Tips on Organising Your Garage
Intentional or not, your garage often becomes the dumping ground for, well, everything. The problem: There are so many homes, and garden essentials — tools, lawn equipment, outdoor toys, and so on — that need to find a home and really, your garage is the most practical place. To make your space as functional and clutter-free as possible, incorporate these garage storage ideas to reclaim prime real estate (or a little extra square-footage, at the very least).
Even if it’s not realistic to completely overhaul your space, these DIY ideas take the inch-by-inch approach and focus on common problem areas in most garages like workspaces and garden stations. So, give these space-saving organisation tips a try, ranging from pegboard organisers to vertical bike racks, to make room for what really matters: your cars.
The garage is where we toss everything that doesn’t have a place in the house. If you find yourself using your garage as a receptacle, it’s likely that you haven’t resolved all your organising challenges within the home-and that your garage needs a serious overhaul. Reclaim your garage and restore order with this organisational to-do list.
Set Time Aside
If you can give your garage a full day of your attention, you’ll find the work goes by quickly, especially when you’ve got a plan in place. Pull out everything that’s in the way and create zones for items that can be trashed or recycled, that can be donated, or that need to be organised and put back into space.
One of the biggest things that you should have in mind way before you even think to clean the mess in the garage is an appropriate time. Yes, it will need a day or even two to make that a place that breathes. For clearing up the clutter in the garage, you should schedule a proper time to make it a clean and better place to store your car. So, plan well and keep all other tasks aside to ensure that your garage is well organised. This is perhaps the best way to organise garage- give it all your time, and it will nourish for many coming years.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
This may seem easier said than done but you seriously have to mentally prepare yourself when you are facing a big organising project. It’s easy to take a look at a room like this and just shut the door and walk away, but if you prepare yourself before you get overwhelmed, it will help! Remember this is a process and takes time to sort, purge and organise. It may take a day, it may take a few days, but it’s doable. Commit to organising space, make a plan and execute.
Click here to check out garage storage ideas
Have a Vision and Make a Plan
This small garage did not start off this way! You just saw the before photos. But in my head, this is what I had in mind for what I wanted the garage to look like. It’s important to have a vision for your space before you even start the organising process. Then create a plan. Figure out what you need to purchase for your project, what steps you need to complete and then create a timeline for completing your project and try your best to stick with it. I used my project planner in order to plan out each project in my home. You can get your free project planner here and start planning your next project.
The first question is where to put everything. A garage provides more wall space than floor space, so it’s an easy task to assign and arrange that space systematically. The ceiling is also a valuable resource for storage space. With the insertion of a few well-placed hooks, the ceiling can hold bicycles, ladders, and luggage out of the way. A storage shelf installed from the ceiling is great for items that are used infrequently or seasonally, such as camping gear, outdoor Christmas decorations or lights, or window screens and storm doors.
Built-in shelves provide plenty of space for paint cans, spray bottles, mulch, buckets, automotive supplies, flower pots, and boxes and bags of all descriptions. Make sure you arrange them on the shelves by category, putting like items together. It’s helpful to confine smaller items in a system of drawers attached to the shelves or in boxes and bins that sit on the shelves. Both drawers and bins or boxes should have attached identification labels.
Why many people fail to sort their garage is that they don’t plan well. One can’t just go and start sorting things. It needs proper planning, driving tips to park your car the right way, and to make things happen easily. Not having the right storage items by your side or just starting without any plan can leave you frustrated. Isn’t it better to plan everything before you put yourself in that big task? Gear yourself up with things like trash bags and cans, big storage boxes, cleaning supplies, and even containers of different sizes to store a variety of things.
Categorise the items in your garage
Typical categories include recycling, sports and recreational equipment, camping gear, automotive, seasonal decor, garden gear and tools. Evaluate things like luggage and paint and see whether you can store them elsewhere. Tip: It’s much easier to tackle a garage after you’ve organised the rest of the house. Once you determine the purpose of your interior storage, many garage items can be relocated.
Sort all items into three piles: keep, donate or sell, and toss. Lay them on dedicated tarps or mark off areas of your driveway with chalk and place them there. What should get the boot: outgrown toys, items that are broken beyond repair, expired household chemicals (which may need special disposal), and anything you haven’t used in two years or more. If you have a hard time letting go of things that have sentimental value, snap pictures as keepsakes.
Sort the keepers into broad categories (for example, sports equipment, hand tools), and place them in well-marked cardboard boxes or, better yet, stackable clear-plastic bins you can use later. Put the keepers back in the garage for now.
As soon as possible, donate giveaways and schedule a yard sale to get rid of castoffs. If you’ve got too much trash for your haulier to take, use a service such as Bagster (thebagster.com); simply buy the bag at a home store, pack it, and contact the company to schedule pickup and disposal (fees vary).
Group similar items like paint brushes, trays, and rollers together for quick-finding on a freestanding shelf.
Group similar items together. Now that you’ve cleared some of the clutter, it’s time to group like items together. This will make finding things a lot easier than rummaging through a seemingly endless line-up of boxes every time you’re looking for a hammer.
