Garage Organization Tips

As the weather cools, but before it gets too cold, is a perfect time to attack your garage.

Taking care of the garage now has multiple benefits. You can find all of your fall/holiday decorations before you need to. Spring and summer items that live in the garage can be squared away and having everything else that lives out there put away in a specific place will make things easier to find, use and put back when you need things during the winter.

Following are some tips to help you attack the garage:

  • Be ready to make decisions. Often, items are in the garage because we don’t want to make a decision on what to do with something so it lands in the garage until “later.” Later is now.
  • Start in one corner and systematically move your way around the room. Take an item, decide if it stays or goes. If it goes, put it in a pile outside the garage. You can also back up a truck or SUV and put immediately put it in there to take to charity as soon as you’re done. If it stays, sort it into a pile of like items. Then move on to the next item, working your way around the garage. The key here is to not bounce around. When you bounce around, you don’t see as rapid of progress as when you stay in one area until it’s complete and then move on to the space right next to you. Continue moving around the room in this fashion until you’re done. If your garage looks like 90% of the garages I come across, start by working with the items that are on the floor. Once they've been sorted and purged, then move on to the items that are on the walls.
  • With our keepers, set up stations around the edges of the garage for all like items to go – tools, car, camping, etc. Use the wall space to hang things and mount shelves.
  • If you have adjustable cabinets and shelving already installed, take advantage of these by dedicated each cabinet to a category. Put least used items towards the top and at the bottom, with most used at eye level. Use open shelving to accommodate large serving platters for entertaining (wrapped in old blankets and/or plastic) and the cabinetry to keep items that need to be better protected from dust and dirt.
  • In two car garages, create a center lane for larger items. Place a line of furniture and other items that don't fit into cabinets down the center of the garage, making sure that a car can fit in on either side. 

And most importantly - don't do it alone if you don't have to. Enlist the help of the entire family (or those that are old enough) since it's everybody's clutter out there. Involve a supportive friend for potential tough love. For one garage I'll be working on soon, the couple is having a long-time family friend come over to help and lend moral support to the husband so he doesn't feel outnumbered by us women. Just make sure everyone is on the same page - Operation Clean Garage.

Overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with the garage? Professional help is just a click away.