Do you have visions of one day being able to work on your cars inside your garage, rather than out in the driveway?
Do you ever dream of having a garage like one of these?
Well, what’s stopping you?
If you’re like most people, it’s the fact that your current garage is acting as a messy, disorganized self-storage unit.
The Problem With a Messy Garage
According to one survey, nearly 25 percent of Americans say their garage is too cluttered and messy to fit their vehicle inside. This means one out of every four Americans can’t even pull their car inside of their garage – let alone work in it.
“The garage is sort of the catchall for junk in the house,” Green Residential notes. “You put items in the garage and pretend that you’ll get to them later, when you really know that they’re just being placed there to sit for six or nine months.”
As messes pile up, the thought of cleaning up your garage becomes increasingly intimidating, and your dreams of having a pristine shop evaporate.
But what if organizing your garage so that you can transform it into your very own shop isn’t as impossible as it seems?
5 Ways You Can Organize Your Garage
Whether you have a small one-car garage or a three-car variety with plenty of space for activities, getting organized requires a disciplined approach. Here’s one recommended course of action:
- Create Three Piles
Most people make the mistake of trying to organize in a piecemeal manner – picking up one item here and another item there. The problem with this approach is that you don’t always have a place to put the item you’re trying to put away. There’s still too much of a mess!
The correct method is to clear everything out of the garage so that (a) you can take inventory and, (b) you have a blank canvas to work with. The easiest way to do this is to create three big piles in your driveway:
- Trash. Anything that’s no longer useable and not worth saving goes into this pile. Fill up large 55-gallon trash bags and take them to the dump/set them out on the curb. You’ll immediately feel lighter!
- Donate/sell. This pile is for all of the items that you no longer need/want, but are still functional. Put them on Facebook Marketplace or swing them by a Goodwill donation center.
- Keep. Anything that doesn’t fit into one of the other two categories goes into this pile. Be disciplined about what you allow in this category. Is it something you use regularly? Does it make you happy? If you can’t say “yes” to at least one of these questions, it’s probably not something you need to hang onto.
- Split “Keep” Items Into Zones
Now take your “keep” pile and organize these items into different categories. For example, you might have categories for auto parts, holiday decor, kid’s toys, yard tools, etc.
Each of these categories will get its own zone in the garage. Some zones will be bigger than others, but the goal is to have clear demarcation so that everything stays systematically organized.
- Give Everything a Home
Every item that you put back into the garage needs a very specific home. This includes every skateboard, wrench, and paint can. Having a designated “spot” makes it easier to put items back where they go when you’re finished using them.
- Utilize Vertical Storage
Most garages are designed to fit one or two vehicles with very little extra room to spare. This is problematic if you plan on using your garage for a shop. But you can overcome this problem by utilizing vertical storage.
- Keep it Up
Don’t underestimate how easy it is for your now-clean garage to get messy again. The key is to clean up as you go. Make a habit out of putting every item back immediately after use. It only takes you an extra 10 or 15 seconds to do, but it’ll save you hours of cleanup time in the future.
Now’s the Time to Get Organized
There’s never been a better time than now to get organized. If you’re like most Americans, you’re spending more time than usual at home. Cleaning out your garage will keep you occupied for hours – if not days. Put it on your to-do list and get started!