Planning on getting your garage organized is one thing, but actually taking the first step to declutter and clean your garage is another. Depending on the size of your garage space and the amount of junk to declutter, tackling your garage organization project can either take a few hours, a full day, or even an entire weekend. If you’re ready to take on the challenge of organizing your garage, use this simple and easy guide to help you reclaim the valuable space in your garage.
1. CREATE A LIST
Garage organization can seem overwhelming. If you can take some time to assess and find out what’s in your garage, it will make the whole process a lot easier to see what you have to work with and what types of storage will work best when you actually begin cleaning and organizing. To begin, go through your garage and make a quick inventory of all the things. This will allow you to determine how much of the things in your garage you need to keep or have to toss out.
Once you have everything listed and taken into account—and depending on how much work is needed to be done and your target for completion—make cleaning your garage a family project. Include family members, relatives, or even close friends. Assigning jobs will help speed up the process - and having company in every step of the way puts a whole lot of fun fun in cleaning and organizing.
Now that you’re on your way to making your space far more functional and efficient, it’s time to actually get it done. Before you plunge into the organization process, make sure you’ve got the right tools and supplies in place so as to not accidentally create more mess as you’re working on decluttering your garage. To start, gather the following:
- Basic cleaning supplies (broom, rags, vacuum cleaner)
- Heavy-duty trash bags
- Empty containers or boxes for storage
As you begin the process of cleaning, you should also start decluttering by eliminating some unnecessary things right off the bat. By getting rid of the items you don’t need, you won’t have to deal with it when deciding what to keep, donate, recycle, or sell.
Have your storage bins or boxes nearby as you begin going through the items you pull out of your garage. Sort and label your piles according to their importance or value. Whatever that doesn’t make it to your keep, donate, or sell pile is automatically clutter and needs to be tossed out. Take a good look at each item and if you’re unsure whether to keep, donate, or sell an item, here are some general questions to ask yourself to help you decide:
- When was the last time I have put it into use?
- Do I have more than one or two of this item?
- Can I replace it easily?
- Is it broken or way past its prime in any way?
- What’s the worst thing that will happen if I get rid of it?
- Will it have a big effect in my maintaining an organized and efficient garage space?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, decide and sort as you go. Some options for sorting your garage clutter:
- Donate - If, by any means, they don’t serve any use to you anymore but are still in good condition and can be reused, keep them in your ‘donate’ pile. You’ll be surprised to see what your donations can do to those who need it more than you do. To start, you may know anyone in your family or circle of friends who can put the things you no longer need into good use; if not, you can reach out to your local community if they have any donation drives. One other way is to do research for any charity or non-profit organization that accepts any donation.
- Sell - Aside from having more space and reducing clutter, making a little money off of your garage cleanout is one of the perks of the organization process. You can hold a yard sale or put them up online to sell. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are some good places to list your items and advertise them.
- Recycle - Another option is the good old recycling. There are tons of simple DIY projects you can take on using some of the items you already have in your garage.
Once your space is clutter-free and items are piled according to their designated use and priority, it’s time to do a deep clean before you put things back and organize. You can now start doing basic cleaning; removing every bit of dust that’s built up and getting rid of cobwebs and stains. It’s important to give the floor a good once over with a broom and mop to be thorough in all areas and make the room as spotless as possible.3. ORGANIZE AND DIVIDE GARAGE INTO ZONES
Nowadays garages are turned into a multi-purpose space that store items from garden tools to sports equipment to all sorts of memorabilia. When approaching the task of organizing, it would help if you segregate your belongings based on their usefulness and types.
Now that all of the clutter is out, figure out how much space your car or cars take, and then work from there. Start by categorizing the items in your ‘keep’ pile and putting similar items into one group. This way you can arrange your items according to its use and organize them into specific organizing zones.
You can think of ‘zones’ as departments as done in stores. There are specific zones for garden tools, camping gear, sports equipment, car supplies, and so on. You can then create an organization system from the zones you’ve assigned and structure it according to your family’s needs and priorities. You will want to arrange them in a way that’s easy to find when you need them and trouble-free when you put it back.4. MAINTAIN YOUR ORGANIZED GARAGE
Garage cleaning and organization may be quite a huge project to tackle, but when you take it one step at a time and break it into manageable chunks, you can now reclaim the valuable space in your garage. Organizing a garage can look different for everyone, so it’s best to try out a few things until you figure out the perfect system that works for you and your family.
The next step to do is properly maintain your garage to save more effort the next time you’re going to clean the place. A few final tips to do regularly to maintain a clean and efficient garage:
- Keep the floor clutter-free as possible.
- Invest in pesticides to prevent any insects or pests from living in your garage
- Regularly sweep and give the floors a good scrub to avoid any build-up
Now that you’ve figured out how to best take on a messy garage, you can handle it better the next time and save more time and money. Having physical spaces tidied up and decluttered, you will have more time to work on important tasks and ultimately, decrease stress and improve your overall life and well-being.