can go a long way.
Owning a well-organized garage isn’t only possible, but easy to do. Here are 18 tips that will turn your garage into the envy of the neighborhood.
1. Before anything else, organize your clutter into distinctive piles.
You may feel staggered and unsure where to begin when you first look at your garage. The best way to getting started is by completely understanding the task at hand.
Place everything out in the open, where you can see it, and create piles of stuff that fit into specific categories (gardening, sporting, crafting, etc).
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Can old pipes be recycled for holding brooms and rakes? Or do you have a rack that will do the job instead?
As you create your piles, designate one for items that seem useless but can actually be converted into something else.
2. Toss it if you don’t need it.
This may be hard to do, but getting rid of the things you don’t need is liberating and essential. As you go through each pile, ask yourself three questions:
- When did you last used it?
- Do you need it?
- Does it hold sentimental value?
Then throw away or donate anything that hasn’t been touched in over 12 months, as well as the items that you don’t need nor love.
Related: 17 Innovative Things You Can Do Today To Organize Your Kitchen
3. Shelves are the best friend of those who love organization.
Whether they’re used for books, bins or boxes is irrelevant, shelving is a great way to get your belongings off the floor and in order. Follow this video above by DIYer Anna White for a quick and easy way to build 20-foot garage shelving units. And if DIY isn’t your thing, it’s also easy to buy shelves on a budget.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to shelving is to scatter them or place the units strategically. Simply covering your walls with floor to ceiling shelves can lead to an “organized chaos”, and it’s much “cleaner” to break up space with other forms of storage units.
4. If you don’t use it daily, hide it.
Cupboards and cabinets are where to turn for storing odds and ends that don’t need to sit in your daily line of vision. And according to DIY ‘n Crafts, they are easy to buy and install yourself.
Though you may want to keep some of your belongings on display (for a touch of character), it is possible to keep everything tidy by simply placing them inside a cabinet and away from sight.
5. Build a rack for yard tools.
Do you enjoy gardening? Or is yard work inevitable? Either way, secure shovels and rakes against the wall for easy access. Click here for a written tutorial on building a garden rack in 5 easy steps.
Securing these tools vertically will also help them dry quicker if they have been used in snow or cleaned off with the hose.
6. Designate a corner as the mudroom.
Everyone needs a space to remove and store wet, muddy and/or dirty items, such as boots, raincoats, umbrellas and anything else that you don’t want cluttering your garage or worse, your foyer. Though building a mudroom may be out of the question, converting a corner of your garage is easy to do.
All it takes are racks, hooks, a closet and easy access to a laundry machine. You may also want to place a mat or a flooring that is easy to maintain.
7. Make the most of every space, even those that are small or awkward.
Due to the sheer amount of stuff in your garage, it’s important to make the most out of each wall, each piece of floor space and corner. Do you have a window that takes up most of one wall?
Add a shelf just below the sill and place planting pots (perhaps with plants growing inside, which will add an element of color and decor). Or line the floor below the window with boots and sneakers.
8. Hang odds and ends to a pegboard, for easy access and less clutter.
Keys, gloves, bicycle chains, mechanical screwdrivers, saws and protractors all have one thing in common. They can be stored in a decorative and organized way on a pegboard.
This is a classic storage solution that is simple, practical and easy to mount yourself. Here are tips from Black And Decker for hanging these boards in your garage.
You can also buy larger boards for hanging more items and even a few large bulky pieces. A large and sturdy pegboard can hold a wheel barrel, hose, gardening and larger battery-operated or mechanical tools.
9. Magnets also help keep small items from overwhelming tables, boxes and corners.
Glue a long vertical magnet just below your pegboard or to the back of the door for small metal tools. This is a simple solution for handheld screwdrivers, small hammers, clips, pliers and anything else that will stick to a magnet.
And all it takes to mount a magnet is double sided adhesive, which can be purchased at many hardware stores and discount retailers.
10. Build a workman’s table.
Does your garage show telltale signs of DIY projects or other handyman activities? Perhaps it’s time for a workman’s bench.
This addition will remind you that the tools have their own location in the garage (the size appropriate pegboard and magnet will fit well in the same corner), and you will be able to minimize the mess that your projects create. They are also easy to build with any type of wood that you can get your hands on.
