Garage Organization 101

April 13, 2021

garage organization

It’s a tale as old as time: your garage is too cluttered to fit your car inside. It’s a problem that many of us face, but few of us have time to tackle. Here are some tips to help you whip your garage into organized shape and finally pull your vehicle inside where it’s safe and protected from the elements such as UV damage, tree sap, fallen limbs from a storm, and so on.

Give yourself time. This is a project that might take a full weekend (or two or three), so set that time aside to focus and work uninterrupted.

Categorize and declutter. Sort the items in your garage into categories such as donation, sell, trash, and keep. This will help to reduce the clutter, and you may make a little side cash on that old push mower you no longer need. Keep in mind that most donation centers will not accept items that need repair or are considered hazardous, such as paint and household chemicals. Contact your local donation center to learn about their guidelines before donating.

Leave no stone unturned. Carefully go through all unpacked boxes in your garage to make sure you don’t accidentally throw away anything valuable, like an old family heirloom. Thoroughly check all drawers in case you already own items that you forgot about and were thinking of purchasing or replacing.

Use waterproof storage bins. If possible, place any long-term storage items in waterproof bins in case of flooding, which can happen in your basement as well. If you’re on a budget, at least make sure the items settled on the ground are waterproof and stack cardboard boxes on top of those.

Keep items off the ground. Avoid leaving random items on the garage floor, such as toys, tools, and other small items. This will free up space for a car and help prevent whoever is pulling into your garage from accidentally running over something.

Utilize vertical storage space. This goes along with keeping items off of the ground. Use shelving units, pegboards, open shelves, or hooks to make use of your wall space and reduce clutter. Make sure anything you store won’t interfere with the opening and closing of your garage door. Never stack or store items so high overhead that there’s a risk of it falling on you or a family member.

Know the basics of paint storage. Extreme cold or cold temperatures can ruin old paint, so store paint in a location where the temperature is controlled, such as a basement. If you need to dispose of leftover paint, certain guidelines should be followed according to your local hazardous waste disposal or recycling facility.

Repeat these steps at least once a year, and you should be able to stay on top of keeping your garage organized and able to be used like it was intended. 

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