Tips for Organizing Your Garage

Divide the contents into 3 categories: to keep, to sell or donate, to trash.

The saying "out of sight, out of mind" is never more true than when it comes to storing things in the garage. Something about the big empty space urges us to fill it with holiday ornaments, "someday" garage sale items and baby clothes from kids that are closer to college than they are to wearing onesies. If your garage is exploding with items you don't need or don't have room for, use the following tips to clear the clutter and maybe even make room for a car.

The Big Three
There's one universal organizing tip that helps tame every mess, no matter how overwhelming it is. Divide the mess into 3 categories: to keep, to sell or donate, to trash. Don't start by looking through boxes and picking out individual items, it slows down the process and puts our brains on overload. If it takes more than a quick glance to discern what's inside a container, it goes into the keep pile for later sorting. Carry the items outside onto the driveway or lawn as you work; the goal is to empty the garage. 

Follow through is crucial, once the garage is empty take a load of trash to the landfill, or prearrange for a service to pick it up, and get those donations delivered as quickly as possible-the same day if you can.

A pegboard is a great way to organize hand tools.

Clean It Up
Take advantage of the empty garage and clean the space from top to bottom. Now's the time to spread some cat litter on those oil stains and sweep the cobwebs from the corners.

Pile It Up
Your garage is filled with potential storage space, look up to see it. Vertical storage supplies such as pegboards, overhead systems, hanging shelves and mesh organizers are more functional than stacking plastic containers to the roof. Use vertical storage options to help you create storage zones, for example, the zone for storing sports' equipment might use mesh bags for keep balls contained while the zone for tool storage would benefit from a pegboard for hanging hand tools.

Fine Tuning
Now that the garage is ready to serve as a clean and efficient storage space, start sorting through the "keep" pile. Place items in their designated zone as you pick through them but don't worry about perfect organization until all the items you're keeping have been placed in the right area. Once the keep pile is managed it's time to begin fine tuning. Work in one zone at a time until everything is neatly in place and you'll have a garage that looks so good you won't be embarrassed when the door gets left open.

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