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How to maximize storage in your garage

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Making it all fit

Are you drowning in clutter? Lacking storage space? If you have a garage, you have no excuses. If you organize it just right, you can maximize your garage’s storage potential and clear your house of clutter, once and for all.

Woman having garage sale

1Clean it out

Before you try to organize, you have to purge. Chances are, there are items lurking in the corners of your garage you don't even know are there. Take everything out of your garage and line it up in the driveway, placing what you want to keep on one side, and what you don't on the other. Once you know what items you need to store, you can get started putting things back in a more orderly fashion.

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2Totes

Group like-items together and pack smaller items in clear totes. Clear totes work better than boxes because you can easily see what's inside. They also keep your items safe from water, dirt, bugs and more.

3Ceiling space

If you have an open space above the rafters in your garage, use it to your advantage. Lay sturdy boards across the joists, and use that area to stack items you don't need to constantly access. This is a great space for seasonal items and other things you only need once a year or less.

4Shelves and cabinets

Shelves are pretty much non-negotiable in an organized garage space. They keep items organized and in their place, and allow you to stack things vertically without creating a safety hazard. Make sure you check the weight limits on the shelves before you make a purchase. Some of the cheaper shelves aren't meant to hold much weight.

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Cabinets are another option. They serve the same purpose as shelves, but allow you to shut the door and hide everything away, giving your garage space a neat, clean look. You can opt for cabinets or floor-to-ceiling shelves, or mix and match both to fit your needs.

5Hooks

It's important to think vertically when you're dealing with your garage. Hang bikes and other large items from the ceiling using industrial-strength hooks. Use smaller hooks and pegs to hang small tools above a workbench. When you hang an item, it's out of your way and it's not taking up precious floor or shelf space.

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6Trash cans

Trash cans may be used for so much more than trash. Use a trash can for storing long handled lawn tools or sports equipment. They're easy to just throw things into, and you can move them around to wherever you need them. Get one with wheels and pull it around the yard with you when you tend your lawn.

Hold a garage sale once a year. It'll help you ditch the items you don't need and keep junk from piling up in your garage.

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