Your garage should be taking care of your car or cars, depending on the size.
Yet it is instead the place where everything goes into storage.
If you want to end the cycle that sees your garage pile up with junk, it’s time to get organized.
First, the Clean Out
Before you can reclaim the garage, you need to remove everything that doesn’t belong. This includes every item, box, or bag that isn’t supposed to live in the garage.
Before you start, set a timer for 30 minutes or an hour. You can make it a game to see how fast you can do it.
This should stop you from wasting time contemplating each item.
There’s a good chance that you will discover a lot of trash, so have the trash can handy.
You’ll also find things you could recycle, so have the bin ready for that.
Also, open up your cargo hold or trunk and get ready to fill it. Everything that can go to a charity should be shoved inside.
Perhaps there are boxes of items that really belong in an attic? Or need to be in an inside closet?
If you don’t have indoor space, you need to consider whether to keep them or let them go.
If you decide you must keep them, it’s simple to rent a storage unit.
Second, the Sorting
Now you need to do a more intense sorting of what’s left behind.
To really get organized, you’ll need to take out the things you plan to keep and put them in groups according to their use.
As you do that, make yourself part with things that are broken or damaged. Many of us keep small tools in duplicates and triplicates.
Let some of that go and reduce the load that your garage has to store.
It is helpful to set a timer and try to beat the clock. As you put things outside, you will start to see how things go together.
This will save you time when you decide to put them back. You should be making more use of your trash can, recycling bin, and charity pile.
Third, the Cleaning
With everything out of the way, do some cleaning. You can sweep the walls and get rid of cobwebs.
If there are shelves or cupboards, take a few minutes to wipe them off or wipe them out.
This is your chance to get at the real dirt that piles up behind and around the messes we make.
Yet again, it helps to set a timer. You don’t have to obsess about the place being spotless.
You just want to get the visible dirt out while you have the chance.
Fourth, the Planning
Now you should take a good look at the space you have. You may already have plenty of organizational hardware and shelving.
You just need to make better use of them. There may be other things you’ve uncovered that would work for organizing the garage.
Bring it all together before you start working. The end goal should be that everything has a place, and nothing is interfering with your ability to park a vehicle in the garage.
Furthermore, you should think about how you use items. For instance, your yard implements should go near the garage door.
They will be in frequent use and will bring dirt and debris into the garage.
Your mops and brooms will go near the door to the house.
Fifth, the Installation
Now it’s time to put in the hardware and shelving that will allow you to organize. Long items should be hung vertically.
This includes most lawn implements and ladders as well as mops and brooms.
Big items, such as wheelbarrows and bicycles, could be suspended from the ceiling.
Pegboard could be attached to a wall. Well-placed hooks provide an easy way to keep your tools in plain sight, ready for action.
Old plastic trash cans and buckets can make good upright containers for tools as well. If you are buying or building shelves, go up, not out.
You want to make use of every inch of vertical space.
Finally, the Restoration
Now that you have places for everything, it should be a simple matter to put things away.
When you are done, you should be able to park in the garage again.