Fall is the perfect time to clean out and organize your garage. The weather is cooler and you can make room for your car(s) for the winter months. I am originally from the Midwest and garages back home were used a lot differently than they are in Texas. There are basements in most homes in the Midwest so there were usually storage rooms. These would be used for keepsakes, holiday items and other items that you don’t get to often. The garage was for outdoor items, tools, outdoor toys, etc. In Texas, garages often act like basements and are used to store everything from tools to holiday items. If you have an attic, this can be a useful storage space for some of these items as well.
In a perfect world, our garage would be neat and tidy while still storing all of our stuff. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Before purchasing any cabinets or storage shelves, purge any unused items and inventory what you will be keeping in your garage. Make sure to take into account anything that is currently inside your home that may need to be moved to the garage. This will ensure that you are not buying unnecessary items since you do not want to clutter up your garage even more when you are trying to clear it out.
- Assess if you have usable attic space or any indoor storage closets that can be used for holiday decor or other items.
- Cleaning and organizing a garage can be very overwhelming as it is a large space with a lot of extra clutter. If the task seems to be too stressful for you, start left to right and work one section at a time. Remember, you do not have to do all of this at once.
- Utilize your ceiling space. If you have high ceilings in your garage utilize them and hang shelves from the ceiling for items that you rarely get to. You can purchase shelves like the one shown below or have a handy man build custom shelves.
- Utilize your wall space. There are many wall storage products and ideas out there when it comes to your garage. You can hang a simple wall organizer for your brooms, rakes and shovels, or put up an elaborate system to hang anything from brooms to hoses to bikes. Below is an example of a wall storage solution.
- It may be a good idea to have a spot to hang your bicycles, but make sure they are easy to get down if you ride them frequently. If you have children who ride their bikes daily, it will not be realistic to have them hanging up (especially hanging from the ceiling).
- Parent know that toys can take over our homes very easily; this is true for the garage as well. It is just as important for the toys to be organized in the garage as it is inside the house. Designate a bottom shelf as the toy zone so the children can reach them and put them away. Have containers clearly labeled and easy to clean. Some examples of garage toy storage containers are below; be creative and fun with the labels so the kids are more likely to put things away.
- Utilize a pegboard for the tools that you use on a regular basis and keep all other tools in a toolbox stored on a shelf or in a cabinet.
- Have what you need. You may think you need 5 hammers or 6 tape measurers, but you don’t. If you have a couple and they have a home, you will be able to find them when you need them and won’t need to continuously replace them.
Finally, my last piece of advice is to have a plan to clean and organize your garage twice a year. Spring and Fall are both great times to purge unused items and keep things organized.