One of the most hated jobs in many homes is the annual cleaning out of the garage. Figuring out what to keep, what to toss, and what to do with the rest of that stuff is a headache, hassle, and frustration. Because most garages are large, empty spaces, many people are unsure of the best way to organize the clutter that tends to collect there.
However, your garage is prime real estate. It is a great place for storage, but if there is no storage system, the garage usually becomes a jumbled mess. Needed items are sometimes almost impossible to find, leading to irritation and wasted time. Use these tips to get your garage organized once and for all.
1. Clear the Floor
The garage floor is a massive space, perfect for sorting and organizing. However, until it’s completely clear, you won’t be able to use it effectively. Move everything out from the walls and get started with the floor. Be ruthless as you decide what can stay and what needs to go. If you haven’t used it in a year, donate it to charity or give it to someone who will use it.
2. Custom Storage Options
Once you know what you have in the garage, you can decide what kind of storage unit you need to keep things organized. Going vertical is the best way to store your stuff in the garage. For this, you’ll need shelving or custom cabinetry. Hiring a professional for this step will give your garage an upscale appearance and ensure years of use.
3. Clear Bins
Anything that can’t be hung on the walls should be stored in clear bins. Clear bins allow family members to know exactly what belongs where. Not only will finding things be much easier, but putting things away will be simplified as well. No member of the family will have the excuse, “I didn’t know where it was supposed to go!” Try to use the same brand of container in different sizes so that your bins will stack properly.
For labeling, a label maker lends a finished, professional appearance to bins in the garage. However, blue painter’s tape and a Sharpie is just as effective for those who aren’t as concerned with aesthetics.
When boxing up items, try to think of the way that your things are used. For instance, instead of putting all of the soccer cleats in one box and all of the soccer uniforms in another, you may want to put each child’s soccer stuff in a box together. That way, retrieving items and putting them away will be much simpler and more efficient.
6. Leave Room to Grow
Most people, especially those with families, will continue to collect items in the garage. Create an organizational plan that can easily be tweaked in the future as your storage needs change.
By implementing an organizational plan for your garage, you will make better use of this space in your home and your garage will work for you rather than against you.