Garage clutter is something that every homeowner is pretty much guaranteed to experience at least once. Because the garage is typically the last stop for items on their way out the house, they simply get stuck.
It doesn’t always happen at once either. A cluttered garage happens over time until suddenly you can’t park your car in the garage anymore! These five tips make clearing out garage clutter a breeze.
#1 – Take Everything Out
I mean it, take everything out of your garage! This will give you a clean slate on which to build your perfect garage storage plan. It may seem like a pain, but taking everything out of your garage allows you to sweep out your garage and get rid of any pests (mice, spiders, ants, etc.) that may have found their way into the space.
#2 – Create Three Piles
Before you put everything back in your garage, it’s important to sort through your things. You don’t want to put items back in your garage that you don’t actually use or need.
Create three piles for your items; keep, donate, and toss. Only put back the items that are in your “keep” pile to ensure that you’re not putting clutter back in your garage. Ask yourself a series of questions and answer them honestly:
- Have I used this item in the last year? If you haven’t, it’s probably a good idea to donate the item or throw it away if it’s not in good condition.
- Is this item broken beyond repair? Throw it out if the answer is yes.
- Could someone else use this? If you can think of someone specifically, give them first dibs on the item.
- Is it no longer usable? That wall of old, half-empty paint cans from the 90’s probably won’t do you much good. Correctly dispose of them.
- Do I have more than one of this item? Say you have four dog beds in your garage but your pet only likes one, donate or toss the other three.
#3 – Group “Like” Items Together
This trick is sometimes referred to as a “Zoning System” in the garage. It’s far easier to find what you’re looking for when items are grouped together. When you have all of your gardening supplies in the same area of your garage, you don’t have to go searching for your gloves. In the end, grouping your items together will save you time and frustration.
#4 – Go Vertical
If you think about your garage clutter, what do you see in your mind? A bunch of stuff piled on your garage floor. Boxes, toys, bins, and other items stored on your garage floor.
Getting everything off the floor with vertical storage helps maximize available storage space. When you get your items off the floor, they are more protected from pests and the elements. There are many different ways to create vertical storage in your garage. You can invest in shelving, make your own shelves, install overhead storage racks, or use hooks in the walls.
If you do a lot of work in your garage, installing a retractable air hose reel and/or extension cord reel on the ceiling is an excellent way to keep those tripping hazards off the floor and within easy reach.
#5 – Add a Statement to be Proud of
Whether it’s brand new flooring tiles or cabinets, a fresh coat of concrete sealer or epoxy coating on your garage floor, give your garage something that you can take pride in. Having something in your garage that makes your neighbors jealous gives you motivation to maintain the area. I’ve always found that it’s easier to keep a space organized and tidy when there is an element in the room that deserves to be in an organized space.
An organized garage will help you save time and money in the long run. You won’t be spending your time searching for items or money on things you already have in the garage. Although it may seem a little intimidating, organizing your garage will be one of the best decisions you make all month!
- 12 Steps to an Organized Garage
- 9 Ways to Save Space in a Crowded Garage
- The Next Generation of Garage Floor Coatings