How to De-clutter and Organize Your Garage

Did you know only 30 percent of homeowners store their car in the garage? A garage is a popular place to throw things you plan to deal with later, as a result, it quickly becomes a clutter collector. An organized garage can save you a lot of frustration and wasted time when you go looking for that specific tool or toy. As summer starts to cool down, it’s the perfect time to open your garage door, let the sun shine in, and start organizing.

Start by decluttering. Chances are, there’s a ton of stuff that you don’t use. Make piles of what you want to keep, donate, sell, and throw away. Sports equipment that you haven’t used for years and worn out tools can go! As you clean, organize the things you want to keep into categories such as sports equipment, tools, car supplies, etc.

Many of the most common items stored in garages should really be stored elsewhere. Move paint and extra refrigerators and freezers to the basement. Extreme temperatures will make paint unusable and you’ll save a lot of money on your energy bills if you keep refrigerators in a cooler space. Put paper products and pet food in your kitchen as they can attract unwanted pests.

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After decluttering, start organizing. Before making a permanent home for any of your equipment or tools, make a plan to decide the most practical location for each item. Keep the things you use most often in convenient locations such as next to doors.  Other items such as seasonal tools, can be placed in out-of-reach locations such as corners and behind doors.

Keep previously made categories such as gardening tools, auto chemicals, and tools together using shelves, cabinets, drawers, and hooks. Take advantage of every inch of the walls and ceiling to keep everything you can off the floor. Install pegboards or nails to hang sports equipment and camping chairs, and shelves and drawers for car and gardening supplies. Cabinets with doors are a great way to hide clutter, but keep in mind that you’ll need space to open the doors, so plan accordingly. Invest in ceiling hooks and overhead storage racks for large items such as bicycles and picnic tables.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

The last step is to label your shelves and drawers to keep your garage organized. This is especially helpful for toy bins. Keep balls, water games, sand toys, etc., in their own bin to prevent frustration when the kids go out to play and to help them remember where to put each toy when they’re done playing.

Happy Organizing!