If you’re like most homeowners, your garage probably serves as a catchall for everything that doesn’t fit or belong in your house. Yours may have camping gear, paint cans, patio furniture, bicycles and holiday decorations stuffed in every corner and shoved up against every wall. Although this makes the garage one of your most useful spaces, it also makes it one of the most disorganized. If you want to avoid searching for a garden tool or baseball mitt when you could be getting chores done or relaxing with your kids, you’ll need some effective garage optimization ideas. Here are five garage organization tips and tricks you can use to wrestle your space back into shape.
- First, remove everything — If you’re wondering how to organize a garage, the best place to start is with a clean slate. That means pulling everything onto your driveway and assessing how best to use the space you have. Adding shelves, pegboards and other organizers will be much easier without all that stuff in the way. This also is a good time to give away or toss anything you don’t really want or need.
- Have a plan — Sketching out a rough floor plan on graph paper can be one of the most helpful garage organization ideas you’ll use. It helps you visualize where everything will fit and — along with a tape measure — saves you the trouble of moving items around because you overestimated the space. Start by creating an inventory of all the things you’ll be storing.
- Group similar things together — Successful garage organization plans make your belongings easier to find when you need them. That’s difficult to do if your car-washing bucket is in the opposite corner from your wash mitt. The trick is to keep items you use for the same task — such as lawn care tools or sports equipment — in the same place.
- Organize by frequency of use — One of the most effective garage organization tips is to arrange your belongings by how often you use them. It wouldn’t make much sense to put your Christmas tree right next to the door, but that’s an ideal spot for your bikes or brooms. Seasonal items such as beach umbrellas or sleds should be stashed in harder-to-reach areas, because you’ll only need to access them on a seasonal basis.
- Add protection — Covering items with a tarp or sheet will keep dust and dirt off them while they’re in storage. This makes keeping them clean and accessible a lot easier. It’s also a good idea to have a garage door threshold seal installed to create a barrier against water, dirt and vermin. This can help ensure that your garage — and everything in it — remains in good condition for a long time to come.
Just because your garage contains a hodgepodge of belongings doesn’t mean it has to be a cluttered mess. Follow these pointers and you can have a space that’s organized as well as utilitarian.