Let’s Organize The Garage {Tips & Strategies}

Let's ORGANIZE THE GARAGE - Tips and Strategies -v

I’ve seen lots of garages in my time, and they are all different. They are different sizes, holding the stuff for different sized families in different seasons of life with different hobbies, and basically they are all holding different amounts of junk.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to garages, but there are some simple steps to get your garage to be the best it can be.

And right now you might feel overwhelmed at the prospect, but I want to encourage you that you can do this! Try not to think about the overwhelming size of the task, but just the very next task to do. Can you do that? Yes, you can. One task at a time, your garage will get organized!

Organizing a garage is similar to steps to organizing other rooms, except it is so much bigger and can have a lot of various “areas”. I like to divide the areas into zones. I store things on shelves, on different walls, and a few things standing on the floor. Before you start organizing your garage, take a moment to look around and plan out different zones you will have. Keeping these zones in mind, the first place to start is Decluttering.

Decluttering the Garage

Decluttering is always the first step in organizing, because when you “organize” clutter, it does not stay organized and is soooo difficult to maintain. If you’re organizing is still difficult to maintain, there could be a flaw with the system, or it could be as easy as you just need to get rid of a little bit more to make it work!

If the garage is too stuffed, you may need to focus on one area at a time so that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Pick the area to go first that you think will be EASIEST to work through. If you have room in your garage, use it, if you need to use your drive way, use that, then –

Pull everything out of the area and sort into piles: DONATE/SELL, RELOCATE (goes back into the house or backyard, etc.), TRASH/RECYCLE, and then **make piles of things that go back into each zone. If you have room in your garage, go ahead and make the “zone piles” near that zone area. Each area should have all of the same “type” of things. For instance, all of your balls should be in the same area.

**If making decisions about where things go feels overwhelming at this stage, just make piles of “like with like”. This means, keep all the stuff that would be stored together in a pile.

Before you move on to decluttering or organizing another area, PAUSE and donate or sell those items in that pile. The time is now. You’ve already had them in the garage and waited long enough. I weigh the convenience of donating and getting a tax deduction versus selling the item for cash now. Things to consider are how easy will the item sell? Is it worth your time to sell? Facebook selling groups are becoming very popular versus Craigslist in a lot of areas, but know your options and find the one that works for you. If you decide to sell, set a deadline for selling things, and if they aren’t sold then you are going to donate and continue making progress. Think about it – how badly do you want your garage clean and organized? Is this stuff really worth not being able to do that? If you can’t sell it easily, donate it or trash it. 

You are going to Declutter and Sort the Garage like this ONE AREA AT A TIME. Each area can take an hour or a day, that’s up to you, but get started and commit to finish the next step. You are not only completing the first step of organizing, which is decluttering, but you are also completing the second step of organizing – sorting like with like.

Organizing the Garage

Congratulations! You completed the first two steps of organizing during the Declutter phase of organizing your Garage!

The next step of Organizing Your Garage is deciding where stuff goes. I enjoy this phase for the same reasons I love Tetris. To me it’s like a puzzle and I like the challenge of moving all of the pieces around until they fit. I like to plan on paper before I do too much physical work, of course I kind of have to do the planning first so I’m just use to it.  My professional organizing clients usually like to see a plan before I start putting holes in walls! You may be used to just winging it for yourself, but try planning it out and treating yourself like a “client”.

You’ve decluttered, so you know everything you’re left with needs to fit in somehow (and if it doesn’t fit, then you need to declutter more!),  so its just a matter of figuring out the best places for things to go and the best ways to store/organize them.

