For most of us, cleaning and organising the garage is a task that is so overwhelming, it very rarely gets done. Plus, often the garage is not just a place to park the car, but also the laundry, mud room, garden shed, DIY workspace, bike park and sports gear dumping ground. The good news is that with a well-planned approach, organising your garage – and keeping it that way – doesn’t have to be difficult!
Step 1: Clear the clutter and group your ‘keep’ items
The garage is often where stuff that has been decluttered from inside your house itself ends up, so start by getting rid of anything that shouldn’t be there.
Sort items into boxes or piles of rubbish, recycling, donations, things that need to be returned to their proper ‘home’ and things to sell, and once you’ve established what needs to go, drop it off or utilise one of the many ‘pick up’ services run by businesses or charities. Be wary of placing too many items in the ‘sell’ category unless you know you can sell them fast.
Sort the items you want to keep by type so that you start to get an idea of what ‘zones’ you need to create in your garage. As well as sorting into ‘big’ categories such as gardening equipment or tools, group items into sub-categories like garden tools, sprays and chemicals and outdoor cleaning equipment; and power tools, hand tools, nuts and bolts and so on.
Step 2: Decide on your essential zones
Think about what you need to store, as well as how you want to be able to use your garage. Some zones such as laundry area, car space or built-in workbench will be predefined, but you can get a bit creative about what additional zones you want to set up, such as:
Tool storage and workspace
Bikes and sports equipment
‘Mud’ area for shoes, boots, coats and umbrellas
Miscellaneous items like Christmas decorations
Once you’ve chosen your desired zones, decide where they will be best placed. For example, cleaning supplies can be stored nicely in your laundry space, gardening equipment is best stored near a door leading outside, and bikes and helmets should be easily accessible for the kids.
Step 3: Furnish your zones with clever storage solutions
Now that you’ve established the zones and where you want them, look at whether your garage would benefit from any ‘big’ storage solutions like wall cupboards, shelving, racks or storage benches; as well as considering how you can maximise space by using areas such as the walls, backs of doors, corners, and even the ceiling to store items.
Customised cupboards are perfect for storing less-used items like painting equipment, Christmas decorations or seasonal sporting equipment, where items can be grouped nicely in baskets or plastic containers and labelled for easy identification.
The wall above a workbench can be fitted with peg boards or racks to store hand tools and small jars of screws or nails; power tools can be stored on hanging hooks or under-bench shelving, and rolling trolleys packed with DIY or craft equipment can be stored under-bench so no space is wasted.
Long gardening equipment like rakes and spades can be hung in specialised wall racks or stood upright in a corner storage unit, and chemicals or sprays should be locked in a cupboard or placed on a high shelf.
Coat hooks hung above a storage bench or shoe rack creates a ‘mud room’ space for your family to get changed as they come and go, plus to store bulky or wet items like raincoats, boots and umbrellas.
Bike racks come in a variety of options from floor standing, to ceiling hung, giving you options to suit your particular space.
To really utilise the space, considering installing hooks or sliding bins on the ceiling; hanging racks on the back of doors; or even adding shelves above doorways – all great options for less-used items.
Step 4: Keep it up!
Now that your garage is efficiently organised and tidy, keep it that way by ensuring that every item has a ‘home’ and by avoiding stock-piling items that should be leaving your home altogether.
Whether you are starting with the clean canvas of a new build, redesigning a garage laundry, or simply need advice on the best storage solution to suit your family, take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced design expert at Innovative Interiors, who can discuss your needs and specify the right solution to suit your family and your space.