Gone are the days when garages were only used to park our cars. Today, in addition to storing the family car, the garage has become a multipurpose space for activities like doing your laundry, decorating with Halloween props, or hosting parties. While this is very convenient, it also means that most garages are getting cluttered with stuff. This kind of clutter is not only a nuisance – not only does the mess take up way too much space, but it also makes it harder to find the things you’re looking for when you need them. If you’re struggling with a cluttered and messy garage then here are some useful organizational ideas that will help you get the space back in working order.
1. Look Up
When thinking about ways to store different things, a lot of people forget to think about the ceiling space, and how to use it to their advantage. Looking into a sturdy product that store totes on garage ceiling might just be the thing to do. This type of storage can be perfect for bulky things like bicycles, lawnmowers, and sports equipment. When installing these, think about how you use the space, and where you are likely to store the things that need covering. You don’t necessarily want your bike to hang from the middle of your garage ceiling, so it’s important to take a bit of time and figure out the best floor – or ceiling plan for your space.
2. Go Vertical
Keeping with the theme, another good way to make use of all available space in a garage is to take advantage of vertical storage. The more you can store up and out of the way, the better it is for your garage. For example, you could put up shelves that hold things like boxes or cans of paint, and then use the floor space under them for other things. It’s also a good idea to keep the things you like to use often at easy-to-reach places. If you’re into gardening, you might want to keep your gloves, sheers, and other gardening tools on a shelf near the entrance. A wall-mounted hose reel is also an excellent choice for those that take pride in their lawns since they are notoriously difficult to store and always seem to get in the way when you’re trying to park a car inside.
3. Group Things Together
It makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for when your storage is grouped or labeled in some way. For example, keep all of your screws together in one box, and don’t just put them wherever you happen to find them. Arranging them in such a way that makes sense to you will make it much easier to find the right size for whatever you need to fix or build. You can arrange your equipment and tools by size, type, and the frequency in which you use them. Unless you’re heavily into woodworking, chances are you don’t need to have your ax and saw at the tips of your fingers. Instead, you can utilize a pegboard and invest in some pegs to hang all of your common tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, and other odds and ends. You can even color-code them so you know exactly where to look.
4. Mind The Outlets
A lot of people use their garage periodically as a makeshift workshop. If you tend to use your garage for this purpose then it’s a good idea to make sure you have uninhibited access to the power outlets in your garage. What this means is that you need to mind the placement of things like paint cans, water jugs, or other items that could block an outlet. You can even have a workbench or some large blocks of wood to place things like power tools and safety equipment near the outlets. This will ensure you never have trouble finding an outlet when you need one, and it will also help keep your garage more organized by locating items that need electricity to work in a logical location. Of course, it’s always important to make sure you’re not overpowering the outlets you have since that could present a risk of electrical fires. If you like your power tools to be really powerful, there are some good GFCI outlets that can handle the additional load of more appliances plugged into them at once.
5. Let Go
While being sentimental is an endearing quality, it can also cause a cluttered and messy garage. Take a good look at everything you have stored in there, and make two piles – one for the things you need or really hold significance to you, and the other for things you’re ready to let go of. Having just-in-case items can be beneficial, but you don’t really need to hold on to them indefinitely. Old paint will never get used, so it’s not necessary to keep it around unless you’re an oil painter or you like to create your own colors for that perfect shade palette. Unused tools are also another thing that people tend to hang onto because they could be useful down the road. As a general rule, if they haven’t been used in the past 5 years then there’s a pretty good chance you’re never going to use them either. The good news is, you might be able to make a garage sale and earn some extra cash by selling these things you no longer need.
6. Regular Upkeep
You can invest time, money, and energy into creating the perfect floor plan, amazing storage options, and label everything to your heart’s content, but the truth is, if you don’t regularly maintain your garage, then you’re going to be fighting a losing battle. If you leave things in your garage for months and months on end without ever touching them, they’re going to accumulate dust and dirt which will make it harder to find the items you need when you do need them. You can make this part of your routine by dedicating one day every week to cleaning up. Taking the time to put things back to their rightful place after you’ve done using them will also go a long way toward maintaining a mess-free garage you can actually enjoy using.
While cleaning up a messy and cluttered space can be a lot of work sometimes, the feeling of accomplishment you get from a clean and organized garage every time you walk into it will be well worth it. After all, you’re just one quick sweep through to pick up the things that have accumulated on the floor and a few minutes of putting your tools back into the proper location before you go out for a ride on your motorcycle or head into town with your spouse. With these organizational tips, whether your garage space is on the smaller or larger side, you’ll be able to enjoy using it far more often.