3 Steps to Your Dream of an Organized Garage

Most of us have fallen victim to the dreaded messy garage. Bikes piled in the middle, tools strewn in every possible corner, and don’t even think about trying to park your car in there! The problem is, we have too much stuff and not enough places to put it. It’s time to get to work and following these three steps will help you achieve your dream of a Pinterest-worthy organized garage.

view of an organized garage

Step One: Declutter

The first step to an organized garage is to take everything out of your garage. Yes, everything. Create three piles: keep, donate, and throw away. When you come across an item you’re unsure about, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I need it?
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • If I donated it, could it be safely used by another person?

This will help you determine what pile the item belongs in.

Keep in mind, there are some things that shouldn’t be in your garage to ensure home safety and proper storage. The following items should find a different home outside of the garage:

Paint – Extreme cold or heat can ruin it. Store cans in a more temperate area.

Propane – A spark could ignite the fumes. Tanks should always be kept outdoors.

Paper goods – When stored outdoors, they’re a magnet for roaches and other bugs. Move them to your pantry.

Refrigerator – It’s a huge energy drain in spaces that are not air-conditioned.

Pet food – Unwanted critters will sniff it out. Keep it in a sealed container inside.

Step Two: Storage

In an organized garage, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Storage solutions are a must-have for the small, loose items that can quickly clutter your garage. Utilize these storage options for everything to the smallest nuts and bolts to the largest

  • Stackable plastic bins with lids – for anything and everything. Patio cushions, holiday decorations, and beach toys, just to name a few. Label them so you’re not searching through every bin to find what you need.
  • Mason jars for small items like screws, so they don’t get lost
  • Magnetic strip for small tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, scissors, paintbrushes, and anything else metal.
  • Lockable cabinet for storing lawn chemicals, sharp objects, and other potentially dangerous items you don’t want kids or pets to get into.

Step Three: Layout

Now, you have a good idea of which items will make their way back into your garage. But, before lugging it all back in, determine a layout. Consider how frequently you use each item in order to determine its new home. You’ll want to group like items together so they’re easier to find and so your organized garage has an overall, aesthetically pleasing look.

Get things off the floor and onto the wall or up to the ceiling! Seasonal or rarely used items should be kept on high shelves since you won’t be pulling them out on a regular basis. Here are some ideas for vertical organization and storage:

photo grid of 4 storage options for organizing your garage

Open Shelves

Open shelves are a less expensive option and you can easily see what’s stored inside. Although, you’ll need to make sure you are able to stay organized since there’s no hiding a mess with open shelving.


A pegboard is another inexpensive option for an organized garage. It can be easily cut or painted and there are a wide variety of shelves, hooks, and organizers available to attach, according to your specific needs. Be sure, however, not to hang heavy objects on your pegboards as they may not be sturdy enough to support the weight.

Slat or Panelized System

The slat, or panelized system, usually needs to be installed by a professional, which will cost more. But, every square inch of wall space can now be used for hooks, shelves, and cabinets for optimum organization.

Track Based System

Unlike pegboard, track systems can handle the weight of heavier objects, but for a steeper price. These tracks are installed to wall studs, but you must make sure the tracks are level so the shelves hang straight.

Don’t forget about ceiling storage! Utilize overhead space by installing ceiling-mounted storage. This is a perfect place to store items that you want to keep but will access only occasionally.

Now what? After you step back and admire your perfectly organized garage, the real challenge is keeping it this way! Everything has a place, so remember to put it back where you found it and you’ll never have to tackle this large task of garage organization again.

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