If you are tired of your garage being cluttered or unusable, follow these tips and tricks for how to organize the garage so you can (actually) enjoy the space! A few weeks ago, the hubby and I decided to tackle our garage to get the clutter under control.
The thing that bothered us the most about our garage were these ugly, old cabinets left by the previous owner that we continued to use for the last 2 years. The cabinets were falling apart (cheap particle board) and were pretty warped – I didn’t take any before pictures because I honestly didn’t think I would post after pictures on the blog, lol! If I come across pictures of the space before, I will definitely add them to this post later 🙂
We finally invested some time, energy and a little bit of money to transform the space and it’s now the hubby’s favorite space in our home – you could say it’s his new outdoor man cave! I’m also happy since an organized work space in the garage means he is able to complete more home improvement tasks. I’m always finding home projects for him to do and have a “honey-do-list” for him, hehe.
Many of the items that we eliminated during our huge declutter ended up going in the garbage. I was able to donate 1 large bag of items (mostly garden items and kids bikes/outside toys).
It took us an entire day (about 10-12 hours of work) between both the hubby and I to get our garage in order. We went through every little item (every screw, nail and part we came across). This was the only way to get the garage completely organized. Before we started this project, we knew it was going to take a lot of hard work. Be prepared to be exhausted afterword… we happened to declutter our garage on a very hot summer day, which was probably not a good idea, but it was so worth the end results!
Here are the items that we purchased to transform our garage for less than $200:
Here are the items that we already had on-hand to transform our garage:
- Clear Plastic Drawers
- Chalkboard Vinyl (to make labels)
- Chalk Marker
- Sports Organizer (the hubby built ours)
- Heavy Duty Hooks (to hang on walls)
- Scrap Wood (we used as an anchor for several hooks)
- Wooden Work Bench on Wheels (the hubby repurposed a table and added wheels)
- Pegboard hooks
- Bike hanging kits
- Trash bags, contractor bags
You probably already have a ton of things that you can re-purpose to create an organized garage so be sure to check around your home before you get started. **If you decide to purchase any of the above items online, don’t forget to go through your EBates account (or sign up Here if you don’t have an Ebates account yet and get a free $10 gift card!) so you can get cash back on all of your online purchases! Our family earns an average of $50 every 3 months from Ebates and you can too!
How to organize your garage:
- Start by drawing on a piece of paper how you want the space to look. You need to decide what items you are keeping and what items you need to add to accomplish your vision (for us it was the metal shelving).
- Remove everything from the space that you are getting rid of, whether donating, selling or trash. We brought our huge trash can in the garage and contractor trash bags for donation items.
- Clean! We found a dead mouse among other disgusting things hiding under those old cabinets.
- Arrange the space as you want it to look on your drawing/vision. If you are adding metal shelving and bins like we did, place everything the way you want before putting items away. This way, you can make sure the bigger items fit the way you want.
- Sort through items and put things in their new homes. Keep all like items together (see our bins and labels for example).
- Make labels for everything! An organized space is not complete unless you add labels. All your hard work will be for NOTHING if you do not label! I hand-cut chalkboard labels using these free labels as a stencil, this chalkboard vinyl sheet ( you can make labels for your entire house with this huge sheet!) and a chalk marker (you can use regular chalk but the marker makes it permanent).
- Consider hanging larger items on the walls or ceiling. The garage is one place in your home that it’s acceptable by many to use the ceiling to organize! We hang our bikes on the ceiling, we have large garden tools on wall organizers and we have several hooks to hang outdoor chairs, scrap wood and other large items.
Organizing miscellaneous items
My hubby is a realtor and chooses to keep all his real estate signs (he could give them back but has to pay a fee every time he needs them) so it makes more sense to keep them in our garage. I have always hated finding his signs scattered in the garage or the back of our cars, haha – the joys of being a realtor! But after organizing, we finally found a dedicated space to box his signs in the garage 🙂
We also have a ton of scrap wood and since we are always doing home projects, we like to keep it if we can. The hubby added large hooks above his workbench and we throw the long pieces of wood there. I made a bin for smaller scraps under his workbench. His workbench is on wheels so he can easily move it away from the wall when he is working 🙂
Below are pictures showing how we use every inch of space that we can in our garage!
We attached hooks to the wall in between the car doors to hang a bike and scooter. When we had a stroller, (our kids are now too big for strollers) we hung it here. You can always get your stroller out of the way by hanging it up 🙂
The garden tools are all organized on one wall. Lots of snow shovels for Winter… the kids even have a little red snow shovel, haha!
Next to the ladders in the above picture is a sports organizer. The hubby built it using scrap wood (gotta love FREE handmade projects!) and drilled holes in the top to place our fishing poles and beach umbrella! Genius right? The only thing missing are hooks on the side for the bike helmets so we have them sitting on top for now.
The wall that leads into the house has a high hook for outdoor chairs, a bike trailer and a low hook for a trailer attachment for our SUV. The kid’s wagon with small outdoor toys is placed there for easy access if they are playing outside. A cleaning rack for our mop and broom is on the other side of the door. Oh, and we painted the door with chalkboard paint in case you were wondering if it’s dirty or chalk dust 😉
One of our biggest motivations to organize our garage came from reading this book. Since we’ve organized the garage and removing those ugly cabinets, we have spent more time in the space and the kid’s toys are front and center so they play with them more. Our paint and tools are organized so we are able to complete more projects and it just feels nice to have the garage doors open with a nice clean (and pretty) garage.
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