How To Organize Your Garage



Container Store elfa organized garage

How To Organize Your Garage

Has your garage gotten a bit out of hand and you want to know how to organize your garage? Garages are sadly the dumping ground for all the stuff you don’t know what to do with, the junk no one wants to deal with, and things that are supposed to be elsewhere but never quite made it there. That is on top of what actually belongs in the garage which can make these spaces quite the challenge! Have no fear…read on for our best tips on how to organize your garage!

Getting Started

1. Create your plan of action to organize your garage

Your garage can only hold so much so planning ahead for what you actually want to be in there is key. This will help determine what stays and goes – and also start to assist with space planning. What you store in your garage may not be the same as your neighbors – it’s really connected to how you and your family use the space and what hobbies & interests you all have. A lot is dictated by available storage space in the house – often the garage ends up becoming overflow storage for household items as well as typical garage items.

Think through how you want your garage to function in terms of the types of things you need to store as well as how often you need to access those things. For example, holiday items are only once a year so these don’t need to be front and center. And if you’ve got kids, their gear will change regularly as they grow and their interests & needs change.

Pro Tip:

wall mount bike racks in organized garage
garage storage peg board
how to organize your garage with elfa
Elfa garage system
Chrome shelving rack Costco zone in organized garage
Trinity shelf Costco zone

Edit & purge

2. Sort like with like, then declutter to organize your garage

Often people try decluttering by walking around getting rid of things randomly, but the key to successful editing is to focus on grouping like with like so you can see exactly what you have. We typically start with a larger sort with broad categories, then fine tune once this is done. If you’ve got folding tables and some sort of bin to sort into (old totes or cardboard boxes work just fine), this can really help the process. 

Once you’ve got things grouped together, then declutter by evaluating whether each item deserves a spot in your garage – it needs to earn it’s way in not end up there by default or a lack of decision making. 

Toss the low hanging fruit like broken toys, tools you never use, old hobbies, outgrown sports equipment, etc. Then weed out anything else that doesn’t serve your current lifestyle and circumstances like yard tools if you have a lawn service or car repair if you take your vehicle in for all services. 

If you’ve got a large volume – this is a great time for a junk pickup.

3. Evaluate your infrastructure - and add as needed.

Most garages are sadly lacking in sufficient storage and shelving so this is the time to determine what you need based on what you have left after your editing. For less frequently used items, overhead racks can be ideal and for more easily accessed items, setting up wall mounted or free standing shelving around the space is key. Our post “10 Top Garage Organizing Solutions” with our fave garage organizing systems has lots of great ideas! When adding shelving or cabinetry – be mindful of where the vehicles are parked making sure car doors can open easily and there are walkways available when they are parked! Thinking outside the box can be really key if you want to organize your garage.

If you are in the Nashville area, a company like Premiere Garage can give you a finished look with built in cabinetry, epoxy floors, and more.

Tips & Ideas

Pro tip: Add our fave 'Costco zone' shelf by the house entry door!

"I absolutely cannot believe this transformation from a disaster to a garage that we can actually park in! The kids were so thrilled they could get their bikes in and out so easily, and having a place to store everything is just amazing. It's like a dream that makes me happy every time I come home!"

Organizing The Garage

4. Use clear bins that stack and are consistent in size/style.

A mish mosh of bins of varying sizes and colors creates visual chaos in a garage. It’s super tempting to use whatever you have on hand but take our word for it – consistent storage bins make the difference between a space that feels organized or not. We often use these Hefty bins or HDX totes. Don’t forget clearly labeling – we use the 18mm black on white labels on our Brother PTouch label maker for high visibility. You can also hand write large labels on index cards and tape them inside or out using packing tape.

5. Create zones based on the current needs and uses.

Zoning your garage is critical to making it actually function. Once you’ve got your infrastructure sorted out and things grouped, binned and labeled, think about who is accessing each category and how frequently you need to get to it. This will dictate where things need to live. 

Pro tip: If you have a fridge in your garage – this is best placed next to the Costco zone, ideally near the house entry.

How To Organize Your Garage: Spring ReFresh Edition

Getting your garage organized for spring (or any time) can be a game changer for how your family functions and take a ton of stress off your mind in your day to day. We’d love to help so just drop us a line! 

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