If you have a lot of different size screws or nails, try putting them into an organiser with compartments – they come in all different shapes and sizes – it will make finding the right size screw so much easier.
Isn’t it easy to reach things when you have stored it categorically? Well, it is! Categorise every item in your garage and forget the stress of finding things again in that mess. The possible category of stuff that you would find in the garage is camping gear, garden equipment, recycling things, sports tools, and some other stuff to fix up your car when needed. Store everything according to the category, and you will never have to spend hours and hours finding anything there.
Group the garage’s contents
Once you know the categories of the items that will live in your garage, begin grouping them into the categories in the driveway or the centre of the garage. A few cardboard boxes will help you to the group, because everything from huge paint cans to nuts and bolts will eventually need to be contained. Be sure to label the boxes. Tip: Don’t buy containers, bins, baskets and boxes to organise your items just yet. A big mistake is buying containers now and later discovering you don’t have the correct sizes or sturdiness.
Determine the best garage layout
Decide where you want each type of item to live, considering its frequency of use and the available space. For instance, recycling should live near the entrance to the home, and tools should live near the workbench. Tip: Think about “valuable real estate” when considering available space. Parking space and shelves at eye level or within reach are “valuable real estate.” Less valuable real estate would be very high or low shelves and should be reserved for less frequently used items.
Most manufacturers of garage-organising systems offer free space planning, so use their services as you research how to store all your gear. Before buying anything, take down your garage’s dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches, and receptacles, as well as how much space your car takes up
Start Small. Go Big.
Working in your dedicated category zones, gather like-minded supplies together so that you can focus on more detailed organisation. If you have a lot to sort through, it can feel overwhelming at first to tackle organisation from one giant pile, so grouped items can help you focus on one category at a time. With similar items together, it can help you better address what should stay in the garage and what should go.
Once you’ve grouped all like things, look at how much there is of each item. Does lawn care need more space? Many tools can be hung up. Dangerous tools should be out of reach of small children, but not too high that they could fall on someone’s head.
Trash or donate items that don’t fit the categories.
Sometimes, random parts or items are discovered in the garage, and you don’t know what to do with them. If you want to keep them, assign them to the most similar category or put them in a visible place, so you remember that you have them. Otherwise, start your donation and trash piles now.
Invest in Shelving
Every available inch of wall in my garage has shelves, which maximises my space. I’m a big fan of Gorilla Racks, because they’re relatively affordable, easy to assemble, stable, and hold a ton of weight. I’m not afraid to load them down with coolers, car camping stoves, and other bulky items. If you’re on a budget, check out these affordable plastic shelves that snap together in five minutes and are great for lightweight bins.
Lawn Equipment on Display
Rather than leaning your lawn tools against the wall, place shovels, rakes, pruning shears, and another garden go-to’s on a pegboard panel. That way you’ll have a permanent reminder to finally do the yard work you’ve been putting off.
Use a horizontal hook rack to avoid leaving your large gardening tools in a messy pile.
Transform an empty corner into a catchall for all of your gardening essentials. Add a small workbench to give you a space to pot indoor and outdoor plants, so you don’t make a mess indoors.
Carve out a space for gardening needs. Select a spot that’s close to the outdoors — so you don’t track soil through the whole garage — and close to a water source. Large units have plenty of room for planters, vases, and indoor gardening supplies as well.
The garage often serves as the storage area for gardening equipment. You’ll need a place for repotting, sprouting, fertilising, and seeding blossoms and greenery as well as ample storage space for potting soil, pots, sprinkling cans, and the like. An inexpensive combination of crates and bins can be used to build a tidy area that demands little floor space. Of course, little gardening actually goes on in the garage. But the hoes, rakes, spades, shovels, and water hose can be stored there for convenience. A rack or tool strip on the garage wall can accommodate this equipment. Individual hooks in any configuration can also be used if you don’t want to limit yourself to a straight-line arrangement.
Let your home’s farmhouse interior flow into the garage by designing a workspace that combines function and style. Along with wire bins, metal racks, and shelving units, attach magnetic strips to the wall to hang screwdrivers, pliers, and paintbrushes.
Use Your Vertical Space / Vertical Bin Storage
For an organisation system that’s just as eye-catching as it is functional, nail wire shelves to a blank wall and fill with labelled bins. Just make sure you put the most-used items in the lower rows for easy reach. Think vertically when looking to give your garage storage items a home. Pegboards, cabinets, and overhead storage are all options for getting important storage and tools off the ground.
The ceiling in your garage is valuable square footage. I’m currently in the process of getting a Racor PHL-1R Ceiling Storage Lift, which will store my rooftop tent. If you have a pitched or otherwise high ceiling, you might also consider it for hanging bikes, surfboards, kayaks, and other bulky items that are hard to store on a wall or the floor.
DIY Pegboard Storage Wall
One pegboard panel, so many possibilities: Once installed and painted in the colour of your choice, hang power tools, step stools, and wire bins.
