If you want to declutter your garage, you’ll need a game plan. After all, it could be argued that the garage is the toughest of all the places in your home to keep clean and organized. Not only is it often out of sight (and out of mind), but it’s likely storing your bulkiest – and, let’s face it, most random – items.
Decluttering your garage is one (admittedly large) chore you won’t regret checking off your list. And if you do it right, it’s a chore you’ll only have to do once.
Look, Don’t Touch
Your first step to the garage of your dreams?
Step into your garage with a notepad or your phone and start noting what items you are actually storing. During this process you may notice several items you rarely or never use that could be donated or sold, empty boxes that could be recycled and loose items that could be stored better. Make note of what you’ll need to be ready to start your garage clear out. Choose a day or two that you can clear your calendar – keep in mind that clocks move double time when you’re organizing. If possible try to align your garage clear out with your recycling or garbage pickup day.
Take this time to research donation locations in your area and begin to post the items you’d like to sell.
It Has To Get Worse
As the saying goes, it has to get worse before it gets better – don’t let this step deter you from getting the most organized garage of your life. Start by sweeping the floor so you can begin categorizing items in piles. Once you can see all your items laid out, you’ll be able to determine what storage bins and tools you’ll need to organize best. If possible, remove any items from cardboard boxes, as these can become a breeding ground for mould and garage critters.
No Choice Necessary
If you are torn about how to use your garage, don’t choose! Create a multifunctional space with rolling storage, like in this garage by Garage Living.
During the planning process, it’s a good idea to park your car inside of the garage if you plan to have it inside on a regular basis. This will help you better visualize how much room you have to work with and what storage solutions may be best suited. With rollaway shelving and worktops, space for an at-home gym or new project is just a couple of moves away.
A Place For Everything
Now that your garage (and its contents) are ready to be put back together, two important decisions must be made: Shelving and bins.
This decision often becomes a who-came-first-chicken-or-the-egg situation, as you’ll need the pair to work seamlessly together.
If you already have plastic storage bins, look for shelving with the correct dimensions. And if you already have the shelving, find bins that can slide in and out easily. Uniform storage bins aren’t just aesthetically pleasing but extremely functional when it comes to stacking and utilizing shelving space most efficiently. As you fill each bin, be sure to label each side so you can easily find what you’re looking for.
You can also up the ante with your garage shelving by opting for one similar to the IKEA BROR unit with built-in drawers for smaller, more frequently used items.
The Number One Investment
If you have been sleeping on slat walls, you’re likely not utilizing the plethora of vertical storage available in your garage. Slat walls offer flexible storage that can be effortlessly changed as your needs change.
Once the slat wall is installed, a variety of hooks and shelves can be purchased individually to hang bikes, sporting equipment, garden tools and so much more.
Keep your garage floor clear by utilizing the square footage above your head. Upper storage racks are the perfect solution for storing less frequently used items (such as holiday decor or camping gear).
Larger items such as kayaks or tires can also be stored above head – just be mindful that upper storage doesn’t get in the way of where your garage doors open.
Light It Up
Since the pandemic, people have been utilizing their garage spaces more than ever before.
Whether it may be taking up pottery or providing at-home classroom space for your kids, the garage can become an additional hangout for your household.
If you intend for your garage to become more than an oversized storage closet, add LED lighting to brighten up a typically dark environment. Strip lighting can provide warm hues and make your garage a space you want to spend time in.
From granny pods to yoga studios, check out these ways to makeover your garage or shed.
The Season Special
How you might use your garage will likely change based on the season. In colder climates, you may need easy access to a shovel during the winter but lawn chairs during the summer.
You might park your car in the garage during the cold months. You may spend more time in a workspace during the warmer months.
A Clean Slate
Depending on how you plan to use your newly organized garage, you may want to consider a polyaspartic floor coating.
Polyaspartic flooring is similar to epoxy but has better abrasion and chemical resistance. Typically, professional installers can refinish a garage floor in less than a day. Especially for those with attached garages who may want to use the space as a family drop zone, mudroom or at-home gym, garage flooring can be a game-changer—or should we say garage changer?
All About You
The garage is one of the most customizable spaces in your home. Though you’re likely to find garage staples such as recycling and garbage cans or gardening tools, many of the items we store are based on our lifestyle and interests.
With a number of specialty storage options and companies that specialize in creating the most functional space for your needs, the possibilities are unlimited.