If you live in a snowy climate, this might be one of the most important blog posts you read this month! I’m guessing if you are reading this, your garage is in need of organization and NOW is the time to get this project done. Stop, drop, and run to your garage and get it organized before you are forced to park outside for another winter season. I don’t think I know anyone who enjoys brushing inches of snow off of the car at 7:00 am before heading to work. I know what you are thinking…”it’s hopeless,” “I don’t know where to even start,” or “it’s just to overwhelming.” I’m here to tell you that you CAN get your garage organized and the steps outlined here will help you succeed! Let’s get started!
Step One: Pre-plan Your Organizing Project
I’ve mentioned in previous posts, such as THIS ONE, that prior to any organizing project, consider your timeline and budget. When do you want to get started? Do you have a deadline for your project? You cannot organize a garage in 15 minutes, so make sure you set the appropriate amount of time aside. Most likely, you’ll need to set aside multiple days for a garage project. This blog post will help you break the project down into manageable chunks.
Moreover, decide what your budget will be for your project. Are you willing to invest in new organizing products? Can you install yourself or will you need a handyman?
Pro Tip: Purchase garbage bags, bins, and other supplies you will need BEFORE your hands-on organizing day!
Step Two: Get Everything Out of the Garage
Yes, you heard me correctly and yes, your driveway will look like a garage sale, but the only way to get this space organized is to see what you have, sort into categories, and purge like crazy! My suggestion is to have large bins lined up along the sides of the driveway, label with THIS PRODUCT, and start creating some basic categories. Down the center of the driveway, create zones for five piles – relocate to another space in the home, donate, trash, recycle, and giveaway/sell. Purchase large size garbage bags to contain these five categories.
If your garage is cluttered, but not overwhelmingly disorganized, you may be able to complete this step without having to move everything onto the driveway. This will be especially applicable if it rains on your organizing day.
Pro Tip: Prior to starting this project, have a plan in place to remove these five categories. For example, schedule a donation pick up for the day after organizing day. Call a junk removal company to remove trash immediately. Research local options to dispose of recycled electronics or household chemicals and schedule a drop off day.
Step Three: Assess Your Categories and Create Zones
Once you have completed step two, you will need to assess what will remain in the garage and create a list of your basic categories. For example, you will likely have the following:
- Specialty items such as camping, fishing, etc.
- Cleaning supplies
Once you have categories, think about where in the garage the “home” should be for the category. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Should the items be closer to the garage door (shovels, rakes, etc.) or closer to the interior door (tools, cleaning products, etc.)?
- What do I use most frequently? Less frequently? Frequently used items should be lower down and less frequently used items should be placed higher up.
- What do you need to consider in order to park both cars in the garage? Are there physical barriers? Do tracks/shelves need to be higher up to avoid car doors?
Once you’ve answered these questions, move the items/bins into these spaces and add a label to the wall so you can clearly define the home.
Step Four: Determine Appropriate Storage
Take a look at the current storage solutions you have in your garage. Will these options continue to serve you well or do you need to purchase additional products? Here are a few other questions to ask yourself:
- Do I prefer closed or open storage?
- Do I need weather tight bins to protect my categories?
- Will I need to purchase a peg board, track system, shelving, or cabinets?
- What hooks will I need to hang items on the wall (such as ladders)
- How can I take advantage of the vertical space in my garage?
Draw out a sketch on paper as this will help you tackle the purchasing part of your project. Spend some time researching options, scrolling through Pinterest for ideas, contacting vendors for quotes, and shopping.
Pro Tip: Allow ample time for this phase of your project. You may need to contact vendors for quotes on products or a handyman. Show them your sketch so they can best understand what you are trying to accomplish with your space.
Step Five: Pull It All Together
Once your storage is in place, it’s time to put everything into their assigned home and container. Follow your sketched plan. Place items into bins and onto shelves, hang tools on to peg boards, and hang yard equipment onto track hooks, and park the snowblower/lawnmower, garbage cans, etc. into their pre-planned locations. Don’t forget to label everything and I mean, everything. Labeling will ensure that the space stays organized long term. After all, you don’t want your hard work to backslide and have your garage creep back into cluttered disorganization.
Are you ready to get your garage organized? I promise, your garage is not a lost cause! If you need an extra dose of motivation, give me a call. I offer strategy sessions to create a custom plan of organizing solutions. But don’t wait too long! Winter is coming and your car will thank you when the snow starts to fall!