We’ve all seen it before: the cluttered garage spilling over with forgotten knickknacks, tools, and boxes. There’s also the sort-of-clean garage, where the illusion of organization is created by shoving possessions into one corner of the space. However, when it’s time to actually retrieve something that’s needed, the truth about how messy the garage really is can no longer be hidden.
If cleaning out garages wasn’t seen as such an obstacle by so many people, we wouldn’t have National Clean Out Your Garage Day — seriously, it exists. And if you want to be part of the masses who will spend the weekend after Labor Day getting their digs nice and organized, follow these tips to make the job easier.
How to Organize Your Garage
Come up with a plan before you empty everything out of your garage. Failing to do so could result in your possessions being strewn in a haphazard mess across the driveway, and the lawn, and the backyard — it’s definitely something you’ll want to avoid. Decide upon a garage shelving and racking system before you take anything out and have a general idea of where you’ll place things once the system is set up.
Aim to group like items together and set up your garage into zones if you plan to use it for anything other than storage and parking your car.
For instance, you may have a laundry area with your cleaning supplies on one wall, a tool area with shelving along another, and a space to keep your deep freezer and sealed food for long term storage.
Go vertical with your garage shelving and racking. This will really help you maximize space, and it’s the best route to take if you have a lot of things to store but you still need to actually park your car in the garage.
As opposed to creating a crowded area, a vertical organization system makes everything look more tidy.
Get your boxes and possessions off the garage floor whenever possible. This is where choosing an efficient storage system of garage shelving and racking really comes in handy.
Not only will this prevent things from being bumped into, if you make it a rule not to put things on your garage floor going forward you’ll stop yourself from accumulating too many things that you don’t need.
Don’t forget the ceiling. Depending upon how your garage door is set up, it may provide a prime location to store things you don’t use often, such as boxes of documents, ladders, and light tools. You can also anchor hooks to your garage ceiling and hang sporting gear.
If your family tends to be messy or you know they often shove things into areas instead of neatly placing them back where they belong, consider closed door garage shelving and racking.
Open solutions are great for those who can contain the clutter, but there’s no shame in placing things behind doors until everyone gets onboard with the new system. As long as nothing is spilling out and is fairly easy to find, you’ll be good to go.
Purge whenever possible while cleaning out your garage. Decide what you should donate or simply throw away, and cut down on the clutter. With less things that you don’t use laying around, organizing your garage will be a much simpler process.
To quickly handle items while you’re cleaning out the space, set up two large moving boxes labeled “donate” and “throw away”.