It’s been quite a week at my house! My mother-in-law has been in town visiting, my husband developed a gigantic-sized “man cold,” and then he saw fit to pass it on to me! ugh. So working on this garage organization post has been challenging to say the least, but I did manage to take photos of some of the organization ideas we currently use at our house and also managed to implement a few new ones that I’d been meaning to try! While I didn’t manage a complete garage makeover, all-in-all I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish despite some obstacles. :-)
Let’s start with some my favorite tried-and-true garage organization tips:
My husband and sons are avid ice fishermen (I know, crazy, huh?) and all their coats, and insulated overalls, etc. take a good amount of space that I simply can’t spare inside the house. So a few years ago we rigged up with rod in the garage to hang all that gear on. All we did was mount two closet rod brackets to the bottom of some existing shelving in our garage and got a four-foot length of wooden closet rod at Home Depot. If you look closely you can see my husband also stores his regular fishing rod behind the clothing by resting it in the bottom of the two brackets. Pretty smart huh?
It does tend to get a little dusty in the garage, but it’s ice-fishing gear! I don’t worry too much about it. ;-)
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Another great thing we did using simple metal shelf brackets that you can purchase at any hardware store, is create a place to store the folding chairs we use when we have parties. We are big believers is getting as much as possible up off the floor of the garage and onto the walls. This works perfectly!
Just an aside here….one of the things that BUGS me most about our garage is that while we went to the expense of having it drywalled, as you can see from the pictures, we STILL haven’t gotten around to PAINTING IT after almost 10 years! How silly is that? After doing this post you can bet that will be on the TOP of my To-Do List this spring! :-)
Moving on. :-) While I have to admit my bike didn’t come down off these hooks once this summer (I know, I know, shame on me!) putting these bike hooks up was a great way of freeing up space in our cramped garage.
Another great way to maximize floor space in the garage is getting all the long-handled equipment up off the floor and onto the wall. These garage wall tool racks are inexpensive, easy to mount, and go a LONG way towards a more organized garage! This is actually one of TWO we mounted in our garage.
For those items that are a little bulkier and won’t hang flush against the wall, bicycle hooks mounted under existing shelves do the trick! We are HUGE fans of these big hooks! We have them mounted on the ceiling, under shelving, on the walls, etc. They can be used in a myriad of ways to get things up off the floor!!
Even large nails placed strategically around the garage can keep items handy and completely out of the way. This pair of shears that we use a lot during the summer are tucked away right inside the garage door and are easy to grab when a pruning emergency arises. :-)
As much as I love nails and hooks for hanging, some items, like a garden hose, simply won’t fit on a hook. In these cases I find bungee cords to be my best garage-organizing friend!
For outdoor products you buy in bulk such as ice melt for sidewalks, dog food, bird seed, etc., a medium-sized (or large-sized) galvanized trash can is a great way to avoid having lots of open bags that are prone to spilling laying around. My husband has a pellet smoker and I have found this is the most efficient and attractive way to store his rather large supply of pellets.
Now that I’ve shown you some of our tried-and-true garage organization practices…I’m excited to share with you a few NEW ideas I implemented as I put together this post. While it has only been a few days, I’m loving ALL of them!
We have some free-standing shelving in the garage that seems to become a dumping ground of all the “little stuff” that we keep in the garage. Nails, screws, drill bits, etc, etc, etc. They all collect here in a big mess. I decided a few small bins might be in order to not only clear the clutter, but to make things easier to find. I decided to start small with just 4 bins, but I already know I will be purchasing more! These bins I purchased at Home Depot even came with their own labels you can write on. :-)
Another thing we seem to have a plethora of lying around on the shelves is TOOLS. Even though we have more than one tool box, it seems after we use a tool, it never ends up back in the box. I had seen the idea of a magnetic strip for storing oft-used tools several different places in my research and knew I had to give it a try! I could not be happier with this simple little item. We mounted it right next to the shelving in easy reach and now there are no excuses for not putting tools back where you found them at our house! :-)
Since I love the look (and functionality) of my galvanized trash can so much, I decided to pick up a few galvanized buckets as well to help corral items that don’t lend themselves to being hung on the wall. These would be great for all sorts of sports equipment (I used one of them for baseball mitts that I never seem to know where to put) but I really like them as a place to keep winter hats and gloves as well.
This idea required no investment of money and hardly any investment of time either! I spotted this idea in the background of a picture once and thought it was pretty genius. I don’t know about you, but we have a ridiculous amount of various kinds of tape in our garage and house. We also happen to have a ridiculous number of suit hangers (with the locking pant bar), so this was a marriage made in heaven. A ready-made DIY tape dispenser. :-)
Last, but certainly not least, on my garage organization check list this week was figuring out what to do with summer clothes now that we’ve entered into Fall. (It’s supposed to get down to 30 degrees tonight! yikes!) In the past I have simply shuffled things around in my closet, putting the out-of-season things in the back, bringing seasonal clothes to the front. Not very practical. I really needed to make some room in my closet so I invested in several of these see-through bins to store my off-season wardrobe. I really liked these bins in particular because the lids are attached and you don’t run the risk of misplacing them (not that *I* would ever do such a thing!) And once again I utilized the chalkboard stickers as labels. I even put a second set of stickers on the opposite ends of the bins so that come springtime I can repeat the process with my Winter clothes and simply turn the bins around when stored.
I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to do this! My closet now has PLENTY of room in it! Might be time to go shopping! ;-)
Like I said earlier, despite a fairly chaotic week, I was able to implement several of these organization ideas with little time, money, or effort involved. But I was pleasantly surprised at what a difference even a little more organization can make!
If your garage is in need of a serious garage overhaul…here are few steps to keep in mind:
Have A Game Plan
What is your priority for your garage? To park your car? To have a workspace? To store seasonal items and sporting equipment? You may be able to have it all if you take a minute to prioritize how you want to use the space.
Clean and Prep
The only way to know what is in the garage is to remove everything inside and start with a clean slate. Once everything is out, sweep and wash down the floors and dust cobwebs from corners.
As you pull things out of the garage, gather all of your sporting equipment together in one spot, then your tools, lawn gear, camping gear, decorations and so on.
Start by making four piles: keep, donate, trash, recycle. As you purge, place each item into its respective category. Get rid of anything that is broken or things you haven’t used in over a year. Return items that don’t belong to you or belong somewhere else other than the garage. Get rid of duplicates.
Map Out Your Space
Now that you’ve cut down all of your stuff, time to map out the space. Don’t forget to go vertical and overhead. Consider your walls to hang items or install shelving. And what about the ceiling? You may be able to put plywood boards along rafters to store seasonal or seldom used items.
Buy/Recycle Organizational Supplies
You don’t need to spend a fortune on supplies, a lot of things you already have will work. You can use large trash cans to store rakes, shovels and brooms upright, or to store sporting equipment. Recycled glass jars or small plastic containers can keep nails & screws organized, and tin cans are great for paintbrushes & screwdrivers!
Put Everything Away
Put everything away in their designated zone and start labeling. Label as much as you can, it just makes it easier to find and put things away.
Enjoy Your New Garage!
You’ve worked hard to organize your garage and you’ve earned it.