It seems obvious that a garage should be used as a place to park your cars, but many folks have unintentionally turned their garages into giant storage rooms. If you’re guilty as charged, let the purging begin. Before you know it, your cars will replace all the clutter and you might even make yourself some money.
Keep, sell, toss or donate. For starters, you must be willing to part with a lot of stuff. Pull everything onto the driveway and sort into four piles: keep, sell, toss and donate. Broken items and trash should be immediately tossed. For items with value that you no longer use, try selling them. Hold a garage sale and post items for sale on an online community sales page such as craigslist. If items don’t sell, be prepared to donate them to a favorite charity thrift store. Pro tip: With the money you do make on sales, set it aside for the possible purchase of organizational tools. Your ‘keep’ pile should only contain items you use on a regular basis. Don’t be sentimental, be sensible.
Use your vertical space. Once you drag your ‘keep’ pile back in the garage, think vertically. Whenever possible, use boxes, bins, hooks and other organizing tools you already own. Now is also the time to consider installing shelves and vertical organization systems. Pro tip 2: Never purchase organizing tools before you purge. You’ll spend too much and will be tempted to keep more of your belongings than you need.
Be sure to assess the weight of heavier objects to determine how sturdy the shelves need to be. In most instances, the the back wall is the best place to install shelves because the sides of the garage must have enough clearance for you to park the cars and open vehicle doors. Get brooms, rakes, hoes and other tools off the floor using pegboard or movable hooks.
Leave floor space open. If a workbench is needed, consider building one that can be folded up and latched to the wall. Remember, the goal is to allow enough room to park your vehicles in the garage.
Long-term storage. Overhead storage systems that bolt through the ceiling into the joists are ideal for items that aren’t regularly used, such as seasonal decorations. Be sure to give the garage door enough clearance when hanging these types of shelves.
Once your garage is organized and your shelving systems are in place, limit yourself to only purchasing new items that have a designated space in the garage. By limiting purchases, you will save untold amounts of money.