It’s almost spring, and as the weather gets warmer, many of us want to clean and refresh our homes. We also want to spend more time outside gardening, biking, camping, and generally engaging in hobbies that winter weather gets in the way of. All too often, the supplies and gear we need for these things is buried in a disorganized garage! Whether you want to clean out the garage to get to your camping gear, or you just want to have more space to park your car, taking time to re-organize the garage is a great spring project. Read on for 7 tips on how to re-organize your garage.
Purge. Purge. Purge. The first thing you have to do in order to re-organize your garage is get rid of the clutter! Get rid of things that you haven’t used, that don’t work, that you have multiples of, or that just don’t fit your life anymore. You can donate cars — running or not — to many charities, who will even come pick the vehicle up! Even if you don’t have an entire car cluttering up your space, you’re likely to have a lot of stuff that can just go. Check out your city’s guidelines for disposing of paint and chemicals. Look into metal recycling if — and only if — you can commit to dropping off the metal within 7 days.
Put it on the wall. Garages tend to have ample wall space, and much of that space goes unused. Install a peg board or slat board to hang tools and gardening implements. If you want to be really organized, you can even trace outlines of tools so that it’s easy to find where each one goes when you’re done with it. Hanging simple shelves made with wood and brackets also allows you to use vertical and wall space to great advantage.
Step up. If you have a garage attic, it’s a great place to store things that you only get out once or a few times a year — holiday decorations, for example. Don’t use the attic as an all-purpose dumping ground, though. Be intentional about what goes in the attic so that it will be easy to find later.
Look up. Vertical space is another neglected resource in garages. Think about ways you can use this vertical space. Hang bikes from the ceiling on hooks. Look at cargo nets or other overhead storage. Hanging baskets can also be useful. On a smaller scale, glue the lids of baby food jars to the underside of a workbench shelf — then just screw in the jars after you fill them with nails, screws, etc. Mounted shelving over the garage door can make an otherwise wasted space useful.
Stash it out of sight. Use an old dresser for garage storage. This is a great idea for things like tarps, car covers, or anything that can fold flat. Depending on the size of the drawers, though, you can use a repurposed dresser for just about anything. Consider putting shelf liner in the drawers if you are going to be storing anything that might spill!
Seal it up. Jars are the ultimate organizing tool for small items in the garage. Baby food jars are ideal, but any size jar will do. Don’t rush out to buy jars — look around the kitchen for those that will end up in the trash or recycling first. Use small jars for nails, screws, fasteners, and other small odds and ends. You can also consolidate leftover paint into small jars.
Lock it up. Install a set of old school lockers, often available through city or county surplus sales. Designate a locker for each family member to store boots, outdoor toys and gear, rain gear, and other things that end up scattered around the garage.