It’s the last thing you see as you leave in the morning and the first thing that welcomes you home. An organized garage can create a great space for work or storage, however, overflow of house projects and excessive stockpiles can turn your garage into the mess hub of the home.
According to the US Department of Energy, 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them, and 32% only have room for one vehicle. If this sounds familiar, we can help. We’ve compiled eight tips to go from cluttered to clean.
1. Start with a Clean Slate
Take everything out and decide what stays and what goes. Grab some bins to collect everything that doesn’t belong in the garage, and get the whole family involved in finding proper homes for those items. This will let you use the space in your garage more productively.
2. Treat your garage like any other room
Too often the garage becomes a thrown-together stash of your miscellany of tools, sports equipment, bicycles, and unused junk. Think about how many times you’ve left your golf clubs in the middle of the floor or allowed your shovels and rakes to pile up.
If you think about the garage as an area that needs to be regularly cleaned and organized like the rest of your home and set aside time to work on it accordingly, it’ll prevent your garage from getting to the point of no return.
Old cleats? A racket from a sport you no longer play? It’s time to pitch, sell, or donate. As you go through your items, a good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. By minimizing what is actually stored in your garage, it will be easier to create a much more organized and useful space.
4. Create a Storage Game Plan
After you’ve cleared out the garage and purged the stuff you don’t need, it’s time to create a comprehensive storage plan. Divide your garage into zones: sports, gardening, camping, etc. and categorize your items. Find a place for miscellaneous items that you plan on keeping in your garage, rather than allowing them to pile in the corner.
Garages often feel more cramped because they are so cluttered. When you think about the square footage, there’s usually a lot more space than you imagined.
Sketching a basic floor plan is a great way to start thinking about how you can reorganize the items in your garage taking up the most area. If you really want to up your game, try out Gladiator’s Design Studio, which will allow you to create a rendering of your garage online.
Pro Tip! Make sure to leave 24” of clear walkway space around vehicles.
5. Think Vertically
Maximize vertical wall space with the adjustable freedomRail Garage. When planning out a garage shelving system, think about convenience and frequency of use. If you use an item more often, keep it at eye level instead of high up. Put light items like sleeping bags up high and heavy items like tools down low to avoid a potential injury. These considerations will help you identify what shelving or accessories you will need to store your items.
6. Decide how you want to use the area
Have you always wanted a workshop? A game room? Tailgating space? Organizing your garage is great for traditional storage, and also provides an opportunity to develop another space in your home you can use every day. Once you’ve cleaned up, you’re left with a versatile area that can serve a wide range of uses (even if it’s just keeping your car out of the snow and/or rain).
7. Add a Drop Zone
Stop clutter before it enters your home by providing a place for shoes and coats. As you walk in, you’ll have a handy place to store your coats, bags, and shoes to ease the transition between your home space and your storage space.
8. Start small
Whether you just want to do a little fall cleaning or a full organizational overhaul, decluttering your garage is going to take some time. If you’re purchasing workbenches, garage cabinets, and other storage for the first time, the cost can quickly add up. Remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. Your home is a long-term investment and every small improvement makes a difference.
Maintaining an organized garage will add function and ease to your daily routine. By following these eight simple steps will create a more effortless space. Create your dream garage now with the Organized Living Design Tool.