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June 07, 2018

Garage Organization in 4 Simple Steps

Now that you’ve cleared out your garage (and other storage areas) with your spring yard sale, you’re ready to tidy up those coveted storage areas in preparation for a busy summer.

Identify Your Belongings

Use your driveway as a staging area to sort the items found in your garage. As you’re sorting, try to group similar items together. I always get a good laugh out of the number of brooms and bug spray come wandering out of corners and shelves. Are there any more items that you can donate or discard? Think wisely about the duplicate tools, coolers, gross yard shoes, and rags. When was the last time you used each of them? Isn’t your space more valuable than your collection of unused duplicates? I thought so! Offer those extras to your neighbor!

Keep it Simple

It’s easier to find (and return) items when you don’t have many places to look. Creating a handful of broad categories will help you to narrow down your search.

Classic garage categories and subcategories include:

  • Home Care
    • Painting + Wall Repair
    • Hand Tools
    • Cleaning + Paper Products
  • Car Care
    • Tire Repair
    • Oil
    • Car Wash Supplies
  • Yard Care
    • Rakes + Shovels
    • Gardening Gloves
    • Potting Soil + Grass Seed
    • Hoses
  • Outdoor Entertaining
    • Camping Chairs
    • Roasting Sticks
    • Citronella Candles
  • Toys + Sports Equipment
    • Bikes
    • Rackets
    • Bats + Balls
  • Pool Gear
    • Noodles
    • Puddle Jumpers
    • Sunscreen
    • Water Guns

Go ahead and start shifting your piles around on the driveway. This will give you a sense of just how much space you’ll need for each broad category.

Assign Zones

Next, it’s time to think about how those categories are used so that we can assign the best zone for them in the garage. Yard tools and outdoor gear are best kept near the garage door. Painting supplies can be kept in the back on a far wall because they’re used less frequently. Take a moment to review your broad categories and determine which need to go towards the garage door, which need to be close by the entrance to the home for quick access, and which categories can be tucked up high. Our pool gear hangs out on a top shelf during the winter but switches places with winter gear as the temperatures rise.

Invest in the Right Tools

Make the most of your storage space by going vertical. Install shelving, peg board, and large hooks to accommodate your storage needs. Clear, sturdy bins are a favorite of mine because you can quickly see what’s inside. Don’t forget to designate a home for your ladders, which I prefer to hang horizontally as to not shorten the length of shelving above. Ceiling mounted shelves are also a great storage solution if you need to get your seasonal items off the ground. These are difficult to access, so make sure the items you place up there regularly used. Bikes are my least favorite to store because, let’s face it, kids need to be able to grab and go. While we hang our adult bikes, the kids’ bikes line the wall.

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