Place a coat rack in your garage. After a rainstorm, hang up wet items like umbrellas and coats in your garage. Use a pegboard to hang all your small items. Keep your most frequently used supplies at an easy reach with a cheap pegboard.
Build from scraps. Using cheap pine and lumber leftover from other projects, handy-woman and blogger Brittany Bailey constructed a crate for her garden supplies and sports gear and added low shelving to hold paint. She used PVC piping to keep her rakes and spades upright. As we have organised this small garage take note that the majority of the storage is along the walls. Using the walls for storage is a great way to have lots of space to move around in the remainder of the garage. I was even able to carve out space for a workbench. Now all I need is the pegboard to hang my most used tools.
Use overhead storage
Take advantage of ceiling space by mounting a heavy-duty overhead shelf.
Similar to the pegboard, a Slatwall panel system lets you hang baskets, hooks, and tool holders in the arrangement of your choice.
Good news: With built-in cabinets, you can hide clutter by simply shutting the door. Or you can keep it organised with labelled bins for your family’s lawn games and pool toys.
Install built-in cabinets or modular storage if needed. Now that you know what you’re keeping and how much space you have determined what containers to use. Make the most of vertical space with wall-mounted pegboards and wire grids that hold everything from sports equipment to garden tools. Also, take advantage of overhead space with sturdy shelves that mount to the ceiling.
Keep clutter hidden with accessible shelves. Cluttered shelves are an eyesore. This workbench includes a pair of doors with radiator screen inserts in the middle, keeping the contents easily accessible but out of sight. Cabinets replaced open shelving to store odds and ends like boxes of screws and plumbing parts. Besides concealing these items, the doors prevent them from being coated in sawdust when using a mitre saw.
Create zones in your garage
Making specific areas for different things will make your garage a better place to work. Try putting all your garden tools and equipment together, and tools should be near your workbench and so on. Create a zone for your gear. If you and your kids are sports enthusiasts, create an area for storing your equipment. Hang your gear and place items in bins on a storage unit.
Hang a tiered organiser right next to the door to store reusable shopping bags, umbrellas, and other miscellaneous items you find yourself needing most when you’re out and about.
Purchase a utility cart / Use Rolling or Portable Storage
Get a cart on wheels to move it around your garage or to store items you use outside, such as snow salt or gardening tools. One of the obstacles in our garage is the electrical access panels. We need to be able to get to them fast, which means we can’t block them. Instead of just not using that space, I decided to get this awesome rolling storage shelf. This rolling shelf is actually my toolbox. It has really worked well for storing all of my tools.
Air Out Equipment
Take advantage of your garage’s natural ventilation system (the great outdoors!), and give any smelly sports equipment — hockey bags, jerseys, you name it — a place to dry.
If your kitchen is next to your garage, let an empty space double as another pantry. Store extra cleaning supplies, paper products, or bulk items on a wire rack.
Create space by hanging items
If your garage has rafters, then you’re in luck – they’re perfect for storage. Try using screw-in hooks to get lighter items off the ground and out of your way, while long pieces of dowel or timber can be easily stored in a length of poly pipe.
And if you’ve got a bike, there are a variety of options, including hooks or hangers to hang them from the rafters, ceiling or a wall.
Hanging Bike Storage
Overhead bike storage, while smart, isn’t necessarily practical for day-to-day use. Nail a bike rack straight to the wall and keep everyone’s bikes or scooters within reach. Find a monkey bar to store all your wheels, so it’s now easier to get the bikes on and off the rack.
Kid Toys Storage
Section off an area in the garage to encourage little ones to learn tidy habits. Keep the bins for bike helmets, sidewalk chalk, and outside toys within eye-level so that they can put everything away on their own.
One final matter in the garage deserves your attention since it contributes greatly to clutter. With today’s concern over the environment, recycling is becoming more common. Recycling bins are most often kept on the floor, taking up valuable space. You can at least control and reduce the amount of space occupied by using stackable recycling bins. Adding a hand cart keeps you from having to make two or three trips to the curb on trash day. Just wheel the entire three-piece unit — with its separate loads of glass, aluminium, and plastic — out of the garage and to the street.
Set an organising schedule
Get your quarterly or biannual garage maintenance on your calendar. If it doesn’t make it onto your calendar, it’s less likely to happen. And remember to put things away promptly after using them.
There are ways following which one can attain a cleaner and more sorted garage for vehicles. Yes, there is the best way to organise the garage, and that starts with proper planning. It is not always important to invest in expensive containers or boxes for cleaning up everything. Sometimes, it is just investing in proper containers, cleaning supplies, and cabinets to ensure that this room has enough space for the vehicle rather than other mess. So, follow these tips for a more organised garage now!
In 2005, GarageSmart® pioneered the garage storage category in Australia. Since we’ve built a reputation of providing a premium product along with a friendly and professional service. GarageSmart has the best home storage solutions. GarageSmart is the nation’s leader in complete garage fit-outs. We are a privately owned company and we are very proud of that. GarageSmart is a complete “do-it for you” premium garage fit out company.