How do you organize a garage that is too full of stuff?
By Joann from Great Falls, MT
Throw out at least half of what is in there. Seriously. If it is so full you are not using the stuff anyway. Get rid of what has not been used within the past year. It will feel wonderful to have room in the garage again.
I can tell you how I used to do it.
It's a day project.
You start early and start taking stuff outside. Trash on one side, yard sale stuff on the other side and stuff you keep in the middle of the drive way.
The only thing you don't take outside are things that have a stationary home; like tools to the tool box or things that have a place to hang on the wall. Those things you just put away.
As you put things outside in the middle that you are going to keep you put seasonal stuff you won't use much out further (toward the road) than the stuff you use regularly.
It is basically organizing things outside were you have room to move things around and then bring them inside were they belong. Trash just goes to the corner when your done and yard sale stuff goes in last so it is easy to get too and easy to add stuff to from the house.
If you have a shed to put stuff in consider cleaning it out as well and then some things from the garage can go to the shed.
If you have a barn with some room your yard sale stuff can go there instead of back into the garage.
Depending on how much stuff you have and how energectic you are you can finish in a day. If you can't atleast try to get to the point that only the yard sale and trash stuff is left outside. Get them the next day.
Good luck. Music playing while you work seems to make it all go faster too :) I used to really jam out while I worked; my neighbor hated cleaning day.
I agree with OliveOyl. Sometimes, less is more.
We used a technique similar to what Suntydt is describing and we had people stopping for the "garage sale" all day long. We had so much interest in our stuff, we wound up having one later that summer and easily made a couple of hundred dollars.
Build shelves, make hooks, and so on, so that when you take the good stuff back in, you have good storage for it.
Absolutely, have a (literal) garage sale. Ask yourself, have you looked at, used, needed or even remember you had these items.
After you have your sale, seperate by tools, seasonal items, and lock up any chemicals so kids, animals, etc do not ingest them.
Shelving that is sturdy, peg boards, or a workbench would be a great resource. you could also invest in a rolling toolbox (they are usually large) to keep tools that may be needed, but not used as much. Keep a smaller, more portable toolbox for your most used tools. I'd keep a small area for manuals for your garage appliances (i.e. mower, saws, etc) to repair/manual for your car or other books that would be useful for things in your garage.
If you have kids, keep an area for their sports equipment, balls, bats, etc, easily availble to them
And even if you don't add anything else, make sure you have a fire extinguisher that is made for chemicals found in your garage. Also a first aid kit. Accidents can and do happen, and the sooner you can treat a cut, burn, etc, the better.
You cant organize clutter. So you will need to get rid of a lot of things. I think the suggestion for keeping half is probably good. If you haven't used it in the past year, you can probably sell it at your garage sale.
Take everything out and put it in the driveway. Think about what sections you are going to set up within your garage. For example, do you need a sports paraphernalia section, gardening section, tool or workshop section, camping gear section, and so forth.
You can make shelves from particle board purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. Get the brackets to hold them while you are there. Arrange your shelves on the walls of your garage. Put your items back in the garage on the shelving units according to where they belong; what section? toys? tools? etc.
Don't forget about the ceiling area. You can purchase big hooks to hold ladders up there and you can hang bicycles there if they aren't used very much. Otherwise, I'd hang the bicycles on the wall. If you need to buy big plastic bins for storage of sleeping bags or other such things, be sure to buy clear plastic ones so you don't need to open up the box to see whats inside. Labeling contents is such a drag, too.
Keep like with like and you'll be more organized in no time at all. This will be an all day project, or perhaps a weekend project.
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