Organizing your garage
If you are just starting with us, start back at the beginning with our 40 days to an Organized Home.
Today we are going to talk about Organizing your garage. If you have kids, your garage probably looks like ours… a nice day comes along and they are playing outside. First come the bikes, then scooters, roller skates, basketballs, tennis rackets, football… you see where I am going with this. Before you know it, it is time to come inside for dinner and you have a complete mess on your hands! Add in “playing in the snow” and it is just as bad (sleds, boots, winter snow clothes…).
This can be a tedious task. The worst part is that once you “organize” it just takes a few days to get ‘unorganized’ again- but you can change that by having set places for everything. Instead of just “cleaning” it, you need to “organize it.”
Before you begin, you need to think about your garage. Make a game-plan. Do you have set spaces for things or is everything just wherever it fits, without any rhyme or reason. What do you want for your garage? Storage? A place for your car? A work-shop? In our house, it functions as all of these things. Once you have decided what you want to do with your space, its time to plan it out and get working.
A clean garage looks like this: piles of things, the middle area cleared, stuff pushed to corners & walls.
An organized garage looks like this: A place for everything, surfaces clear, wall space being utilized.
We are doing this in three-days because I want you to break your garage into three zones: (Wall one, Wall two, Wall three). The open garage door doesn’t count, so we just have to worry about three. Each day follow these steps with one of the zones. You will have an organized garage in three days! Think about how great it will look and feel when you walk out there!
1. Step one in your zone of the day: Make three piles (like we did when we organized our kitchen cabinets)
Keep, donate, trash (you could have a SELL pile, too)
This step might take you a while, so I would get your family involved. I like to have our kids helping me with projects like this because they think that it is FUN!
Step 2. – lets organize your piles. Take your trash pile and either put it into the garbage can (if it will fit) or put it in your car to take to the dump the NEXT TIME THAT YOU ARE OUT (don’t let this just sit around!)
Put your donate pile into your trunk to take to a charity or call a local charity to pick it up (Inspire Outreach picks up my donations).
Now you are left with one MUCH SMALLER pile- lets organize it.
If this pile has like items, great! If it doesn’t plan what you are going to put into this zone. (If you have a ton of the same things in every zone, you may need to do this on a nice day where you can take everything out of the garage & start with a completely clean slate. Whichever way you decide is the right choice for you. After you make the decision: Move onto the next step:)
Step 3: Now that you know what you want to keep, you can get what you need.
I would buy peg-board to put up on your walls. (and hooks). My husband utilizes the wall space in our garage by using peg board.
It is cheap and very easy to install. You need to frame it out & then hang the peg board on the frame- this should only take 45 minutes, according to my husband. This gives you a lot more space! You can easily hang up most of your items. We hang up strollers, extension cords, bikes, chairs, umbrellas, ladders…
We hang a net that holds the kid’s sport equipment. You could use a bin for this, too, but it is hard to see what you have in there and hard to get things out.
Use garbage cans or tall containers to hold your outdoor equipment (rakes, brooms, shovels, gardening tools).
Step 4: Utilize ceiling space, too! We have a hanging garage loft that we use in our home (contact me for their information). It holds SO MUCH STUFF, but mostly things that need to be stored (baby equipment when we aren’t using it. Car parts for the car that my husband and Dad are building…) This one is not ours, but it looks just like this. It maximizes your space. Even if you don’t have a loft, remember that you can still hang hooks from the ceiling for things.
You can add smaller shelves or pre-made shelves with baskets and bins anywhere in your garage. We filled our shelves with large rubbermaid containers. They were not stacked on each other, so they were easy to pull out and grab what you need from them.
Step 7: Cabinet for hazardous materials. We have another cabinet that is used to store paint and all other chemicals (cleaner). It can be locked to keep the kids OUT!
Step 8: Make a workbench or work area- When we replaced our kitchen countertops, my husband took the old ones and turned it into a work bench. It was great. In our new house, he just made one from wood, complete with shelves on the bottom. It works for him as a storage spot and a work area. He uses old coffee cans and labels them using tape and a permanent marker… “SCREWS”, “BOLTS”, “Washers”… (a tip that he learned from my Grandpap). You can also use these to hold screwdrivers if you don’t have a tool chest.
Step 9: Put things away where you want them, but be sure that you have labeled them (remember- just some tape & a permanent marker will do- this is what I do in our house)! This will keep things organized. Label everything: charger cords, bins (I label the top and all sides because then I don’t have to worry about how I am putting it back.
That’s it. This is a hard task, but worth it to have a de-cluttered garage! We try to do this once a year in our garage, sometimes twice a year (de-cluttering, that is).
See day 11: Organizing Kids art supplies
Find some more organizational tools here