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Garage Organization Ideas: 5 Steps
for Reclaiming Your Garage

August 7, 2013

Remember how happy you were when you moved into a home with a garage, maybe even 2, or 3 stalls? No more braving lousy weather to hop in the car, seemingly unlimited storage space, and all those other garage benefits seemed like a dream come true.

But now you know the truth. If you’re like most of us with garages, you’re lucky to fit one car in there, much less two! That’s because a garage is the largest room in the home — and therefore the largest clutter collector.

Jobs like garage cleaning are the ones that get pushed to the end of our cleaning to-do lists, and sometimes even to the never-actually-get-done list. Cleaning and organizing your garage takes time, patience, some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease, paired with garage organization ideas DIYers can actually pull off.

Walking into a clean house is awesome, but pulling into a tidy, organized garage can feel like hitting the jackpot. Cleaning and organizing it is often so daunting that most homeowners would rather park outside in 10 inches of snow and driving rain instead of tackling all the stuff!

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are five no-fail garage organization ideas that will whip your garage into shape and turn it into the room it was meant to be: one that you can park, store, and revel in.

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Garage Organization Idea #1: Plan

The first tip for learning how to organize your garage is an easy one. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit down in your garage. Grab a pen and paper and sketch out your ideal garage storage ideas. Consider the following:

  • What are the largest items I need to store?
  • What items do I use the most?
  • What do I dislike most about this garage? Can I fix it?
  • How would I like the garage to be used?
  • Can I better maximize wall and ceiling storage space?
  • What products would help me long-term? (Think about pegboards, shelves, hooks, and bins.)
  • How much clearance do I need around vehicles and doorways?
  • How much of what is in here could be better placed somewhere else?
  • How much of what’s in the garage should be sold or donated?

Set a timer and give yourself 30 minutes to assess, plan, and sketch. This is an action plan, after all. If you want the garage of your dreams, you need to put some work into it.

Garage Organization Idea #2: Purge

Most garages don’t need to be just cleaned — they need to be purged. The best organizing tips always start with a clean slate, so get the whole family involved. Pull everything out of the garage and place it on the driveway. As you go, sort your items into sections on your driveway, using sidewalk chalk to help you stay organized. Divvy up your items into the following separate piles: “Keep,” “Donate,” “Sell,” “Put Somewhere Else,” and “Figure Out What This Is.”

Once your garage is empty, give it a good cleaning. Cat litter is a great garage cleaner because it absorbs grease and oil spills. Just pour the litter onto a stain, rub it in with your foot, and give it time to soak up the oil. Using a combination of baking soda and regular dishwasher liquid will help lift more difficult stains.

When the stains are absorbed and everything has dried, sweep out the cat litter, dirt, and dust. If you’re extra ambitious, give the walls a fresh coat of paint. One more thing — don’t forget to clean the windows. You’ll find that clean, sparkling windows do wonders for brightening even the dingiest garages.

Garage Organization Idea #3: Make the Framework

Here’s how to organize your garage and turn it into an efficient storage solution — with plenty of room left over for your cars! Using the plan you created in Idea 1, start setting yourself up for success. Pegboards are great for hanging lightweight garden tools, hand tools, and sports equipment. Heavy-duty shelving can hold hundreds of pounds of decor, bowling balls, and even furniture; there are even ways to put your ceiling to better use (perfect for those long-term storage needs).

Resist going for short-term solutions here; you aren’t going through all this work and effort just to repeat yourself in a few months. Any investment you make in your garage will pay off in the long run. Even if you can’t recoup it all financially, what you save in peace of mind, wear and tear on your vehicles, and being able to find what you need is priceless.

Garage Organization Idea #4: Put Back Only What You Need

Now that you have your garage storage framework in place, put it to work. Start with your long-term storage solutions for items such as heirlooms, yearly decorations, and other items you rarely need to get to. These items should be stored in the hard-to-reach areas like the ceiling, upper shelves, and other out-of-the-way spaces. Next up are large items like lawn mowers, bicycles, kayaks, and other items you’ll be using more often. Place them in the areas that offer the greatest space to maneuver while keeping wall and ceiling space in mind.

Last on the list are items your family will frequently use, like sports equipment, tools, toys, and gardening gadgets. Where can you keep these so they have the greatest chance of being put back where they belong? Set up different sections in your garage for each of these and make them as kid-friendly as necessary. Always keep safety in mind; anything that is sharp should be secured, and any chemicals should be out of reach or out of sight.

Garage Organization Idea #5: Keep It Going

Being able to park your vehicles in your garage should be your crowning achievement. Remember that feeling — it will come pouring over you every time you pull in, and it feels so much better than parking in the rain. If you don’t want to tackle another garage cleaning in a few months, you better set some rules for keeping your beautiful garage in shape. Putting things back where they belong and cleaning things up before they get out of hand is a great start.

There you have it — five of the best garage organization tips and tricks that get your garage back in shape. With a bit of muscle and a few hours, you can reclaim your garage and revel in the satisfaction of having at least one room in your home that is organized and clean. For all the other rooms in your home, why not let The Maids show you how we give you a cleaner home after just one visit? Get a free estimate today and enjoy a cleaner home more often.


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