Garages have mystical powers. They can hold everything you need, plus about 3,000 extra items you do NOT need. They can hide things you’re looking for for years, yet clog up your walkway or car parking area all at once… they’re useful, and also can become the “junk drawer” of the house. If you’re like thousands of other Americans (or people!), you may have a messy garage in desperate need of some garage organization tips!
Garage organization can seem pretty daunting from the outset, there’s no hiding it. BUT, if you go in with a plan, and these great tips for easy garage organization, you shouldn’t be quite so overwhelmed!
Today, we’re going to discuss the top tips for garage organization that will make the actual process of organizing your garage easier, more efficient, and able to STICK in the long run!
Because organization is great.. but pretty useless if it only lasts for a couple of days or weeks. We want long-term garage storage ideas here – ones that will help you not only GET organized, but STAY organized!
Ready? Let’s hit it!
Easy Garage Organization Tips
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Make a Plan For Organizing Your Garage
It’s pretty easy to get ‘hyped up’ about organizing your garage after watching a little HGTV or reading through a myriad organization posts, or scrolling through Pinterest searching for Garage organization ideas…
But make sure your excitement is followed up by planning!! Don’t just get pumped and dive into your garage. That’s a surefire way to get overwhelmed quickly, and easily distracted.
Instead of just picking an area of your garage to start organizing and getting sucked down the rabbit hole of memories, or fun “toys” (kid toys, or adult toys like tools and gardening items) that you find, you should form an action plan, and figure out HOW you’re going to tackle the garage organization tasks ahead!!
Don’t Rush It: Take Time For Garage Organization
That plan you make to organize your garage should include a fair amount of time to actually tackle ALL the tasks you need to do.
Assuming you can do this entire job in one day, or just a couple of hours is laughable, really. You’re going to need a weekend, or maybe even several days to TRULY get down to the root of your problem, and get your garage organized – for good.
If you do rush the job, you’ll end up glossing over items or areas that will come back to haunt you in the future.. or just throwing everything in your garage and hoping for the best… instead of giving each item a home.
None of those are the good, happy, de-cluttered, and consistently organized results you’re looking for. So give yourself some time!
This isn’t a race.
You’re in the organization game for the long haul.
Get Everyone Involved
In all aspects of life, we are more deeply invested in something if we participate in that thing. Build a house? You’ll probably care more about the upkeep of the house than if you just bought it. Practiced flute for a thousand hours? You’ll care more deeply about the audition results than if you just showed up and sight-read the audition.
*I may know that last fact intimately…. #bandnerd for life 😀 *
The same is true for house cleaning and organization!
If you, the mom or dad or whomever, of the household.. do ALL of the organization.. do you really think that the other members of your household will give a single crap about keeping it clean??
NO! They will not.
However, if you get your entire family involved in cleaning (blood family or chosen family – I don’t care who you live with – just get them involved) and organizing the garage, I promise you that they will be more invested in the long-term cleanliness and organization of that garage.
Get your family involved in garage organization, and they will help you KEEP it organized over time.
They’ll be upset if someone else “ruins” their hard work and makes a mess.
They will take pride in their work.
And you may just have some fun together… who knows 🙂
Clean Out EVERYTHING Before Starting to Organize Your Garage
One of the very best tips for garage organization I can give you is to FULLY EMPTY your garage before trying to ‘organize’ anything.
Seriously. Empty it ALL out.
Hopefully you’ve got a couple of days of decent weather, a safe place like a driveway to put your stuff, and decent neighbors who won’t try to uh…borrow your things while they’re out.
If you get all of your things OUT of your garage, you’re able to really take stock of what you have, what you do and do not need, and what SPACE you have available to you.
When you take all of your things out before organizing your garage, you will have a better idea of the SPACE you’re working with. Your mind will be able to better “place” your stuff around the garage in new and creative ways that you simply cannot imagine or consider when it’s packed full of stuff.
Plus, if you empty your garage before trying to organize it, you’ll be able to actually CLEAN the garage itself. Lord knows there are probably plenty of spiders, cobwebs, dust, and small, lost objects floating around in there.. there sure are in mine.
Do yourself a favor and empty out your garage before starting to organize it. Trust me.
Take Inventory & Group Like Items Together While Organizing Your Garage
This simple tip for garage organization can be combined with the last, if you’d like.
Either as your empty your garage, or after it is emptied, take the time to SORT your items into like groups.
“sports balls” “gardening tools” “car parts” “tools” “batteries” “soil and plant food” “bird food and feeders” etc.
This is part of the garage organization process because it helps you figure out what you have, and will likely keep you from buying replacement items that are actually duplicates.
It also helps you to put things together that will later be used for the same task. i.e. – put all gardening objects together, so next time you garden, you have a ‘one-stop-shop’ area to grab everything you need and move on.
This garage organization tip boosts productivity in your every day life! HOW COOL!
