For many people, the garage isn’t just where you keep your car, it’s also where you store items that may not have a home somewhere else. And while the garage can be a great storage area, most people don’t take the time to organize as they store. This is usually because items tend to build up slowly over time, rather than getting set in there all at once.
Eventually, though, it becomes difficult to really use the space effectively if you have belongings piled up everywhere around the space. Taking the time to organize what you have in there can help bring new life to the room as a whole.
If you’ve decided that the time has finally come to learn how to organize your garage, these tips can help you get the job done right, so you don’t need to do it again.
Have an Overarching Plan
Before you can start organizing, you need to have a plan. This should include the following:
- What use you want the garage to have beyond parking your car, if any
- What items you want stored in the garage and what items need to have another home
- The parts of the garage you want to use for storage
- The type of storage system that you want to use in the space – size, type, and style
- How you’re going to dispose of anything you aren’t keeping, this includes donations, junk, and general debris
By mapping all of this out ahead of time, you’ll know what your end game will be. You’ll also be able to purchase all the storage and organizational equipment you’ll need up front, and you can make arrangements for getting rid of the items you want to dispose of, whether that means contacting charities for donations, renting a dumpster, or simply hauling items to the transfer station.
Get Everything Out
Rather than attempting to organize as you go, if your garage is very cluttered, you may find that your best option is to get everything out of there. Park your car on the street if you can; you’ll need your driveway as a place to hold items while you decide what you’re doing with them.
Make sure that you have your disposal methods ready, as often you’ll start to uncover things right away that you’ll simply want to pitch and it can be easier to do so at this time.
Go Through It All
Once everything is out of the garage, and you’ve gotten rid of those really obvious items that were broken or otherwise in need of disposal, take the time to start sorting items. You’ll want to make several piles here. Donations and anything getting picked up by junk removal should go into separate piles. Trash and items you’re throwing away should be either tossed straight into a dumpster or into bags or boxes so you can remove them easily.
Everything else should be separated into categories of how you’ll eventually organize them inside. For example, you can put your sports equipment in one pile, hardware and tools in another, leftover tile and home improvement materials in a third. You aren’t organizing yet; you’re laying the groundwork for a smooth and easy organization once you start to bring things back inside. If everything is grouped and ready to be organized together, it makes it easier to do entire sections at once, rather than trying to do things haphazardly, running from one system to another.
Set Up Your System
Get whatever organizational and storage equipment you had ready and installed. This can include shelving, bins, peg boards, slat boards, lift and pulley systems, and cabinets – whatever will work for the things you’re storing and organizing.
Designate each section for one specific use. The idea of getting everything organized isn’t just about getting rid of the clutter; you want to know where everything is quickly and easily, so you can make better use of the items and of the space at once.
Start the Organization
This is the final step in your new garage, beyond the general cleanup. Working section by section and pile by pile, starting bringing items in and getting them set up in their new homes. Make sure that everything fits properly, is easily accessed if needed, and that you have room for future storage growth so that things don’t get out of control again.
By having a system and separate areas for specific items, you can easily add new items without losing your system. For example, if you purchase new skis, you can add them to the sports equipment section rather than just trying to find room anywhere they’ll fit.
Get Your Garage Organized
If you’ve decided that the time has come to finally organize your garage, use these tips to help get the process done right. While this can seem like a big job, once it’s done correctly it can be self sustaining, helping to keep you organized long term. Get started on your new garage today and see what you can do with the space you uncover.
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