There are two kinds of garage owners in the world. Those who have a pristine, well-organised garage with an allocated place for each item and everything is always in its place. And then, there are those of us who only dream of that level of order.
But keeping your garage clean and organised isn’t as difficult as you think. All it takes is a little discipline and a few resources like tie down straps to help with organisation, and you’re good to go!
Turning Your Hot Mess into the Garage of Your Dreams
For some people, a garage is simply a place to store their vehicle. Others use the garage as a space to store excess “stuff” from the house—a makeshift storage unit of sorts.
Add some gardening equipment, a bunch of tools and you have the recipe for a hot mess. If this sounds like your garage, then this article is for you! Read on as we share easy organisational tips to whip your garage into shape.
The number one rule for effective organisation is: clear the clutter. There’s no point in moving junk or old stuff from one corner to another. It will be easier to start creating storage when the excess clutter is out.
Here are a few decluttering tips:
- If you haven’t used it in a year, you most likely don’t need it
- Sort the sentimental stuff from the rest and place it in keepsake container
- Create a donation box for old clothes, toys, tools and housewares
- Give each family member only one container to store items, to limit the amount of clutter that accumulates
2. Like by Like
Once the clutter is out, it’s time to start dividing the remaining items into groups. You can create piles for categories such as garden tools, kids’ toys, work tools and nuts and bolts.
Do this outside the garage, as you’ll need to give the space a good clean before packing each item in its new place. Grouping similar items will make it easy to find what you need when you need it.
3. The Big Clean Up
At this point, your hot mess should be out of the garage and all over the backyard or driveway. Give the garage a good cleaning and if you’re up for it, paint as well.
Now it’s time to assess the size of your different piles of ‘things’. This will determine the size of the boxes or shelves you’ll need.
4. Create Designated Areas
Creating zones or designated areas makes it easier to keep your garage space organised. It also eliminates frustration when you’re looking for a specific tool!
A few handy tips:
- Hang a peg board close to your workbench and hang relevant tools to make them easier to see and find.
- Place shelves in the back of the garage to store labelled plastic containers of household items.
- Build a simple square box out of wood to place garden tools such as rakes, brooms, shovels and pitchforks in.
- Labels are your friend. While you may know exactly where everything is now, having containers labelled will eliminate the guesswork a year from now. Also, no one has an excuse for creating a mess when they add new items or look for something.
- Opt for plastic containers rather than boxes. That way your items are less likely to get wet or damaged by insects.
5. Use Your Space Effectively
Some garages have rafters, making it easy to create hanging storage space. For those that don’t, it’s time to get creative. Using your wall space will free up a lot of floor space, making the garage less cluttered.
You can also use a tow strap or two to hang heavier shelves from the roof. These makeshift shelves can even be old steel bed frames on which you can place containers of items you don’t use that often.
6. Repack Your Garage
After you’ve sorted your tools and storage items into suitable containers and created shelving, it’s time to repack. Ideally, you want the whole family involved here. That way, everyone knows where everything is.
Pack items that are used the most in an easy-to-see and reachable space. Other items can be placed on the higher shelves. Depending on the layout, you can turn one half into storage and the other into your work area.
Have a regular garage clear-out day, where you sort through the items you’ve placed into the storage section. Set your family a goal of finding 20 (or even 50, if you have a larger storage section) items to donate to charity. Doing that will prevent excess clutter from building up over the months and years.
Having an organised garage is all about decluttering and having effective storage. You can use the shelving or cupboards you already have, or you can opt for a professional organising system. Now, next time you need a hammer, you’ll know exactly where to find it.