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Garages can fall to the bottom of the list as far as organizing priorities. Because, let’s face it – organizing garages can be dirty, hot, unglamorous work. But, the reward is worth it! It would be great to be able to park a vehicle in the garage, eh…? Organizing your garage is a really helpful thing to get done before cold weather hits, too. Here are some ideas on how to get that garage in tip top shape.
1. Take everything out.
The process of organizing a garage is no different than it is for any other area of the home. Taking everything out is the first step. It lets you see what you have and allows you to entertain some fresh thinking about the space you have and what belongs where. During this step, the state of the garage will get worse before it gets better, but hang in there. There will soon be order to all those piles.
Garages are notorious for being the catch-all dumping ground. If you don’t want something inside, but aren’t ready to decide where it belongs or if you need/want it, where does it go? The garage! So, spend some good time here getting rid of what you no longer need. If your kids are too old for ride on toys, you can donate them! Broken hose nozzles, unused lumber, tires, outgrown sports equipment, flower pots, and duplicate tools can all be sold, donated or tossed.
3. Create zones.
Like goes with like. What are the categories of like items that you’d like to store in your garage? Some common ones include yard, pest control, auto, and sports equipment.
Here’s an example of a cabinet that contains zones for auto, yard, pests, general cleaning, and misc. (Labels were later added). Containers would be another option for keeping these categories separated.
4. Use track systems.
We did this a couple years ago and I wish we did it sooner! We have two tracks in a row that accommodate two baskets. It’s enough for all the basketballs, volleyballs, and other random sports equipment. It’s hung low enough that everyone can reach it, which is perfect for enabling everyone in the family to participate in keeping the space picked up and maintained.
5. Get things off the floor.
Luckily, garages often have ample wall space to hang racks such as the below. They’re perfect for getting things like rakes and shovels off the floor. Lowe’s, Home Depot and Amazon are all good resources for finding hanging units. Many systems are quite flexible and can even accommodate things like chair and strollers.
Another staple garage item is a sturdy clear Rubbermaid (or similar) tote with lid in a large 56 or 66 qt. size. You can pick these up at Meijer or Target. Make sure you use the lid to allow stacking of bins and keep things dust free.
Sturdy shelving is another great basic that helps to get thigns off the floor. There are plenty of options. Here’s one from Amazon.