Garages are notorious clutter hotspots in the home. They might as well be the most problematic area when it comes to keeping a home organized. Many homeowners encounter issues with garage parking due to clutter, with some having to park their cars on the driveway.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could use your garage for its intended purpose? There’s no better time than now to reclaim your garage. So get started with these simple tips that will keep your garage well-organized.
1. Clean Out Your Garage Before Organizing
Odds are there are plenty of things in your garage that you no longer need or use. That’s why you should start by cleaning your whole garage. This way, you can take inventory of what you have, what you can give away or toss, and what you can keep.
Be sure to look out for:
- Any expired, irreparable, or unsafe items
- Nails and other small items on the floor
- Oil or chemical stains
2. Draft a Floor Plan of Your Garage
Before changing your shelving or buying new storage gear, take down your garage’s dimensions as well as the orientation of the doors and windows. Plus, note how much space your cars take up. Doing so allows you to visualize how you’d like them to use the space. Then you can organize the garage into zones. Think of zones like aisles in a supermarket, such as gardening tools, sports equipment, and recycling centers.
Here are some rules of thumb to help you out
- Items that are frequently used together should be stored close to one another
- Keep bulky equipment in corners so they’ll be out of the way
- Frequently used items, like bikes, should be kept in an easy-to-reach spot – the opposite is true for seasonal or rarely used items.
3. Utilize Vertical Space
The key to keeping your garage efficiently organized is to keep items off the floor whenever possible. If you’re buying ready-made shelving units, ensure they’re raised on legs to keep the space open and easier to clean.
Some storage ideas that work great in garages include:
- Adding pegboards for better wall organization: They’re great for hanging anything that’s not too heavy and can help you create a versatile space for your tools and knick-knacks.
- Install slat walls: They can be added anywhere in your garage allowing you to fully maximize your garage space.
- Wire shelving: Wall-mounted shelves happen to be the easiest way to organize any garage, big or small. You can accessorize the shelves using baskets, bins, canvas storage bags, or roll-out bins for quick access to supplies.
- Build cubbies for each family member: This is an excellent idea if your garage acts as a dumping ground for extra toys, equipment, shoes, bags, and other random items. Cubbies ensure everyone has their own space that they can organize and utilize as they please.
- Panelized systems: Panels, unlike pegboards, can handle heavier items allowing you to store virtually anything that fits.
4. Don’t Waste High Space
Yes, it’s cumbersome getting out a ladder to reach items on high shelves. But that’s precisely why high spaces are prime real estate for long-term storage. You can install deep shelving or cabinets that reach out into the ceiling to keep all your infrequently used items. Think holiday decorations or equipment for that once-in-a-year skiing trip.
5. Add Outdoor Storage
Garages are a catch-all for everything. Sometimes the ideal solution for garage chaos is to add some storage space elsewhere. You don’t have to build a shed in your backyard; even a small-sized locker that holds garden gear or your work tools will do. Such a plan frees up vital space in your garage, allowing you to manage your space better.
Does The Garage Matter When Buying A Home?
There’s no hard-and-fast answer because lack of a garage isn’t always a deal killer. Still, it’s always important to consider your future storage needs when buying a house, and that includes the size of the garage.
About Transition Realty
Transition Realty owner Steve Lehmeyer specializes in helping people manage real estate transactions in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. His experience in the Minnesota real estate market spans 20 years. Steve and his team work with clients to buy & sell single-family homes, townhouses, condos, lake homes, and investment property. Download a free home search app for your smartphone or search the MLS at TransitionRealty.com.