Is your garage packed so full of things that you can’t even fit your car in anymore? You’re not alone. Many households use their garages for extra storage, but that doesn’t mean that your garage can’t be better organized and clutter-free. Here’s how you can get rid of the clutter and start making better use of the space.
Sort Your Items Into Piles
What’s in your garage? Do you even remember? If there are things that are being stored deep in your garage, it’s likely that you don’t even know they’re there. Begin decluttering your garage by sorting all of the items in your garage into piles — one for the things that you want to keep and one for the things that you want to get rid of.
Consider making it a family day: you can have everyone pick through the garage together, to get the process done faster and to avoid throwing out anything that someone else wants. If you can’t tackle all of the garage at once, you can instead split it into “zones” and tackle them one at a time.
Have a Garage Sale
Continue your decluttering process by having a garage sale for anything in your garage that you don’t need. Anything that isn’t sold at the garage sale can be given away to family and friends or donated. If you have a lot of tools or equipment that you no longer use, you may be able to sell it on a classified listing site or online marketplace.
Install Storage Options
Garages often become cluttered because there’s no good way to store the items in them. Before you start stacking your items back into your garage, consider installing new storage options. Anything that takes advantage of vertical space is often preferred: consider installing shelves or hanging racks for tools.
Put Everything in its Place
Ideally, anything that you aren’t going to need for a long time should be the least accessible object in a garage. Place items that you have in permanent storage close to walls, with items that are seasonal (such as holiday decorations) at the top. Items that are frequently used but nevertheless have to be stored (such as equipment) should be positioned in an area that is easy to see.
Tuck the Small Things Away
Smaller things such as extension cords and cables and hand tools should be boxed (or placed in drawers) rather than allowed to float around freely. Clutter is just a large volume of things that aren’t in their right place; by putting smaller objects away, you can reduce the visual clutter of an area. If you can, try to standardize the sizes of the boxes and storage that you use; this will make them easier to stack and create a more minimalist appearance.
Label Your Storage
Labels can have a significant impact on whether things are put away the correct way moving forward. Take some time to label your drawers and cabinets; it’ll make it easier for you to find things, while also making it easier for others in your household to do some organization on your behalf.
Consider Getting a Storage Unit
Garage storage is for items that you need fairly regularly but not all the time. If you have items that you need to keep permanently in storage — such as things from your family — it may be better to invest in a storage unit. Many storage units are also climate-controlled, which may make them safer for delicate items such as wooden furniture.
Regardless of whether you keep everything in the garage or you ship some of it off to a self-storage, keep an inventory of everything. Ideally, each box you’ve stored should have an identifying number, which corresponds to an inventory list. Your inventory does more than keep you organized — it may also become necessary if you ever need to initiate an insurance claim.
Once your garage is decluttered, it’s a simple matter of keeping it that way. If there’s something you need to get rid of, it doesn’t go into the garage — it goes into the trash. With the right storage options (and by throwing unwanted things away), you can keep your garage useful and well-organized.