Garage Storage Tips: Organize and Declutter

Homeclick Community added by Kathleen Krueger

Professional organizers offer tips on how to prevent overwhelm when you use your garage for storage space.

The job of a garage is, first and foremost, to be a safe storage area for the family vehicles. However, the average garage provides more than one function for homeowners. In most cases, the garage is a storage area for many other things as well. When fitting your vehicles into the garage becomes a challenge or absolutely impossible, it’s time to declutter and reorganize your garage.

Declutter First
Dani Perea, from BrightNest.com, a leading source of advice for homeowners, offers this advice on how to begin the decluttering process: “Keep your garage’s job in mind as you clear clutter and organize. Anything that doesn’t fit its job should go in a “put away (somewhere else)” pile or a throw away or donate pile.”

Just because something is currently stored in your garage, doesn’t mean it has to stay there or that the garage is the best place to store it. Seasonal items can be stored in a separate garden shed or a self-storage unit and retrieved when needed.

Perea also provides this savvy tip – ”Never buy bins before you declutter – or you’ll have less motivation to actually get rid of items with a nice new empty bin in front of you.” If you do buy bins for garage storage, organizers generally recommend that you purchase clear plastic bins. This allows you to see what is stored inside without having to open the bin.

[More Decluttering Tips: 4 Steps to a Clutter-Free Home]

Storage Time
Now that you’ve decluttered and determined which items really should be stored in your garage, its time to get organized. Angelica Holiday a professional organizer and owner of Organize Rescue suggest creating zones for similar items.

“Place all sporting equipment in one zone. Lawn care and tools make a nice pairing in another zone.”

You’ve decluttered and sorted your items, now it’s time to decide how to create garage storage areas that are both accessible and fitting for the types of items you are storing. Holiday offers this advice: “I say “UP” with it all. Hang as many things as you can from the ceiling and on the walls.”

Perea gets even more specific, “If most of the items in your garage are sports related, then opt for metal shelving and hanging hooks rather than large boxes (which easily become clutter traps). If your ‘keep’ items are mostly tools – a pegboard and hooks will hold tools, and won’t take up as much space as clutter-friendly shelves.”

Keep safety in mind as you determine storage areas for items. “Always store substances like paint, pesticides and auto fluids in their original containers,” Perea reminds us. “If the containers are damaged at all, get rid of them. If you have pets or children, make sure that containers of toxic substances are high and far out of reach.”

For a truly clutter-free look in your garage, invest in storage cabinets that hide your tools and other smaller items behind sleek doors. Select cabinets that mount on the wall to protect them from floor moisture that could cause damage.

Another reason to choose cabinet storage in the garage is to add another layer of safety and security. Cabinets can have locks to keep children from accessing dangerous power tools and toxic substances. Locked cabinets also add a further deterrent to those who would like to take your tools without your permission.

A final word from professional organizer Angelica Holiday is a good one to keep in mind: “Garages are for parking cars, not packing in so many things you can’t move.”

Garage Storage Tips: Organize and Declutter