Ready to turn your messy garage into a neat, useful space? We partnered with Tim Wells from Garage Transformed to create a simple guide to help declutter and organize your garage.
We’ll show you step by step:
- We’ll sort everything into piles: keep, donate, sell, or throw away.
- We’ll clean up and fix anything that’s broken.
- We’ll plan where everything should go, pick out strong shelves and hooks that last, and put everything in its place.
Ultimately, we’ll label everything so you can find what you need fast.
Let’s get started and make your garage a great part of your home!
Step 1: Sort & Categorize Items
Decluttering your garage is simpler when you start by sorting your items into four categories: keep, donate, sell, and trash. This process is critical to achieving an organized space.
Here’s how to decide what goes where:
- Keep: Items used regularly or seasonally, in good condition, such as tools, sports gear, and holiday decor.
- Donate: These are items in good condition you no longer need, like extra gardening tools or an outgrown bike.
- Sell: Valuable items you don’t need can be sold online or at garage sales. Make sure they’re in good condition to attract buyers.
- Trash: Dispose of broken, outdated, or irreparable items properly, especially hazardous materials.
When cleaning out your garage, start by thinking about what you really need and what you can let go of. If you haven’t used something in the last year, it’s time to get rid of it. Look at each item and decide if it’s broken or not worth fixing. If it is, it’s best to throw it away or recycle it. Also, consider how much space you have. If something doesn’t fit in your garage anymore, it might be time to part ways with it.
To get rid of stuff you don’t need, you have a few options. You can give things to charity shops or thrift stores, and they might even come and pick them up from your house. Selling things online or at a yard sale is a great way to make some extra money. Make sure the items are clean and look nice to attract buyers. Recycling is a good choice for old electronics, metals, and certain plastics that shouldn’t go in the trash. If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, or if it’s too big to handle, you can hire a junk removal service. They’ll come and take everything away for a fee.
Cleaning your garage can be simple. Just focus on what’s important to keep and be ready to let go of the rest.
Step 2: Clean & Repair Your Garage
After you sort and organize your stuff, the next thing to do is clean your garage and fix anything broken. This makes your garage look better and ensures it’s safe to keep things and do activities.
Cleaning Your Garage
- Sweep the Floor: Start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove dust, dirt, and spider webs. Clean the corners and under shelves where dirt likes to hide.
- Wipe the Walls: Clean the walls and any shelves or cabinets. If there are dirty spots, use water with a bit of soap to clean them. This step gets rid of dust, spider webs, and any marks.
- Clean Windows and Doors: Wash the windows and the windows on your garage door to bring in more light. This makes your garage look nicer and brighter.
Cleaning and fixing up your garage isn’t just about making it tidy. It’s about making it a better space for keeping your things and doing things safely. A clean and well-kept garage is more welcoming and easier to arrange, helping you get ready for whatever you want to do next in organizing your garage.
Step 3: Plan and Design Your Garage Layout
This step is all about figuring out the best way to set up your garage so it works for you.
- Measuring: First, measure how big your garage is—its length, width, and height. Remember to measure doors, windows, and anything that can’t be moved, like a water heater or fuse box.
- Drawing a Plan: Next, draw a simple plan of your garage using your measurements. You can draw it on paper or use an app. Make sure to include everything that’s already there and leave enough room for your car(s).
- Making Zones: Decide on different areas in your garage for other things, like one spot for car stuff, another for gardening tools, and another for sports gear. This helps keep your garage organized and makes it easier to find what you need.
- Using All Your Space: Put shelves on the walls and hang storage racks from the ceiling. This keeps your floor clear and makes it easier to use and move around in your garage.
- Thinking About Space: Make sure there’s enough room for your car(s) and to open garage doors without hitting anything. You should also be able to walk around your car without squeezing past things.
- Keeping Things Handy: Put things you use a lot where you can easily reach them. Things you don’t use often can go up higher or in harder-to-reach spots.
- Being Flexible: Use shelves and storage that you can adjust or move. This way, you can change your setup easily if you need to without starting over.
Planning your garage is more than just making it look nice; it’s about creating a space that’s easy to use and fits your needs. With some planning and organizing, your garage can be a neat and efficient part of your home.
Step 4: Selecting Garage Storage Systems
When picking out stuff for your garage, choose things that can stand up to changes in temperature and dampness. Items like steel shelves, tough plastic bins, and hooks that don’t rust are smart choices because they last a long time. Make sure your shelves and racks are strong enough to hold heavy things like tools and car parts. Lighter stuff can go on weaker shelves. It’s also vital to ensure you can quickly grab the things you use frequently. Put tools you use all the time on lower shelves or hooks where you can reach them easily. Things you only need occasionally, like holiday decorations, can go up high or in harder-to-reach spots. Go for shelves and storage that you can move around or change. This way, as what you need changes, your storage can too. This makes your storage more useful over time.
Consider these types of garage storage:
Shelves: Install shelving units along walls to store a variety of items. Ensure the most used items are placed at eye level or below for easy access.
Cabinets: Use cabinets for items that must be kept dust-free or out of sight. Lockable cabinets are great for storing hazardous materials or valuables.
Hooks and Racks: Ideal for hanging tools, sports equipment, and gardening supplies. Place them near the corresponding work or activity zone in your garage.
Bins and Containers: Perfect for grouping small items or seasonal decorations. Label each bin for quick identification and place them on shelves or in cabinets.
Pegboards or Slatwall: Pegboards are a versatile, customizable storage option. They’re perfect for small tools you want to access quickly. Garage slatwall systems are better for larger areas.
Step 5: Label & Organize Items
The last step to clean up and sort out your garage is to label everything and put items in order. This makes sure every item has its own spot, which helps keep your garage tidy and easy to use.
How to Make Things Tidy:
- Label Everything: Use strong labels, tags, or stickers to mark where everything goes, like on shelves, bins, and drawers. Choose labels that won’t get damaged by water or tears easily.
- Keep Like with Like: Put things that are alike together, such as all the tools in one spot and all the sports gear in another. This way, finding what you’re looking for is simpler and keeps similar items near each other.
- Easy Access for Often-Used Items: Make sure things you use frequently are within easy reach. Keep these items at eye level or lower so you don’t have to stretch or stoop down. Put things you don’t use much higher up or in spots that are harder to get to.
With these steps, your garage will be well-organized and efficient. It’ll be easier and quicker to find and put away things, making your garage a more useful part of your house and keeping it free from clutter.
Decluttering and organizing your garage doesn’t have to be complicated.
But if you still feel overwhelmed, our expert declutterers and organizers are here to help. Whether you want to declutter one room or multiple rooms, A Tidy Mind can help you create a more organized home.