There are a few mistakes that many first-time bench builders make, and here is a list so you can avoid doing them yourself.
11. Use the ceiling as storage space.
When looking for storage space, don’t underestimate the ceiling. As always, imagination is key and the ceiling offers a lot of space to work with.
Slide bins in and out of storage racks that have been drilled into place. Unfortunately, the type of ceiling that you have will influence the type of ceiling storage possible. An A-frame, for example, is harder to work with than a flat ceiling.
Over the years, have you acquired an additional ladder? Instead of tossing this in the “to recycle” pile from tip one, secure it to your ceiling for an extra place to hang or store belongings.
12. Display sports equipment in a way that keeps them organized but also shows them off.
Who says you shouldn’t decorate your garage? On the contrary, this is a great place to spruce up, especially if you are into attention-grabbing hobbies like surfing or cycling.
Prop your sporting equipment in artistic angles, from the wall or ceiling, to get them off the floor and displayed with style. One wall can be designated for mounting your many skateboards, showcasing trophies, mounting fishing gear or displaying anything else you may have.
This will work very well if you’re into collecting or competing.
13. Add a refrigerator, trash bin, recycling and other amenities that will help when entertaining.
Do you have a habit of congregating with your buddies in the garage for a beer and some conversation? While the garage doesn’t need to be converted into a second kitchen, a few small amenities will make this space more comfortable for entertaining, as well as keeping it livable the next day.
Furnishing the garage for guests will also reduce the number of trips to the rest of the house.
14. Your garage doesn’t need to look like the rest of your house, but keep it dust-free.
After cleaning and organizing, the key to keeping your garage space looking nice is to keep it orderly and free of dust. While you don’t need to spend time each week cleaning this room, one day a month will help clear the evident dust accumulation that will build.
An exception is the workman station – it may be worth your while to clear dust (including sawdust) after completing your projects.
15. Covering your floor and/or walls in tile will simplify cleaning.
Laying out tile to the floor, and even to areas of the wall, will do two main things. First, it will make cleaning (including sweeping and washing) easier. Second, tile mosaics are very attractive and will add an element of style to your garage.
Porcelain, one popular material used in tile, is becoming increasingly more popular for garage flooring due to its durability, easy maintenance and posh appearance. According to the All Garage Floors website, porcelain is a strong material that is chip and scratch resistant, rarely ruined by chemicals, and known for being prone to water/moisture damage.
16. Build large window space to allow natural light.
Creating a space where natural light can stream into the home will cut electricity costs, create an energetic and cheerful environment and make a small room appear larger. Dark spaces feel cramped and crowded, stereotypical of attics, basements and yes, garages.
Adding a beautiful window in the garage is a less common tip that works in addition to clearing clutter and organizing spaces. Do you have less space to work with due to a garage that is attached to the home (one wall being the entrance)?
Add the window to the garage door instead of a wall.
17. Add on to your existing garage.
This is the last resort to consider if you are having a hard time getting rid of old things and simply have too much stuff. Adding on to the garage can be costly, but doing it yourself will cut corners if you are handy enough to consider it. If so, here are some tips for building an addition to the garage.
Is your garage already large, but vertically? Consider building a garage attic for additional storage space that will be out of site.
18. Start throwing yard sales.
Maintaining a clean garage is easy to do if you constantly recycle the things you no longer require. This is also a fun activity that will only take one weekend of your time each year, and you won’t need to worry about transporting the items yourself.
Get the kids involved, make some lemonade, bake some brownies and watch other people remove the clutter for you.
Having a clean and organized garage is not out of your grasp.
I hope you enjoyed my garage organization ideas and tips and consider trying them all or even just a few that you like best. Remember, the key to a clean and systemized garage is clutter-free order.
Get rid of the items that you absolutely don’t need. Remove unnecessary items from the floor, place odds and ends where they can’t be seen, and buy or create hooks, pegs and shelves to hang your tools in a way that will appear visually appealing.
Display cool and conversation-worthy pieces, like sporting equipment. And last but not least, maintain your new organization after it has been completed to ensure that it lasts.