How to Declutter Your Garage
A notorious catch-all space in the home, garages can accumulate clutter more quickly than almost any other area.
This is why establishing an organizational system can be so impactful. Not only will this project help improve the functionality of your garage, but it should also save you time, effort, and money in the long run. As you prepare for this undertaking, do your due diligence in researching and planning what type of organizational system works best for you. Once you feel ready to begin, keep in mind that this project is best started at the beginning of a couple of days with a nice weather forecast.
Like most organizational projects, it’s helpful to plan out the steps of your process in advance.
1. Clean out & sort.
For an effective clean out, create three separate piles labeled “toss,” “donate or sell,” and “keep.” Take everything out of your garage and sort items into the appropriate piles. You can use bins, tarps, or just chalk off areas of your driveway as the designated categories.
After removing everything from the garage, scrub the floors with your cleaning solution of choice and then rinse with a hose and high-pressure nozzle.
Once it’s dry, consider spraying a pest deterrent around the baseboards, ceilings, and doorways. Take this opportunity to seal any cracks or holes you may find to prevent pest infiltration.
2. Categorize “keep” items.
Create subgroups for all the items you’re keeping: hand tools, car care supplies, grilling tools, sports equipment, lawn care items, etc. Sort everything in your “keep” pile into the appropriate group to simplify planning and organization later.
3. Consider modifications & upgrades.
Now, before everything is put back, is the time to re-evaluate your garage space. Decide if you’d like an epoxy floor coating, new lighting, finished walls, different equipment installation, or anything else of the sort. Consider reinforcing your walls if you only have bare studs; hanging tools or other items on your walls can greatly increase your storage space.
4. Create a plan.
Based on the items you intend to keep and the functions you want your garage to serve, create a plan for organization. Do you have several small items that would be more usable if they were visible? Would open shelving be better than cabinets? Do your tools fit well on a pegboard wall? After planning where all your items should be placed and how you’d prefer to access and use them, it’s time to choose proper storage equipment to help you put everything back in a more organized fashion. When choosing your equipment, a main goal should be to keep the ground free of clutter. This provides more space for maneuvering around cars, while also helping to maintain a tidy and pest-free floor.
5. Purchase proper storage equipment.
For a garage, proper equipment is essential. Shelves, hooks, pegboards, plastic bins with lids, cabinets, or wall mounts can make all the difference in making efficient use of your space. Only you know how often you access a particular item, or where it makes the most sense to be stored. Open shelving is an affordable, accessible option that displays items in plain sight. Unless some of your items require protection from garage dust (in this case, consider closed cabinets), open storage is usually the winning choice for a garage. After weighing your options, purchase or build your own equipment and place it in the garage.
You’re done! Hopefully, this updated area will allow you stress-free access to your utility items, ample room to store any vehicles, and the reassurance that you’re using your space efficiently. Just remember to set aside time at least once a year to re-evaluate and re-organize.