5 Steps to a Perfectly Organized Garage

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

Is your garage crowded, disorganized or just plain messy? This simple plan will help you tame the garage in a day.

Chances are that an overgrown mess is hiding behind your garage door.

When Consumer Reports surveyed more than 1,000 garage owners nationwide last year, the nonprofit learned that 62 percent of them admit their garages are crowded, disorganized or messy.

Almost one-third of Americans don’t even park cars in there.

You can easily spend a small fortune hiring a professional organizer and buying high-end custom storage. But you can also do it yourself for little to no cost. These steps are the keys to tackling the task in as little as one day.

1. Clear the clutter

First, gather supplies like garbage bags, empty boxes or bins, or perhaps a small Dumpster.

Then get rid of items that are no longer used or needed, and ask yourself whether you really need to keep any items that weren’t used in the past 12 months.

It helps to sort discards based on how you plan to dispose of them: trash, sell or donate. Everything else will constitute a “keep” pile.

2. Sort what is left

With the unwanted items out of the way, you should have room to sort the “keep” items. If you don’t, consider removing everything from the garage so you can sort the “keep” items elsewhere. That also gives you a blank slate in the garage.

Now, sort by grouping like items together. For example, your groupings might include power tools or sports equipment.

3. Determine the garage’s purpose

When you’re done sorting, examine your groupings and the space you have in the garage. Think about the various purposes the garage serves, and list those purposes by priority. This list will help you determine the best way to store things.

Examples of garage purposes include:

  • Parking. Remember to set aside enough space for this zone so that car doors can swing open freely.
  • Recycling
  • Workshop station
  • Woodworking station
  • Crafting station
  • Tools storage
  • Sports equipment storage
  • Garden supplies storage
  • Holiday decoration storage

4. ‘Zone’ things into place

Professional organizer and author Peter Walsh breaks down the purposes a space must serve into “zones.” He tells O magazine:

“What do you want your garage to be used for? Parking? Storage? Maybe woodworking? Make every area its own zone, based on use, and keep only the things that fit in each.”

Use your list of purposes to determine:

  • The zones your garage needs
  • Where each zone should go
  • How much space each zone should take up

Then put “keep” items back into place based on the zone in which they belong.

5. Store wisely

Following a few organizational principles will help you zone things back into place more efficiently:

Store vertically. There are only so many square feet of floor space in any given room. So maximize wall space with mounted or freestanding shelves or with pegboards, for example. If wall space isn’t enough, Consumer Reports suggests the ceiling:

The ceiling has become the new frontier in garage storage, with systems designed to hold items as varied as hurricane shutters, big coolers and surfboards. Overhead storage is an economical alternative to a cabinet for large, long and relatively flat objects.

These types of storage systems generally can be found for relatively low prices at home improvement stores, department stores or secondhand stores.

The Art of Manliness blog reports that custom mounted shelves can be as cheap as the cost of a few “L” brackets and wood planks. The Home Depot and Family Handyman magazine have tutorials for a simple pegboard and a folding pegboard, respectively, and the blog Mom 4 Real has a tutorial for a neat portable tool caddy made with pegboard.

Consider frequency of use. The items used most often should be stored such that they can be accessed most easily. Thus, seasonal items might be stored higher up so that more commonly used items can be stored within sight and reach.

Label, label, label. This is especially important if you are an organizationally challenged person who is liable to simply toss something back in the wrong place if you are even remotely unsure where it belongs.

What’s your favorite garage organizing tip? Let us know what has (or hasn’t) worked for you by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 15 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,768 more deals!