More often than not, the garage becomes the catch-all room for tools, household cleaners, sports equipment, camping gear, outdoor toys, and of course the car. In some cases, the garage gets so full of extra stuff that you can’t get the car in. Chances are you have stuff that you haven’t needed in years or you’ve forgotten about altogether. While the clutter can be a little overwhelming, it can also be hazardous. In our previous blog, we discussed how to minimize pests and bugs that can invade the garage if they get the chance. If your garage is cluttered, there’s a good chance a couple of uninvited guests have made themselves comfortable. Here’s how you can take back your garage and get it organized to suit you and your family.

Before you get started:

There are a few things you’ll need to start this process. Having them on hand will keep you motivated to keep going. You’ll need:

  • Heavy-duty trash bags
  • A broom or a strong vacuum
  • A catch-all basket for smaller things you’re not sure what to do with
  • Water to stay hydrated

Step 1: Organize the clutter

The hardest part of organizing any room is where to start. The best place to start is cleaning the floor. Pick up any nails or small items, get rid of cobwebs, clean up any spills you may find, and look for evidence of pests. As you’re going you can start decluttering in the area you’re working. You’re going to start three to four piles out on the driveway of:

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  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Trash
  • Not sure (if needed)

The “not sure” pile should not be an excuse to keep everything. It’s for items that you’re not sure what they are or if your family might need the item later on, like a skateboard being passed down from one child to another but they need to grow a little more.

Step 2: Do it in zones

Once you’ve cleaned out the garage and figure out where your stuff is going it’s time to sort through the “keep” pile. This may be things like:

  • Car supplies such as antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, etc.
  • Tools
  • Sports equipment
  • Holiday storage and more

Step 3: Plan out the storage

Think about where things are going for convenience and safety once it’s back in the garage. For example, any chemicals and dangerous tools are out of reach from children and pets. For everything else you can do things like:

  • Create a shelving system to help organize smaller items, holiday decor, and more
  • Utilize the wall to hang up items like brooms, shovels, rakes, etc.
  • Have a designated toy spot that your little ones so they don’t go into things they’re not supposed to in the garage
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Step 4: Maintain the organization

Now that everything has a spot, make sure it stays in there when it’s not being used. Once a week go through the garage and put everything back in its place. This will go a long way with keeping the garage clutter-free. When you need to add something in, it will be much easier to find a spot for it. Once or twice a year you can go through reorganizing the garage to stay on top of everything you have in there. Take out the old, bring in the new.