There are some basic choices for Garage organizing to think about –

  • Hanging from Walls/Ceilinggreat for bulky items that don’t fit well on shelves
  • Pegboardthe perfect fit for tools
  • Shelves the most flexible organizing tool because it can fit containers and items of all sizes
  • Cabinetsflexible like shelves, but it hides your stuff and keeps down dust inside of cabinets
  • Specialized Tool/Equipment Boxestool boxes & benches, etc., you’ll know it if you have it or need it

If you are tight on a budget, then list out what storage you already have to work with and what you need to store, and then plan what should fit where. Remember, you’ve already sorted into piles of like items, so you know how much space that type of thing will take up and that will help you make a smart decision about where to store it. It is a puzzle – the first place you think it should go may not be right, which is why working it out on paper will save you so much work!

If you have a little budget for more organizing/storage, think about the stuff you are keeping and what kind of storage thing suits it best. And don’t just think about what suits the stuff, but also what will fit into your space well. Don’t go out and buy organizing stuff that sounds like a good idea then come home and figure out how to make it work!! Plan it out first, and then make smart purchases of what will really fit your stuff AND the space in your garage!!!

Garage Ideas

This week I am going to be showing you how I recently re-organized my garage and I am happy to say that it is finally how I want it. Just like many of you, I have to compromise with someone else who lives here, but this time I said “I’m doing the garage my way, so unless you have any major objections … “. You know what? He has absolutely loved the “new” garage! It makes me wonder what I was really waiting for to give it that final touch. Hmmm.

This week I will show you –

  • Ideas for organizing garage shelves, including my Pegboard Hack for organizing tools and power equipment. Yep, I use power tools now! (I didn’t on my last garage tour … then I decided to build all the furniture in my studio and now I’m building amazing garden beds.)
  • How I Hang Bikes, Ripsticks, Scooters, and more from the walls to save floor space in the garage.
  • How I Organize my Stand-up Freezer in my Garage.
  • My Re-Organized Garage Reveal
  • Tips to Maintain Your Garage

See My Pinterest Board For More Ideas –

If you don’t follow me on Pinterest, it is time! Like I said, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to garages, so checkout my Organize | Garage board and see if there is a garage or a garage solution that fits your situation.

Follow Mary ORGANIZES on Pinterest —

Okay, you have your first homework assignment! Start the decluttering! And be on the lookout as I show you tips for organizing it after you’ve decluttered. You.can.do.this. Do not be afraid of the garage! Do not let your garage own you! You own IT!

Do you have a garage full of junk but park valuable vehicles in the driveway? It is time to change that! Let’s organize the garage!

Be sure to check out all the other Garage Organizing Posts!

Garage Organizing Posts

Let’s Organize The Garage {Tips & Strategies} – An overview of the best strategies for approaching organizing your garage, with useful tips to make it go better.

Let's ORGANIZE THE GARAGE - Tips and Strategies -s

Pegboard Hack & Organizing Garage Shelves – Ideas for organizing shelves and pegboards. Shelves are flexible to organizing lots of things, and pegboards are specifically excellent at organizing tools.

Pegboard Hack and Organizing Garage Shelves -s

Garage Organizing: How To Hang Bikes, Scooters, Ripsticks, Balls & More – Use the vertical space in your garage and get all the pesky sports equipment off the floor and on the wall!

Garage Organizing - How to hang bikes scooters ripsticks balls and more -s

How To Organize A Stand-Up Freezer – Many people keep freezers in their garage. Let’s get those organized too!

HOW TO Organize A Stand-Up Freezer -s

My Re-Organized Garage REVEAL – I finally made the changed to make my garage a happy place for me! See all the nooks and crannies!

My Re-Organized Garage Reveal -s

How To KEEP Your Garage Organized – You’ve worked hard to organize your Garage! Now it’s time to learn how to keep it that way!

How To Keep Your Garage Organized -s

Diagnose Your Garage & Cure The Clutter – This is an oldie, but goodie! Find out the different reasons people accumulate junk in their garage and diagnose YOUR REASON for a garage mess – then you’ll know how to clear the clutter.

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Happy Organizing!


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Let's ORGANIZE THE GARAGE - Tips and Strategies -s

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