Consider Your Needs While Organizing Your Garage
Part of organizing your home, or organizing your garage is DE-CLUTTERING your garage!
You don’t have to become a minimalist, throw out all of your possessions, or have a huge yard sale and get rid of everything in your garage to declutter your garage.
You’ve just got to consider your needs!
What tasks, chores, and activities will the people in your household do this week? This month? This season? This year? In the next 2-3 years??
Will you garden regularly, seasonally.. at all? If so – great, organize your gardening tools and supplies! If not, get rid of them!
Are your kids playing with those toys that have been living in the garage for months or years?? Will they play with them when the weather is nice? … REALLY?
Will your next child grow into those hand-me-down toys from your last in the next 6-24 months?? Okay! Great!
If none of that is true.. it’s probably time to toss the toys!
Does it snow where you live? Do you need that snow shovel now that you’ve moved from Wisconsin to Florida?? Probably not.
You get the picture – determine what objects, tools, and supplies NEED to stay in your garage, and which can go. Sell, donate, recycle, trash.. whatever – if it needs to go, don’t make excuses to keep it around.
Clear the clutter BEFORE you start organizing your garage.
Since you’ve already emptied your garage, it’s easy to get rid of those things you don’t need, and then re-organize and store the things you DO in your beautiful, new, organized garage!
Use Your Walls! Wall Storage is Vital In Organized Garages!
Alright, this garage organization tip seems obvious.. I get it. But it’s one of those things you’ll read and then say…. oooh yeahhh. That was obvious! I should’ve been doing it all along!
So work with me here 🙂
When you’re organizing your garage and working on finding creative and practical storage ideas for your garage.. DON’T forget to look up!
No.. not to Jesus.. UP.. to the ceiling. UP to the walls. The rafters. Just look UP!
Don’t get stuck in the rut of ONLY using floorspace or shelf space to organize your tools, your toys, bikes, holiday decorations, and whatever else you keep in the garage.
There are LOADS of garage organization tools you can use to hang things up on walls, hang things from the garage ceiling.. pegboards to hang tools and containers from the walls and sides of shelving units. All of these organization tools allow you to fully USE the space you’ve got to store your things safely, and get them out of your way.
Get as creative as you wish.. just make sure you’re utilizing all of that space you’re paying mortgage or rent for.. and get your seasonal stuff out of your walkway!!
Regain control of your garage by working with the walls and ceiling!
Get Creative With Garage Organization
I’ve already alluded to this.. but you can get VERY creative with garage organization! While there are loads of garage organization tips, techniques, tutorials, and suggestions out there, there are no RULES for organizing your garage!
So no matter what things you have to organize, what kind of space you have available to you.. don’t be afraid to get creative with garage organization!
Pinterest is a great resource.. just sayin 😉
Designate Spaces and Homes for EVERYTHING
This is one of my biggest rules of organization for ANYTHING….
When items have a permanent home, everyone in your household knows exactly where to find what when they need it, and exactly where to put items when they’re done using them.
In theory, giving everything a permanent home will eliminate future messes and clutter.. if you can practice the daily habits of being tidy!
Not only will the garage organization technique of assigning permanent homes eliminate messes, it will also eliminate unnecessary double-purchasing of items you “couldn’t find” before you went to the store!
What a sweet organization tip that will save you time, money, and stress! WIN!!!
Label Everything in Your Garage
Along those same lines.. you need to LABEL everything in your garage, or the space everything goes in.
That way there is NO confusion. No need for slow ‘searching’ for items, and no excuses for family members not putting things away where they belong!
This super easy garage organization tip will help keep your garage clean, decluttered, organized, and help keep your family (and kids!) disciplined and form tidy habits! SCORE!!!
Create a Mud Room In Your Garage
If you really want to go hard in the paint (in the mud…?), you can add a mud room to your garage or home entryway to assist in your long-term organization!
Having a mud room gives everyone in your family a designated area to leave their things as they enter the house. This may include family members’ (dirty!) shoes, coats, sports equipment, and anything else they bring inside that doesn’t already have an appropriate permanent home inside the house.
If you’re like me, you don’t have an existing ‘entry way’ area that you can designate as your “mud room.” That’s perfectly fine!
There are loads of ideas for creating your own “mud room” as a space in your garage, or other doorway in your home. Pinterest is a great tool for finding mud room ideas to help keep your garage organized!
Mud rooms are helpful because they provide a ‘permanent home’ like we talked about above for things that would otherwise be dumped into your garage, creating a cluttered mess!
This is not the easiest garage organization hack, but it is one of the most useful!
Do you have a favorite garage organization hack??
I LOVE organization hacks.. like.. a LOT. If you’ve got an awesome garage organization hack you’d like to share with the class, please leave it below!!
Otherwise, share this list of easy garage organization tips with your friends and family to help them get their lives together, too!
We’ll call it helpful friendly advice, rather than a not-so-gentle nudge to get their $h!t together 😉
and remember, make good life choices!!