Ready, set, go! So you’re probably asking yourself where do you even begin with a garage decluttering and organization project? Or you could be like other homeowners who know how to start but don’t have the time because of hectic weekend plans or family commitments that seem to chew up any of that precious free time you had planned to set aside for this type of project.
Whatever the reason, if you’ve let the tidiness of your garage slip through your fingers, you may be facing a bigger project than you’d initially anticipated. After all, things tend to accumulate in the garage space when you start accumulating kid’s toys, bicycles, seasonal items housed in plastic bins and the mere fact that most homes tend to let the garage become the very day dumping ground.
Regardless of the clutter that’s accumulated, we’ve put together some tips that can help you not only declutter but get the organized garage you desire. We will show you the best first step to take. How to maximize storage space. And even how to repurpose your garage floor for a home gym or sewing studio.
This article is designed to provide you; the busy boss woman, family handyman or the person of the home who simply loves a good challenge, with a complete guide to making your garage organization ideas come to life.
Step 1: Prepare the garage for what’s coming
The first priority when tackling a garage organizing project is to accurately assess the mess you’re dealing with. In other words: How big of a task are you undertaking? Like virtually anything in life, creating an effective strategy can save you valuable time — and headaches — when you’re attempting to revamp your garage.
If you’ve opened your garage door and panicked at the seemingly insurmountable amount of stuff staring back at you, don’t fret: We’ve assembled a list of questions that can help you develop a path to optimal tidiness.
- How much clutter are we dealing with? Our first recommendation: Grab a piece of paper or open the notes section of your phone and make a list of what is staying and what has to go. Take a look at the calendar and set a date that might work for a garage sale. There’s really no better way to rid yourself of old or excess items than by selling them for a little extra cash. The hard deadline imposed by your pending date can also serve as a little extra motivation to get everything sorted in time.
- How would you like to rearrange your garage? The next step is to determine what you’d like to utilize the space for. Do you simply require more room to fit that extra vehicle? Are you looking to accommodate a family member’s request for a dartboard or additional recreational space? The options are virtually endless and your garage offers a number of opportunities that your interior living space may not. Having a vision of the end result can provide that little extra push when the degree of disorganization seems insurmountable.
- How do you maximize garage storage space? Your garage offers some storage space opportunities that your home can’t. Extra shelving can accommodate large or seasonal items that simply shouldn’t be stored indoors: Everything from old paint cans to excess furniture can be neatly tucked away. When you’re looking to create more space, don’t be afraid to get creative: The walls — or even ceiling — of your garage provide tool storage opportunities you may not have previously considered. There are storage rack solutions that can be used to hang items like bicycles or canoes from the ceiling of your garage, safely out of the way of your parked car(s). There are even lifts designed to store your car or truck in the air, depending on the size of your area. When it comes to maximizing your garage space, think outside the box.
- What’s the easiest way to rearrange your garage? When it comes to garage organization ideas, no concept is a bad one… provided you’ve got a clear strategy to help you get to the finish line. Consider the totality of your project, and break it down into stages. We suggest starting with a good old fashioned clean, including the removal or disposal of any clutter you want to get rid of. Next, get rid of the good stuff, too — at least temporarily. Once you’ve reduced your garage space to four walls, you’ll have a better sense of what you can effectively do with the area. It’s hard to envision a new garage blueprint when you’re looking at a full space.
Now that you’ve assessed and prepared your garage, it’s time to tackle the renovation and revitalization projects that will result in an optimized working or storage area.
Step 2: Use the walls and ceilings for additional storage
We’ve briefly touched on the extra space you can create by thinking vertically (literally). There are a number of benefits of storing your items, tools and supplies up and out of the way. Have you ever stumbled over a garden tool or hockey stick while walking across your garage floor? From reduced tripping hazards to more room for your vehicles or children to play, getting creative with the verticality of your storage strategy can effectively increase the breathing space of your garage floor.
Now that you’ve got your garage reduced to the bare bones, you can map out how and where you’ve got wall space or room to build the shelves and racks necessary for hanging or packing away your excess possessions.
We recommend this strategy: Consider all of the items you’d like to put back in your now-empty garage. Ask yourself, what can’t be hung or shelved? You might be surprised at how little you come up with. Your rakes, brooms and shovels can be wall-mounted with an array of simple hooks. Garden hoses and sprinkler apparatus can be wound and mounted. PVC pipes, sports equipment, tools and other miscellaneous items can have dedicated shelving created to separate and neatly organize your most important goods. This recent NY Post article details cost-effective storage solutions that allow you to mount, hang and compartmentalize your garage necessities in a variety of unique and clutter-reducing ways.
If you’re running out of garage storage ideas, a quick visit to your local hardware store may provide a little inspiration. Walking the aisles, you’ll discover a variety of broom holder devices, storage rack units and pegboard wall designs that can help inspire your renovation project.
If you or your family members are avid golfers or play sports like hockey, you’ll understand the importance of having a clean and clear area for clubs and equipment. A dedicated section for sports gear will ensure that high value items aren’t accidentally bumped into or toppled over, and that sweaty or damp uniforms have plenty of space to air out.
Bicycle Touring Pro has compiled a list of the best bike-hanging equipment on the market today. From wall-mounted pegs that help you affix bikes to walls to ceiling racks that safely store your bicycles on the roof, you can easily tuck these larger items out of the way.
Turning your beautiful mess into a home organization lover’s dream can be achieved by hiding things in a series of storage bin units that can be stacked on top of one another to create additional room. Thinking of your area in terms of the vertical space available will open up places to keep items alongside a garage wall and create overhead storage ideas. A good housekeeping strategy involves putting a resource away in an area that’s easily accessible, should you need it again, so be sure not to bury the things you use daily in the bottom bin if you’re vertically stacking.
