Often, when I first discuss a plan with a new client, their main goal is to be able to park their vehicle inside (as well as discard all the clutter). Great, let’s do that. The number one issue is, of course, all the stuff that’s on the ground. So, what’s to be done? Put hands on every item as you decide to donate, trash/recycle, return/gift, or keep. Then utilize the vertical space.
- Donate: If you are donating, place all items in a bag or pile, and take care of it that day. You can also load your car as you find the items. Salvation Army will pick up large items for free if they are in good condition.
- Trash/recycle: Roll your large bins to your work area so you can toss items in as you make decisions. If the items are too large, check the Solid Waste Management website in your town for your assigned large trash pick up. For those living in Houston, you can drop off at the trash/recycling depositories four times per month (for free).
- Return/Gift: If you have a pile of items that need to be shipped back to Amazon, or returned to your sister, separate these items into their own pile. However, you now have to carry out the task so print off those shipping labels or send a text to your sister. Get the ball rolling. Also, be honest with yourself. If you know you’ll never ship that item back to Amazon, but you also won’t use it, add the item to the donation pile.
- Keep: Now for the fun action. When you have made piles of everything that is leaving the garage, you are left with what you’re keeping. It’s now time to find a home for these items.
The top space of the shelving units were not utilized because of the garage door opening. So, I moved the units to the back side of the garage and placed the large items (that are only used once per year) on the top shelf. In addition, a few larger items were taking up shelf space that we were able to donate. Lastly, I categorized everything, so when an activity/event occurred (camping, fishing, hosting, kid activities, etc.), all needed items could be found in one spot.
The clutter in this garage was mainly old boxes, items to be returned to friends, baby stuff, and yard stuff. So, I cleared out the to-be-returned items and broke down the boxes. Then I utilized the cabinets on the left with all household paints, sprays, etc. to get them off the ground. I moved the wood-working carts and equipment to the back left area and stacked all the miscellaneous wood. I also created a perimeter of the big items (freezer, tool chest, saw horses, lawn mower, carts, etc.) which were hanging out in the middle of the garage.
This half garage was a fun space to organize. They installed the gladiator shelving system on the left, along with the attachment below the shelf to hang the larger items (brooms, saws, blower, etc.). But everything else just gathered and then stacked in the remaining space. First, I took up to the attic a few Christmas items, the outgrown car seats, and seats taken from their vehicle that will never be used. This opened up a lot of space. Then I visited Lowes and bought a shelving unit for the remaining large items and a smaller unit for the household items (tools, grilling wood chips, car washing). With Command Hooks, I hung holiday decorations on the right wall and the helmets and bike pumps on the left. What’s left? Clear open space to park the bike (or hang from the ceiling if they can anchor it) as well as space for the stroller. Yay.
This one was my favorite. Can you guess why? I’ll give you a hint: check out the perimeter. Slatwall accessories along with adjustable shelving. *Dreamy sigh* Perfect for customization of anything. Tall chairs? No worries, I can move the shelf down. Large cushions? Plenty of space. Oh a golf travel case? Let’s hang it from the wall. Slatwalls are amazing because you can buy baskets, hooks, shelves, etc. to customize all your tools and supplies.
For this garage, we gifted the shelving units that were in the garage (before the addition of slatwalls and custom shelving) to the neighbor. Then it was time to assign a home for all the items. Cleaning items to the far left. Tools on the workbench. House tile, wood flooring, paint, etc. underneath the work bench (and out of sight). The items on the back wall are used some what frequently (so providing ease of access). Golf and outdoor activities are to the back right, along with pool items. Ladders and rain gear are to the front right (aka left over miscellaneous). In the middle? Space for two vehicles!
This one isn’t mine (view source), as I’ve yet to take a photo of one of my organized garages with an overhead storage rack, but these are great for those items only used once per year. I highly recommend hiring a professional to hang these units! 😉
What did you like about the above garages? Any light bulbs flash for your own garage? Buying shelving units or installing cabinets are an easy way to bring organization to your garage. Beyond that, there are plenty of options. Just remember to utilize the wall space from floor to ceiling.