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Organizing Your Garage

Category Garage
Keeping your garage can organized can be difficult, especially if you use it for storage. This is a guide about organizing your garage.
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February 21, 2011

We keep a blackboard with chalk hanging in our garage. Many people think it is strange, until they read the notes written on it. Right now it reads:

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It contains all the garage, barn, and farm outdoor messages that would otherwise take up room on our kitchen chalkboard.

By mom-from-missouri from NW MO

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By 3 found this helpful
December 2, 2010

Reclaim the space in your garage by using the ceiling. You can store bikes and other items overhead with the help of a lift mechanism. Use your wall for storage. Install shelves and cabinets to put items out of sight. Have zones of function. Decide how the space should work for you, and what to store there. Make a place for laundry, tools, deep freeze, and the car.

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By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO

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July 13, 20051 found this helpful

If you're about to start or have in mind some future remodeling. This idea might be for you. In your garage, install built in lockers, one for each of your family members. So when they get out of your car, they can leave their jackets, backpacks, anything extra in the locker, rather than having to take on into your house and possibly leave or forget to take with them the next day. Let the lockers be the last thing they open before getting in your vehicle.

By Terri

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February 28, 2012

Use hook-shaped bike hooks to hold ladders, lumber, screens, and other hard to store items from the ceiling in the garage. The ceiling is the "5th wall" of your room and is often overlooked as a place for storage.

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Divide the garage into zones. Use each zone for storing a different type of item. Zone one might be for sporting equipment. Zone two might be for gardening products and tools. Zone three might be for repairs and home improvement. Make up your own zone names.

Once you've removed everything from the garage and swept the floor, you'll be able to quicklly move items into respective zones you've delegated for their use. If you have children or a husband, you might need to put a sign with the name of the zone so others can put their items away when they are finished using them.

I move items no longer good enough for use inside my home into the garage if I feel it can be used there for storage. So far, I'm using an old shelving unit that was used for storing my children's toys when they were little. It is painted a bright yellow and livens up the garage. What do you have that you can use in the garage? Do you have an old book case? Do you have an old dresser? Be creative and repurpose those items.

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I have metal shelving units on the cinder block wall of the garage. On the walls shared with my house, there are homemade shelves of particle board. I don't suggest particle board. These haven't worked best, but after 40 years they're still there. If you can afford it, I suggest plywood for homemade shelves.

Under these shelves I have 5 gallon pails and repurposed plastic litter containers to hold balls, bats, baseball gloves, etc. My bird seed is stored on the top shelf in several old popcorn tins that I have saved over the years. I try to keep all my bird feeding supplies together. Also, I keep my cat's extra litter boxes, carrier and supplies together right under the bird feeding items.

I have an area on the wall dedicated to hanging shovels, hoes, picks, saws, etc. Its a 2x4 with two nails for each tool to be stored. The tool can be hung with the head of the tool between the two nails. this hasn't worked well for us because people who use the tools don't put them back where they belong.

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Also, we've acquired more tools than there is room to hang there. I've acquired an extra plastic garbage can that I found alongside the road in front of my house. I live in a rural area and think it must have fallen from someone's truck. It does not belong to a neighbor. I've read in magazines that one can stick the tool handle first into the garbage can as a way to store tools. I'm going to try that. Also, don't forget that if you store tools top down in sand with a little oil, it will prevent rust.

Source: Gardening magazines, and Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

By Carol from Wyoming, PA

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By 1 found this helpful
November 17, 2008

My wife convinced me to remove the clutter in our garage with more stuff - large metal/wire shelves that hang high enough not to hit cars, but sit low enough to store plenty of boxes and other must have seasonal possessions. They look nice too considering it's just a garage.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 26, 2006

Keep a paper towel holder in your garage for one-handed ease of quick clean-ups or checking car fluids.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 14, 2004

In your garage you have all these nuts, bolts, nails, washers, things of that nature. Get jars, baby food jars are great. Take the lids off and nail the lids to the ceiling beams of the garage over your work area.

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
January 13, 2010

How do you organize a garage that is too full of stuff?

By Joann from Great Falls, MT

Answers

January 13, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with OliveOyl. Sometimes, less is more.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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January 17, 20100 found this helpful

Build shelves, make hooks, and so on, so that when you take the good stuff back in, you have good storage for it.

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January 18, 20100 found this helpful

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.

Good luck.

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January 20, 20100 found this helpful

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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