Garage Organization & Storage Tips
Residential movers help homeowners move into new houses but we don’t usually stay to unpack — that is up to the homeowner. The garage for a new home usually starts out a mess when moving boxes clutter it up and over time acquires more items and becomes cramped.
With a few helpful garage storage tips, you can keep your home garage organized, clean, and tidy throughout your time there.
Cleaning Out Your Garage
Before you can start organizing and installing new storage systems it’s important to clean out your garage. This includes decluttering, getting rid of old items, cleaning, etc.
Donating (if possible) or discarding old items in the garage is also a great way to clean up! Holding on to needless items not only takes up space but also cuts into the organization by making it hard to know where everything will fit.
We recommend setting aside a full day (or two) so that you can go through your stuff piece by piece. When going through your stuff, assign it one of four labels:
Once you’ve finished sorting, get rid of everything you want to donate and discard. We then recommend taking pictures of the items you want to sell and storing them in plastic bins and moving them inside to be sold at a later date.
For everything in the keep pile, organize it into categories that make sense to you. For example, sports equipment, tools, winter gear, etc.
Now you can go in with your trusty shop vac and get cleaning! Make sure to sweep or vacuum out all the dust and dirt so you have a clean space to work with.
What items should be stored in your garage?
The garage is a good place to store anything that is car, yard, outdoor, or holiday-related. This could be anything from spare tires and hand tools to rakes and skis.
Items like extra linens, books, or furniture can also be stored in the garage, but care will need to be taken to ensure that they are off the floor, in sealed containers, or (in the case of furniture) wrapped tightly in plastic.
Gas cans can also be stored in your garage, but keep them in a covered ventilated spot and make sure the lids are on tight!
What shouldn’t be stored in your garage?
Hazardous materials or substances. This includes propane tanks (which are better stored outside).
Anything edible that will attract critters. The garage may seem like a good place to store bird seed, but even in a sealed container will likely attract mice and other vermin.
Valuables. Temperature and moisture fluctuations make the garage a not-so-ideal place to store anything of value.
Paint Cans. Unless your garage is heated, you will ruin your paint by storing it in the garage.
12 Garage Organization & Storage Tips
Different homeowners have different plans for their garages. Some homeowners wish to just park their cars in the garage and have light storage. Other homeowners wish to use their garage solely as a storage unit.
Keeping a well-organized garage does not have to be difficult; you don’t have to be an expert residential mover. Use the following 12 tips to keep your garage and its storage clean and organized:
1. Keep items off the garage floor.
Keeping items off the garage floor gives the garage more of a spacious feel and keeps the garage floor open for things such as parking vehicles. It also makes sure your stuff will be safe from water damage if your garage floods or leaks.
Bikes, roof racks, wheelbarrows, and lawn chairs are some of the bigger items you can hang from the walls to keep them from cluttering up floor space.
2. Install open shelving (if you don’t already have any).
Shelves can be used to stack and store anything that does not need to be on the floor of the garage. Open shelving allows you to easily see and access the things in your garage.
Important tip: Label bins and baskets to help you keep track of the contents.
3. Install storage cabinets.
Garage storage cabinets can be a lifesaver. Units are available in many different shapes and sizes making it easy to find the perfect unit for your garage.
Anything that needs to be protected from dust or dirt (e.g. luggage, exercise gear, specialty tools) or should be locked up (e.g. chemicals, dangerous tools) can be stored in a cabinet rather than on an open shelf.
4. Utilize hooks (of all sizes).
Hooks have a variety of uses varying from hanging jackets on the way into the house to keeping items like tools, cords, hoses and watering cans organized and easily accessible. Anything you regularly need access to or that has the ability to tangle (e.g. cords, Christmas lights, hose) should be placed on a hook.
Take advantage of the different sizes of hooks. You can use smaller hooks for things like gardening hats and gloves.
5. Utilize vertical organizing options.
Vertical organization lets you optimize the storage space in your garage by utilizing wall space. There are multiple vertical organization systems you can install depending on your needs:
Pegboards are inexpensive, easily installed, and can be customized with hooks and shelves to suit your needs. Pegboards can be used to store different odds and ends that would otherwise get lost in the hustle and bustle going on in the garage.
If you need a heavier weight capacity than a pegboard, track systems are a good choice! Metal tracks are hung from wall studs so they can bear the weight of larger items like bikes.
Panelized systems are best for those who want to utilize every inch of wall space. These systems can take up an entire wall to include cabinets, shelves and hooks. Note that some panelized systems need to be professionally installed.
6. Utilize your overhead space.
Installing a ceiling garage storage system is a great way to store infrequently used or seasonal items. You can customize overhead storage with large or small bins and racks depending on the shape of your roof or how much space you have.
If you have a garage door opener, make sure your storage system does not interfere with its operation, and be aware of how low things will hang so you don’t risk scraping the top of your car!
7. Try a corner shelf for the small stuff.
When planning your shelving space, don’t forget to think about using the corner space! Corner shelves can be a great place to store small items like polish, glue, fillers, and other odds and ends that would otherwise be hard to find on a larger shelf.
A small corner shelf is easy to build yourself, or you can find one here.
8. Use a collapsible workbench.
Looking to save even more space? Consider installing a collapsible workbench. This way you still have a place to work on projects, but it can be folded up at the end of the day so you can fit more things back in your garage.
9. Install a bike rack.
Bike racks come in single or multiple storage units that hang on the wall or ceiling and keep bikes easily accessible yet out of the way. For added security look for a bike rack with a built-in lock.
10. Have kids? Try a toy corral.
Tired of tripping over your kids’ toys? A toy corral can be built into the wall to keep play items off the floor. This makes it easier for kids to access and clean up their toys.
11. Use an epoxy floor coating.
Epoxy floors are durable, moisture-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean! Not only will an epoxy floor make your garage look nicer and make spills easier to clean up, it can also help prevent moisture from getting in!
12. Upgrade your lighting.
Some garage spaces have terrible, low-quality lighting making it harder to find items. Consider installing under shelf or in-storage lighting, clamp lights, or task lights for project work.
Important tip: Install brighter bulbs in your overhead lighting for a convenient quick fix!
DIY Storage Ideas
Do it yourself (DIY) storage is an easy way to utilize every inch of space available in a garage. Pre-built storage units are built in a universal form, where DIY storage has been custom built to fit your unique space!
Consider the following DIY storage tips for your home garage:
- A great way to store items not used often, such as Christmas decorations, is with a hanging platform in a corner of the garage. This platform keeps items out of the way but not overly accessible, making it perfect for dealing with once a year.
- A clothes rod near the back door is a great way to organize work clothes and coats in the garage.
- PVC pipe and pool noodles are a great way to organize your fishing rods!
- Use old carpeting or cut pool noodles anywhere where your car may hit the side or the doors may hit the wall to avoid damage.
Are you moving into a new house with your very own garage space?
If you ever need help moving into your new home, contact Razorback Moving Company for a free moving quote!