Take a second and visualize your garage. Would you say that it’s well-organized, a little bit messy, or a total disaster?
If you said that your garage was a disaster, you’re in good company. About 25 percent of American families with two-car garages don’t have the room to park their cars inside.
Whether you’re thinking of selling your home or just wanting to have more access to your stuff, this article’s for you. We’ll give you the top five garage storage ideas and help you get started on clutter-busting.
Garage Storage Ideas for Crowded Spaces
The first step toward revamping your garage storage is to admit you have a problem. If you don’t want to get rid of too much stuff, you may need to find somewhere else to store it.
Here’s our tried-and-true process for cleaning and organizing even the most cluttered garage.
1. Create Zones
First, take a minute and envision your ideal garage. Aside from parking your car there, what would you like to be able to do there?
Before you even step foot into your garage, write down a few zones that you’d like to create. For example, do you need a carpentry or fabrication space in your garage?
Are you a gardener? An athlete or hiker? Do you have an extensive collection of holiday decorations?
Garage organization ideas need to be tailored to your needs, so take the time to generate a master plan. You don’t have to declutter right away, just start dividing your garage into general storage zones.
If you have way too much stuff in your garage, start thinking about other places you can store it, like an attic space or outdoor shed.
2. Contain Hazardous Chemicals
The next step in your garage organization planning is to remove all hazardous chemicals from your garage.
If you keep propane in your garage, you could be setting yourself up for a flash fire. If the propane leaks, it’ll accumulate on the floor of your garage, going up in flames when you start your car or turn on a light switch.
It’s best to keep propane eight to 10 feet away from your home.
Next, you’ll need to remove or contain ice melt crystals and antifreeze. Antifreeze is toxic to dogs: less than half a cup can be fatal.
Finally, check your garage for motor oil, cleaning products, and glass. You’re looking for leaky containers and small hazards that could hurt kids or pets.
3. Select Storage Containers
After you’ve got your zones figured out and your chemicals contained, it’s time to think about how to store your possessions.
If you live in an area of the country with a long winter, you’ll naturally look for water-resistant containers with lids.
If you’re in a milder climate, however, you may opt for wire or wicker baskets. Just make sure they aren’t going to go moldy in sticky summer weather.
In general, you should store paper and fabrics in covered plastic containers. Tools can be stored in metal containers but you should invest in rust-resistant containers that are specifically designed to hold them.
While you can label your containers with a marker, you might want to buy some weather-resistant, reusable labels. That way, you’ll have more flexibility during the decluttering stage.
4. Install Hooks and Shelves
To really take a bite out of clutter, you should think about putting in a few shelving solutions. Instead of having stacks and stacks of boxes or containers, a few well-placed shelves will make it easy to access your stuff.
If you know that you don’t use something very often, you can store it on the top shelf. You can also use hooks on your garage ceiling for larger items like kayaks and ski equipment.
As you start to organize and clear out your garage, you may find that you need a garage wall storage solution for your tools. Just keep power tools locked and secure from children when not in use.
Also, if you use extension cords in your workshop, make sure that they are safety-rated for outdoor use. You should replace extension cords at least once per year if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or is prone to mold.
5. Reduce and Recycle Clutter
If you’ve ever read garage organization tips online, they all say the same thing: declutter. That’s easier said than done because many of us keep sentimental items in our garages.
The good news is that you can keep anything that’s important to you. If you love holiday decorations, just separate them by holiday and stick them on the shelf.
If the idea of getting rid of your kids’ baby clothes makes you tear up, don’t worry. Put them in airtight containers and keep them in the garage year-round.
On the other hand, if you have old electronics that are just taking up space, you can donate them or sell them. The same goes for dish sets, sports equipment, or books that you don’t use.
Your garage doesn’t have to conform to anyone else’s idea of what should be inside. Just focus on keeping things that make you happy and you will be off to a good start.
More Ideas for Garage Renovation Projects
After you’ve decluttered your garage, installed some custom hooks and shelving, and cleared out all the old junk, you should be proud of yourself!
The next step is to beautify the space and keep it looking nice for a long time. To take your garage to the next level, you may want to seal the floor and paint the walls.
Waterproof paint is always a good idea, and you do have a few options for the floor. You can give it a coat of paint and then seal it, or you can remove the old floor entirely and repour the concrete.
If you’re a dedicated DIYer, you’ll love our free garage storage ideas. We’ve got shelving patterns galore, and we love to see the results of your work!
Come check us out to get some great ideas for every room in your home!