The garage in most homes is where old toys, sports equipment, tools, seasonal items, and unwanted junk goes to collect dust in unorganized and inconvenient heaps. After a few years in a home, you may even find your garage so cluttered with accumulated stuff, that your car gets kicked to the curb.
Want to avoid tripping over baseball bats and spending cold winter mornings chiseling the ice off your windshield? Then it’s time to get your garage in gear.
- Ditch and Donate: Do you really need that bucket full of broken hockey sticks or all five of those snow shovels? Will you ever put that pile of scrap wood to use? Get real with yourself and part with the items you no longer use or need. Organize a community yard sale or collect and drop unused items at your local donation drop. This is an essential step towards a more organized and functional garage.
- Organize Up: To ensure your car has a cozy space in the garage, we recommend saving as much floor space as possible. To save floor space – build up. You can utilize Ikea shelving designed specifically for garages, or you can finally put that scrap wood to use and build one yourself. A few simple shelves with space for storage containers will make finding tools, toys, and seasonal clothing much easier.
- Hoist it Up: Outdoor enthusiasts with bicycles and kayaks, for example, will find their hobbies taking up a large portion of their garage space. Instead of prioritizing your Trek bike over your car, compromise. You can utilize ceiling hooks or beams designed specifically for bike storage, so both your vehicle and your bikes are protected during those cold winter months.
- Dedicate Zones: Are you a DIY’er, yardwork enthusiast, or have a brood of multi-talented athletes? Do all three apply? If so, you’ll want to play a zone defense. Designate sections of the garage for each category. For example, tools, building materials, and paint should be organized by category in the “workshop.” This can essentially be a pegboard and workbench in one corner of the garage. Here, you can hold your nails, screws, washers, and bolts in labeled containers and display everything you need by category for smoother project execution.
- Get Creative: Items often found in the garage can be awkward and take up far too much space. Don’t let these objects get you down. To save your garage from chaos, you’ll need to get creative. Here are a few hacks:
- If you have a gallon paint can sitting on your shelf containing only a few ounces of paint, transfer the remainder to a small mason jar.
- Swap out that stubborn, bulky hose for the new, malleable, accordion-style hoses that take up less space and are easier to hang.
- Label bins “winter clothes,” “tennis gear,” “beach toys,” etc. so they’re easier to identify. Have a container filled with camping gear and no plans to go camping anytime soon? Hoist that bin to a less accessible place and make room for the bins you use most often.
- Utilize wall hooks to hang rakes, shovels, and brooms.
- Display screwdrivers, wrenches, scissors and other metal tools on a magnetic strip above your workbench in your designated “workshop” for easy access.
- Bulky extension cords are the bane of many’s existences. To avoid spending hours, untangling wrap the cord and hang it from a bungee on the wall.
- Have a bin filled with basketball, soccer balls, tennis balls, and footballs? Rather than rifling through these every time you want to play a game of catch with the kiddos utilize bungees and columns to create a makeshift ball cage.
How you organize and simplify your garage will vary based on your interests, hobbies, and the kind of items your garage happens to be filled with. The goal is the same for all of us, maintaining an organized, functional, and easy to use and navigate space – but most importantly, a safe and protected home for your vehicle.