It might start innocently enough: You’re just storing some stray lawn tools in the garage. But suddenly it isn’t just lawn care equipment. It’s firewood, old paint, assorted power tools, beach chairs, umbrellas, and golf clubs, and you’re out of room for your car. If just thinking about all the bits and bobs cluttering up your garage space stresses you out, don’t fear. Cooler days make for the perfect time to reorganize. With these strategies, you’ll never shudder at the thought of looking for a paintbrush or potting soil again.
If you’ve accumulated a lot of clutter over the years, don’t pressure yourself to get it done all at once. Instead, tackle one small section at a time. Give it an hour every weekend or half an hour a couple times a week. Only you know what will work best for you and your schedule.
Take one cleaning session to remove everything from your garage floor and give it a good sweep. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can power wash the garage floor (after covering any electrical outlets) and apply a fresh coat of concrete sealant. If you haven’t already put some down, consider throwing down some rubber mats. These can prevent dangerous falls on slippery concrete.
It’s easy to invent a reason to keep things. And sure, you might use that tail pipe cutter again, but if you haven’t used it in several years, it’s probably okay to get rid of it. Start by sorting out only what’s worth keeping and get rid of the rest. Plus, if you list it on sites like Ebay or Craigslist, you might even be able to earn a little extra cash.
One strategy is to rotate seasonal equipment (think lawnmowers and snow shovels) and place whatever is in season toward the front of your garage. Another strategy is to put all seasonal equipment within easy reach and leave less-used items in the harder to reach spots. Of course, this may also depend on how much space you have, so you’ll have to figure out what works for you, and what you need to access most often.
Struggling with where to put your collection of rakes and shovels? Don’t forget to make use of wall space. Pegboards and slat wall panels with hooks are inexpensive, but perfect for hanging smaller tools. Shelves and racks can also help you free up floor space. Bikes, weed whackers, bins, you name it—all of these items can be hung on durable hooks or placed on sturdy shelves to maximize the space.
DIY organization containers can save you a ton of money. Use nails, hooks, and short pieces of wood to create hangers for long-handled tools like shovels, rakes, brooms, and more. This is also a great place to recycle. Coffee cans are perfect for storing random nails, screws and fixtures. Keep salt in a five-gallon bucket so ice doesn’t catch you off guard. Milk crates can easily contain miscellaneous paint cans and sprays. Your garage doesn’t have to be beautiful—it just has to be functional.