- Plan and Execute
- Sort and Decluttering
- Setup Zones
- Choose the Right Storage
- Label and group
- Vertical Space
- Overhead Space
- Add Cabinets
- A Professional Solution
First, Create a Plan of Action
Organizing the garage is a sizable job, so it’s helpful to make a plan for getting started. Your first steps should include the following: Set aside an entire weekend for the project, but you may need more time than this.
Determine the tools, storage containers, modular cupboards, or shelving you want to incorporate into your organizing solution. If you need to reserve space for vehicles or sports equipment, figure out where that will be during this planning phase.
Sort and Declutter
Organizing a garage involves a lot of sorting and decluttering. Garages are typically filled with sports equipment, bikes, cars, household supplies, holiday items, tools, and more. A well-organized garage will have a place for everything and everything in its place. Accomplishing this isn’t easy unless you have the correct storage shelving and cabinetry. Another way to achieve sustainable garage organization is with the help of a company that offers professional storage solutions. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll still need to do the following to get prepared for organizing your items:
- Empty out the entire garage. This means everything!
- Throw out broken, outdated, seldom used, and useless items.
- Create three piles: One with items to keep, another with items to sell, and a third with items to donate.
Once you have all the items out of your garage, take an assessment of what you have and what you really need to keep. This is the time to purge any unwanted or seldom- used items — like that bike the kids have outgrown. Donating items to a charity or someone who can use them will clear space and make you feel great in the process. Another way to purge unwanted items is to host a garage sale. You can put the money you make towards the purchase of storage solutions.
When learning how to organize a garage, you’ll quickly realize the importance of designated zones for each category of items. One of the best tips for garage organization is to assess the space and think carefully about where you want to store specific items. For example, perhaps bins of camping equipment are stored together on a top shelf, with surfboards, boogie boards, and other recreational equipment. Organizing items in sections based on usage can help you find and store things easier in the future. Bikes can be hung on the wall or stored in a space on the ground level. If you have the tools and knowledge, you could build ceiling racks to hold seasonal decorations or other items you want to keep but do not need to access frequently. Automotive supplies, gardening and household tools, luggage, and paint are other categories that might each have their own section. When it comes to organizing, think about how, and how often you use specific items. Items that are used frequently should be kept within easy reach, while less frequently used items can be stored higher up.
Get the Right Storage Solutions
Use sturdy, stackable plastic containers to store your items. If possible try using clear containers and bins so that you can easily see what’s inside. Sometimes labels can’t tell the whole story of a storage bin’s contents. However, there may be a situation where a clear bin, which is not as sturdy, is not the best option for your items. Another simple garage storage plan for tools involves using pegboards to hold them above a workbench. Another wall storage idea is to build slat walls for heavy-duty items, but this requires specific tools and some DIY skills to build. The slat wall allows for a track system to get things such as leaf blowers, ladders, and baby strollers off the floor. Avoid using cardboard boxes to store items, as they can attract insects and other pests that damage the contents and lead to other problems.
Label, Label, Label
Labeling bins, especially ones that are not clear, before you organize and store them is a good way to ensure similar items and those that are used most often get stored together. While a label maker offers color and font options that will make your labels look neater and more uniform, handwritten labels work just as well. Of course, if you have a label maker and want to take advantage, label items from the same category the same color for quicker identification. The important thing here is, make sure you label items before you organize and store them to avoid searching through countless bins later.
Make Use of Vertical Space
Creating a garage layout that takes advantage of vertical space to free up your garage floor is critical to helping you store and organize your items more efficiently. Garage cabinets are a great way to make use of vertical space to hide things such as paint cans and cleaning supplies behind closed doors.
Hanging tools on pegboards, as previously mentioned, is a perfect example of utilizing vertical storage.
Vertical shelving units mounted on a wall are great for holding storage containers and other items. However, installing vertical shelving properly requires some knowledge and DIY expertise. Making sure the shelves are securely fashioned to support the weight is very important to a successful installation. If you plan to DIY this project, make sure that the containers you want to use on the shelves are not too large or heavy for the shelves you are storing them on. If you don’t feel comfortable installing shelves yourself, consider using storage solutions offered by ShelfGenie. A designer will access your space in person or arrange a virtual visit to generate a 3D rendering of your custom storage solution in real time.
Use Overhead Space Wisely
Make use of the overhead space in the garage by having overhead storage systems such as racks or shelves professionally installed. These systems are best used for items you don’t regularly access or things that take up too much space on the floor, such as seasonal decorations, bicycles, fishing equipment, and camping gear. Some racks are flexible and can be adjusted to suit your needs.
Using professional installation in favor of DIY overhead storage installation is advisable for several reasons. First of all, there are inherent safety risks associated with working at heights and using heavy tools. Without proper training, there is an increased risk of accidents. Additionally, a lack of expertise in overhead installation can lead to improper installation and storage system failure. A professional storage solution service will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing the job was done right.
Add Storage Cabinets
Storage cabinets, whether they are built-in or freestanding units, are great for keeping ice chests, boxes, and other items off the garage floor where the dirt and cobwebs collect. There are many options when it comes to garage storage cabinets, including powder-coated, matte, wood-grain, and metallic varieties. If you are embarking on a DIY cabinet installation project, accurate measurements and installation are essential to avoid cabinets that are poorly aligned, have visible gaps, uneven surfaces, or crooked drawers and doors. In addition, some cabinet manufacturers offer warranties that become void if the cabinets are not installed by a professional.
When you opt for a professional storage solution, a designer will be sure to utilize your entire space to full capacity. Even hard-to-reach corner spaces will be used to their full capacity. Need built-in shelving up high? Let the professionals install cabinets in those spaces to avoid the risk of injury or improper installation.
Maintain and Organize Regularly
Organizing the garage is not a one-and-done task. Make it a habit to regularly go through the items and piles that collect in your garage over time. When possible, put them in clear, labeled containers and store them where they belong. You might want to schedule monthly, bi-yearly, or yearly cleanups as well. This will ensure that garage organization remains part of your home maintenance plan.
Seasonal cleaning is also a good option for organizing a messy garage. This allows you to put away items you won’t be using for a while at the end of every season. At the same time, you can retrieve items you’ll need for the new season. For instance, when summer grows near, you may want to bring your beach chairs and snorkeling equipment to the forefront of the garage. As fall approaches, a deep clean of the floors and surfaces may be necessary to wipe away the remnants of a busy summer in and out of the garage. And then you can bring out your fall items! This process will also help with purging or donating items you don’t use often or no longer want or need.
A Professional Solution
From a lawn mower and lawn chairs to seasonal decorations and recreation equipment, your garage is an extension of your home that stores many of your life’s possessions. Dealing with a garage that is messy and unorganized can be annoying and frustrating, especially when you can’t find what you need when you need it.Instead of struggling with decluttering and installing DIY cabinets and shelving yourself, consider the professional storage solutions offered by the experts at ShelfGenie. Our customizable storage solutions can help you get and stay organized. Once your garage is organized, we can help design custom storage solutions for the rest of your home too!
ShelfGenie’s standard and custom solutions make getting and staying organized easy. To learn more, schedule a free, no-obligation design consultation today!