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How to Organize Your Garage

Let’s face it, every Spring our homes need a top to bottom clean, reorganization and freshening up. Last year we wrote a blog on some tips on how to purge un-needed items from your home, In addition, Marie Kondo has an excellent book and Netflix show called ‘Tidying Up’ that has started a great trend. This year we will focus the spring cleaning tips around the garage organization. Plus… we personally need to clean our garage, yet again!

We hope to provide you with some inspiration and organization tips so that you too can avoid the embarrassment of opening your garage door showcasing your mess to the neighborhood. Remember, cleaning and house projects are always more fun with help, music and some refreshing drinks! Set the mood to have a great time reorganizing your garage. For Adam and I, working together on projects is one of our favorite things to do as a couple as we enjoy getting our hands dirty, working together and seeing the finished results!

STEP ONE: THE PURGE
The best way to begin is to remove all the items you do not want, need or have been meaning to get rid of. As Marie Kondo would suggest, ask yourself whether the item “brings you Joy?” Purging doesn’t need to involve a trip to the dump as some items can be sold, donated, and gifted to others in the community. We really enjoy using the ‘Airdrie Cool Giveaway’ Facebook page. Search Facebook or your online community for one of these type of pages in your area. When you give away items for no charge people will come to your home to pick up the item, talk about a win-win! Don’t worry about going through EVERYTHING at this first step, I recommend focusing on removing the big stuff and obvious things to make some space.

Items to purge may include:

  • Recycling
  • Garbage that needs to be taken to the dump
  • Outgrown baby & kids items
  • Toys
  • Broken tools & equipment
  • Old, unloved flower planters and pots
  • Items you haven’t used in two years
  • And more!

STEP TWO: GROUP ITEMS TOGETHER
After you remove all the extra stuff in your garage you don’t love, the next step is to group like items.  As you continue to group items in your garage you will likely find more items that you can purge- move those to the discard pile.

Make a pile or section of the garage for the different genres of items, such as:

  • Recycling, Compost & Garbage Bins
  • Yard tools
  • Power Tools
  • Handyman tools
  • Gardening Items
  • Sports Equipment
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Winter Supplies
  • Cleaners, oils and other chemicals
  • Etc…

STEP THREE: USE ALL YOUR SPACE!
The storage space of your garage can be amplified by creating shelving, hooks and storage systems from the ceiling and walls.

Here are some ideas:

  • Hooks to Hang Bikes
  • Tire Storage Rack
  • Add Overhead Storage Space
    The space above the garage door is a great spot!
  • Sturdy Shelving
  • Old Dressers & Bookshelves
  • Build Garage Cabinet
    Could use old kitchen cabinets too!
  • Install Wall Shelving and Hooks
  • Create a Foldable Workbench
  • Install storage near the man door for quick access to commonly needed tools/items
  • Install pegboards and hooks

For special items draw an outline it hanging in its proper spot to encourage family members to return it to the correct spot.

STEP FOUR: CLEAN
How clean do garages need to be really? A good sweep is usually clean enough for us. A shop vacuum is another great tool to use, while it is noisy it can prevent dust from getting spread into the air like a push broom might. Wash off open shelving and your man door too – you will be shocked to see how dirty they can get!

STEP FIVE: ORGANIZE
Now that all your unwanted items are clear, organizational spaces and storage has been created and the garage has been cleaned – it’s the time to put everything back and find it a permanent home that it will belong to and be returned to time and time again. Here are some tips:

  • Store the groups items together. However, certain groups will have both small and large items which will require different storage solutions, though try to keep this nearby in a section of the garage if possible.
  • Alternate seasonal items, arranging spring/summer items into easy to reach areas, while Fall/Winter items can be up higher and switched out in the fall.
  • Store commonly used items near the entrance of the garage for extra convenience.
  • Use color coordinated bins and clear bins to create help with ease of finding your items later on.

I recommend to walk your family through the garage and share where certain items now belong. Keeping a clean and organized garage requires everyone to be committed to returning items to where they belong. Nonetheless, every season it will likely need a quick refresh as seasonal items need to be brought out and others can get put in storage until needed again.

Lastly –enjoy your newly clean garage, A.K.A. man cave!