Whether you’d prefer to use a wall-mounted shelving system or a freestanding series of cabinets or racks, effectively removing excess clutter from the floor of your garage is an excellent way to maximize your floor space. You’d be surprised at the miscellaneous things that tend to accumulate on the ground — by using the available wall and ceiling room your garage provides, you’re well on your way to decluttering your garage.
Step 3: Set up a garage workstation
Do you have a hobby that could benefit from a little extra space? Maybe you’re looking to invest in some home fitness equipment, or want some room to complete your sewing projects. The garage can be an excellent area in which to get some work done.
We’ve compiled a list of some great ideas to transform your garage into a usable workspace. Keeping in mind that most garages are usually long and narrow spaces, you may be compromising on your ideal architectural design. However, the advantage of being slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the home itself can provide unique opportunities to get a little peace and quiet for working.
Whether creating a space for children to get their homework done or running a small business, there are many advantages to a garage office. A separate entrance, disconnected from the interior of your residence, can add a little professional touch for visitors stopping by your home business.
Regardless of your interests, having a dedicated space to participate in your favorite pastimes can greatly relieve stress. Stepping out into the garage to do a little painting, sewing or reading can keep chores out of mind for a little while and become a small escape from your various household duties…
…unless you’d like to relegate your housework to the garage, that is! Storing an additional freezer or moving the washing machine and dryer out into the garage can help keep your bulky home appliances outside your house. The access provided by the garage door makes this space an effective area for storing muddy boots and a wash bin can help rinse off your pets if they’ve been enjoying the garden.
Extend above your garage
If you’ve got a semi or detached garage, you may have a unique opportunity to build additional space directly on top of it. A loft-style bedroom is a perfect getaway for friends and relatives who come to visit. If you’ve got children, a dedicated play area can give them a separate space to make a (controlled) mess without negatively impacting the tidiness of your home. Mezzanine bedrooms can greatly improve your resale value and offer an additional getaway when you’re looking to relax.
If you’re struggling to get to the gym on a regular basis and don’t like the inconvenience of moving heavy equipment in and out of your home or basement, then a garage-based workout space is the perfect solution. The semi-isolated nature of a closed garage can help you feel as though you’re making dedicated time for your fitness, and the fresh air available to you by opening the garage door can offer a unique workout experience. Having this dedicated space could allow you to invest in slip-resistant flooring to ensure safety, and soundproofing your garage will give your free rein to get both the workout tunes and muscles pumping.
Step 4: Make your space feel like home
No matter how you’re repurposing your garage, the point of this optimization exercise is to curate a space you’re happy with. Whether that takes the form of a garage work studio or simply making extra room for your items, once you start repositioning all of your vehicles, tools, toys and accessories, you should feel a degree of satisfaction from a job well done.
Speaking of creature comforts, we’ve saved some of the most exciting ideas for last.
Nothing says staying in for the night quite like curling up on the couch to watch a film. Now that you’ve effectively cleaned and organized your garage space, what about creating a home theater for the family?
We’ve touched on the idea of soundproofing your garage: This comprehensive Soundproof Guide report details the latest cost-effective ways you can install noise reduction technologies. Combined with the unique lighting opportunities your garage affords, you can curate a truly unique and cozy environment in the freed-up space that makes movie night feel extra special.
The accessibility of your garage makes it the perfect environment to host company. Investing in a heated flooring option can make year-round entertaining possible, even if you live in regions where winters are particularly harsh. The addition of a pool table, dart board or poker table can liven up your space, and the ability to open your garage door can provide fresh air that a games room in the basement can’t
Now that we’ve helped you conceptualize your optimized garage environment, it’s time to consider one of the most important aspects of your renovation project: The door that protects your beautiful and tidy interior space from the world outside.
Step 5: Think about a new garage door
You’ve taken the time to plan and implement your garage revitalization strategy. You’ve efficiently cleaned, decluttered and re-organized what could be a year’s worth of accumulated and miscellaneous items. You may have even renovated or repurposed your garage to accommodate your hobbies or entertainment needs.
But what does your garage door say about your new space? If your door is the lone eyesore among your new, dazzling interior design elements, then it’s time to consider replacing your garage door system.
The best way to determine whether or not your garage requires more than an aesthetic facelift is to schedule annual preventive maintenance appointments with a professional garage door dealer. This is especially important if your renovation concepts include expensive floor heating, soundproofing or entertainment additions. There’s far more that goes into a garage door than simply cleaning and checking its parts. You’ll want to ensure your garage door protects and shields all the hard work you’ve put into your garage restoration project.
After all, your garage door is the only thing protecting your newly optimized space — and everything in it — from the outside elements. Your investments could be damaged or susceptible to extreme temperature fluctuations if your garage door system isn’t up to standard.
To learn more about how the insulation R-value of a new garage door can protect your belongings, click here. Your old door may have lost its ability to successfully shield your vehicles and other stored valuables, and our handy guide can ensure your optimization efforts aren’t wasted as a result of unfavorable weather conditions. While we’re on the subject, these handy tips can help you ensure your garage door safety, so that the entire family is safe and able to enjoy your new space all year round.
When you’re ready to select a new garage door for your home, trust the experts at Amarr. We’ve been helping homeowners revitalize their garages for over 70 years, and our network of over 4,000 independent garage door dealers can help you bring your vision to life. Design the perfect garage door to match your revitalization efforts today.
To get started, contact a licensed Amarr dealer near you, and take the final step in that organized garage project by installing a new, updated garage door.