While your car depreciates under the heat of the summer sun, other items of less value snuggle cozily on your garage floor. Don’t let unused tools, craft supplies, and sports equipment, and holiday decor crowd your automobile out of its rightful place. Instead, use this guide to de-clutter and re-organize your space — and reclaim that precious parking spot inside your garage.
How to get started
Before you begin the labor of love (or hate) that is clearing out your garage, you’ll need to prepare the space. You want to make sure you understand just how much room you have to work with and how much stuff you’re trying to fit into it.
Step 1: Declutter
To get started, get rid of what you don’t need. Sort all the items in your garage into three piles: keep, donate or sell, and toss. Getting items in the latter two categories out of your garage permanently will make organizing what you keep much easier. You might need fewer storage bins than you thought!
Step 2: Sort the keep items
Next, categorize your “keep” items. Put your tools together in one place, your gardening and yard accessories in another, and continue creating groups like craft supplies, camping gear, and holiday decorations. For now, store these items in clearly labeled cardboard boxes — or plastic storage bins if you have them. This will help you decide how best to store items later, based on how frequently you use them. For instance, you may want to put the lawnmower you use weekly in a more easy-to-reach place than the Christmas tree you use once a year.
Step 3: Evaluate the space
Finally, measure your garage. Carefully note the dimensions and locations of doors, windows, and switches, and determine just how much space your car actually takes up. You might consider using the space planning services offered by manufacturers of garage-organizing systems — these are usually free and can help you research how best to store all your stuff.
As you create your new storage plan, be sure to keep a few simple guidelines in mind:
- Store items you use together close to each other
- Place frequently used items in easy reach
- Pack away seasonal or rarely used items in the harder-to-reach spots
Step 4: Store items by category
How to store tools
Tools are often the first items to make an appearance in the garage. For small hand tools like wrenches, pliers, and hammers, one idea is to add a pegboard to the garage wall. These boards are available at your local home improvement store in various sizes and can cost as little $15 to $20.
When it comes to power tools, these are often awkwardly shaped, and can sometimes be quite heavy in the case of drills and circular saws. With these and other heavy, irregular-shaped items, consider investing in a simple 2-door storage cabinet. Not only can such a cabinet handle the weight, it’s also tool storage and organization option that keeps potentially dangerous items out of reach of younger family members.
How to store gardening and yard accessories
If you have a garage, likely, you are also the proud owner of some sort of green space. Whether your passion is gardening and lawn care, or you simply do the absolute minimum to keep your outdoor areas in check, so the neighbors don’t think you’ve abandoned your home, you probably had to invest in a few tools to keep up with maintenance.
Shovels, rakes, and hoes can take up unwanted space in your garage when they’re leaned against a wall or shoved into a corner. For an inexpensive way to organize those long-handled implements, head to your local home improvement store for some concrete forming tubes. These tubes are lightweight and easily secured to a wall of your garage with a plumbing strap to keep them firmly in place.
How to store craft supplies
If you’re an avid crafter, you know that your supplies can quickly overwhelm your space unless you have a solid organization system in place. When you keep your crafting supplies in the garage, it’s essential to make sure they stay clean and dry, as well as visible and within easy reach.
One budget-friendly solution is a dresser with multiple drawers. The drawers can easily store pens, pencils, paintbrushes, and a host of other small craft items, allowing you to keep a visual inventory of what you have on hand. Another option for garage organization on a budget: repurpose a slightly used filing cabinet. Fill the drawers with clear plastic containers or clearly labeled shoeboxes to bring order to chaos.
How to store camping and outdoor gear
You might partake in various outdoor activities, so first, ensure that you’ve grouped all your camping supplies, skiing equipment, cycling gear, sports paraphernalia, etc., together. Then, hang what you can. For smaller items, that previously mentioned trusty pegboard will come in handy. For larger items like bikes, you might want to hang them directly from the ceiling with a metal hook.
Once you’ve gotten as many items off the floor as you can, consider using a bookcase for the remaining gear. Line the shelves with clearly labeled plastic bins or heavy-duty plastic tote bags filled with items you’d like to keep safe from the elements.
How to store holiday decorations
While just about everyone loves a festive atmosphere during the holiday season, what are you supposed to do with all the baubles and trinkets once the New Year comes? Since most holiday decor is used just once a year, these are items you can feel safe storing in harder-to-reach places.
Wall space near the ceiling is usually not used for much else besides gathering dust, so why not put it to work? Place lightweight metal garage shelves close to the ceiling — far enough away so that your preferred plastic bins will fit — then load up those bins with wreaths, garlands, and ornaments to your heart’s content. They’ll be safe and secure until next year’s celebrations come around.
Visit CORT Furniture Outlet for Budget-Friendly Storage Options
You don’t need to spend big bucks to redo your garage! Instead, opt for gently-used storage essentials from your local furniture outlet. From metal lockers to wire shelving units, you can get everything you need to get your garage back up to speed!