5 Steps to an Organized and Functional Garage

Organized garage
Photo by SpeedKingz / Shutterstock.com

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

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 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 that you should make every area its own zone based on use — parking, storage or something else — and keep only the things that fit in each zone.

Use your list of purposes to determine:

  • The zones your garage needs
  • Where each zone should be
  • 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.

And don’t forget to use the ceiling to store long, large and flat objects. Overhead storage systems generally can be found for relatively low prices at home improvement stores, department stores or secondhand stores.

Consider frequency of use. The items used most often should be stored so 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. 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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
26 Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay $100,000
26 Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay $100,000

These lucrative gigs let you work in your slippers.

7 Gadgets Under $60 That Can Boost Your Health
7 Gadgets Under $60 That Can Boost Your Health

These Amazon finds can help ease foot aches, boost energy and even protect your heart.

8 Surefire Ways to Get Rid of Debt ASAP
8 Surefire Ways to Get Rid of Debt ASAP

Here’s how to pay off debt fast and pain-free.

25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead
25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead

If you really want to save money, become a more intentional shopper.

6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security

If you fall into one of these groups, don’t assume that you will receive benefits.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.