From seasonal decorations and old baby clothes to sports equipment and college textbooks, it’s no wonder garages tend to be the catch-all for clutter. But with a garage full of anything-but-the-kitchen-sink, where is a homeowner to start?
Stop tripping over things on your way to the car and give your garage some much-needed TLC with these quick and easy organization tips.
Decide what to store
Start by devoting one weekend day, preferably on a day the weather cooperates, to "the big sort." Make four piles: store, sell, donate and toss. For the items you're throwing out, consider having a -- you guessed it -- garage sale. This is a great way to earn some extra money to buy items for organizing your garage.
All you need to know: Garage sale secrets >>
Try grouping frequently-used items together, placing seasonal items and keepsakes in different zones altogether. You may want to designate a section of your garage for sporting equipment and outdoor items, another area for gardening tools or craft supplies and a different area for automotive supplies.
New vehicle zone? Check out some tips for car shopping >>
Use your wall space
Shelves, cabinets, racks and hooks keep items off the floor and reduce clutter. The walls of your garage are a great place to configure a storage solution that works for your purposes. It doesn't have to be pricey -- most of the items you would need can be found at your local home improvement store.
Up and away
The ceiling is easily overlooked as an area for garage organization. Shelves can also be built in the rafters and used for storing items that are used infrequently, such as seasonal decorations and travel luggage. The great thing about this type of storage is that clutter is placed up and away, hiding many of the less-glamorous items from view.
Small space? Check out storage solutions for small spaces >>
Box it up
Get out the Sharpie and use plastic storage bins or cardboard boxes with clearly-marked labels displaying their contents for a clean, clutter-free look. Instead of letting unused luggage go empty, use it to store those old clothes from when the kids were babies that you just can't part with. Have an old dresser? Put it to good use and consider letting the kids design the newest garage storage system, which, when outfitted with cabinet grip liners, is perfect for those smaller items.
"Considering how often it's used, it makes sense to give your garage some organizing attention," says Lisa Engel, vice president of channel marketing and communications, ClosetMaid.
A well-organized garage not only looks good, but makes your life easier by allowing you to find what you need quickly.
More home organization tips