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28 Genius Garage Organization Ideas to Keep Your Life in Order

interior of a modern garage with effective storage solutions
imaginimaGetty Images

If there’s any space that can easily become the room equivalent of a household junk drawer, it’s the garage. Once you start using garage space to store general household clutter, it’s easy to let things get out of control… and quickly. Thankfully, there are a slew of garage organization ideas to help you keep things in order.

The real challenge, of course, isn’t necessarily finding the most elaborate, aesthetically-pleasing plans for how to organize the space. The biggest hurdle is motivating yourself to take the time and energy to organize this notoriously rough part of your home. And it’s easy to forget about taking care of this space because — unless you’re a car nut — you’re likely not spending much time there. But trust us, once your garage is organized, it’ll be so easy to get the family in and out of the house for outdoor activities, and to pack up for fun day trips all year round.

So how do you get going? Start by reading garage organization tips and tricks from the pros, and consider how to make the space as functional as possible. You’ll also need the right storage units to aid you in the process. Woman’s Day asked experts about the best and simplest organization methods for all of your rough storage in your garage. Read on for what they had to say, as well as to shop for the best garage organization solutions.

How to start cleaning your garage

It can be tempting to look at your garage and take on the entire project yourself. Sometimes it really is as simple as taking a weekend to clean the space and put clutter in its proper place (or throw it out altogether). But some people just don’t have an entire weekend to dedicate to such an endeavor — and that’s OK. It’s better to be realistic about how much organization you can do yourself as to avoid only completing the project halfway. Sit down and plan out, step by step, exactly what you want to achieve and by when. Then, follow these expert tips for organizing your garage:

  • Get everything off the floor. If you do one single thing when organizing your garage, it should be to get everything off the floor by whatever means possible. Not only does this make things easier to access when you need them, but it protects items should there be leaks or minor flooding. As Stacey Schweiger of Sunshine Organizing says, “The bottom line when it comes to garage organization? It’s all about the floor space. Utilize all existing closets, cabinetry and shelving to conceal garage items and elevate most everything else from the floor. Use wall hooks, plastic bins on wall shelves, and an overhead storage system if needed to optimize clear floor space in the garage.”
  • Know your garage’s dimensions. If you’re unsure of what dimensions to look for when it comes to shelving, California Closets Design Consultant Patt Sendejas says there are dimensions you should keep in mind. “It is best to use a minimum of 1″ thick shelves and cabinets no wider than 32″ to avoid sagging of shelves due to heavy items often stored in garages,” Sendejas tells Woman’s Day. “Keep cabinets 18″ away from front opening garage doors to avoid cabinetry getting soaked in heavy rain.”
  • Be willing to call in the professionals. There’s no shame in investing in bringing in professionals to organize your garage once and for all — especially if you know you don’t have the time, energy, or skills to create the space you want. If it’s in your budget, consider hiring a professional who can create a garage system that makes the most sense for your lifestyle needs.
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    9 Label absolutely everything.

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    10 Give old furniture a purpose.
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    Are you storing old dressers, armoires, or hutches in your garage until you have the right room or decor for them? Are you waiting for the right time to donate or sell them? In the meantime, you might as well use them.

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    15 When in doubt, use shelves.

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    16 Try rubber-coated hooks.

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    18 Consider using lockers.

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    19 Digitize kids’ artwork and projects.
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    If you’re storing a bunch of your kids’ art or projects in the garage, there are two major problems: The first is that they’re not being stored safely, and the second is that they’re not being enjoyed. The solution to this problem is taking time to digitize what you can.

    Services like Artkive allow you to send in the art and have it put in collage frames or picture books. This way, you can both free up space in your garage and preserve important memories for years to come.

    20 Digitize paper documents — and create a filing system for the rest.

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    21 Invest in plastic tubs.

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    22 Set up tower shelving for big families.
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    “For active households, we highly recommend making the investment in Frontgate’s tower shelving with pull-out bins to corral all outdoor toys, sporting equipment and seasonal supplies. The gliding drawers open and close easily and contents are visible, making categories easy to decipher. They’re pricey, but they’re great,” Shannon Krause of Tidy Nest tells Woman’s Day.

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    24 Map off a walking path.

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    25 Make a list of garage rules.

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    26 Put more organizational time on your family calendar.

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    27 Frequent Facebook Marketplace to save money.
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    As you organize on a budget, skip buying brand-new containers. Online buy and sell groups like Facebook Marketplace might have all that you’ll need. Search for gently used products like storage bins, chests, cabinets, and boxes so you don’t have to pay full price.

    And while you buy, you can also sell (or give away). As you declutter and sort through your garage, use online marketplaces to get rid of anything usable that you no longer need.

    28 Give your home a refresh.
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