Don’t let this large space get the better of you. These storage maker tips will set you on the right track.
Facing down a jam-packed garage? If you’re feeling defeated before you’ve even begun, these tips are for you. By breaking a mountain of a task into bite-size pieces, you can bring your out-of-control-messy garage into focus.
Check out these first steps to getting started, smart storage ideas and more. Before you know it, you’ll have transformed a chaotic free for all space into a functional, organised storage area.
If you stop thinking about cleaning out the garage as a big task that must be completed in one go, it takes a lot of the pressure off. Each step you take to clean out your space makes it measurably better than where you started, which is why I advise throwing perfection as a goal out the window – 90% is perfect! – if it’s better than before, that’s a win. And by breaking your task down into manageable chunks, you can have a totally clean, clear garage eventually, and you can enjoy the small victories along the way.
Do some Garage Re Con
Take a deep breath, and go in. Don’t worry about sorting or removing anything, just have a good look around and note what you see. You might want to make a list, take some photographs or both; do whatever helps you feel more organised and in control.
On this first trip into the garage, take special note of any really big and bulky pieces. Are you ready to get rid of any of these items? If so, take some time to research where to take them, or (if you intend to sell them) take photos and create an ad for eBay or another resource in your area.
Compile a Garage Storage Resource List
Look over the notes or photos you made during your re con, and make a list of the types of items you plan to get rid of. Once you know what you have, you can begin to figure out where it will all go – Take a look at the Storage Maker website at this stage for Garage Storage Ideas.
Perhaps you need to rent a skip to collect genuine rubbish or find a charity shop to drop off clothes to. Having these details charted out in advance will make the rest of the process feel more straightforward.
Schedule a weekend to start Sorting
If your garage is very full, you will probably need to schedule multiple weekends to get through everything – but for now, just worry about the first one. During that first weekend of work, you will probably be amazed at the dent you make in the clutter. Repeat this step as needed until you’ve reduced the clutter.
Sort what’s left into “Zones”
Once you’ve managed to sort through most of the items in your garage (and ideally have removed a lot of unwanted stuff), it’s time to assess what’s left and make a plan for what will go where.
By keeping items in categories that make sense (for example, gardening, sports, holidays, tools) finding what you need will be much easier. Sort your remaining items into categories that make sense to you, and pile them neatly.
Invest in a proper storage set-up from Storage Maker
Invest in some cabinets and wall mounted storage – it will make a huge difference to how accessible your stored items are and may even help protect them over time. It’s also a good idea to begin transferring your stored items from old cardboard boxes into sturdier containers meant for long-term storage. Plastic storage boxes work well for hard items (such as children’s toys and Christmas lights), but textiles and papers are best kept in archival containers designed for this purpose.
Three main types of Garage Storage from Storage Maker to consider:
- Overhead If you have a lot to store and space is tight, consider using overhead space to stow away some of your least-frequently used items (such as Christmas decorations) in lidded bins. Overhead storage racks need to be securely mounted for safety, so it’s best to have a pro put them in.
- Wall-mounted Keeping gear and bins off the floor is one of the best ways to prevent moisture damage and save floor space.
- Locked cabinets These are essential for safely storing materials such as antifreeze, motor oil, pesticides and other chemicals that could harm children or pets if ingested.
Move frequently used gear near the entrance
If you ride bikes and play football every weekend, it doesn’t make sense to have to trek to the back of the garage to retrieve your gear each time you need it. Keep these items along a wall close to the entrance instead, and outfit it with storage that fits the purpose: bike hooks for bikes, wire mesh baskets for balls, shelves for gardening supplies and so on.
Know there’s a rack for just about everything!
Have something unusually shaped? A quick search on our website will turn up multiple solutions. So just because you have something big and bulky, such as a snowboard, don’t let that be an excuse to put it down any old place. Long term, it’s much better to have a specific spot to stash each type of storage item you have.
Keep it going
The key to keeping your garage organised and clutter-free long-term is to view it as an important, useful space, not a dumping ground for random items you have no real use for. Clutter tends to breed more clutter, so remember that the next time you’re tempted to stash away a few more “good” cardboard boxes, that Christmas present you hate (but are afraid to get rid of) or the broken blender you might fix one day.
Let us know how you get on!