Garage Storage Solutions: For When Your Garage Gets Out of Control
Is your garage a catch-all for anything you don’t want to keep in the house? In cold temps do you just toss things in and vow to clean them up in the spring only to get too overwhelmed by the mess to actually follow through? If so, you’re not alone.
Organizing pros estimate that only 30 percent of us store our cars in the garage because there is just too much stuff.
But your garage doesn’t have to be a scary place. It should serve a pretty important purpose, protecting your car (a significant investment!) from the elements. But, to use it to its full potential, it needs to be organized.
Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you tackle even the messiest garage.
Garage Organizing Tips
Before we talk storage solutions, here are some tips to help make sense of the mess.
Get Rid of Things
If you find yourself hanging onto things, you’re going to run out of places to keep them. Put everything in the center of your garage and start organizing them into Keep, Toss, Donate piles.
- Outgrown toys
- Outgrown clothes
- Expired chemicals
- Broken items (if you haven’t fixed it by now, you’re not going to)
- Things you haven’t used in two years or more (you haven’t missed it yet)
If you have a hard time letting go of things that have sentimental value (like old toys your little one loved to play with) snap pictures as keepsakes. You could add them to a photo album that will be much easier to store than the toy itself. Then, that toy can be donated in order to bring joy to another kiddo.
Items Used Together Should be Stored Together
After you’ve cleared out some items, it’s time to start organizing them logically. The best place to start is to store items together that you use together. Cleaning products, yard tools, tools, sports equipment, etc. This will make things much easier to find when needed and will prevent frantic searches from destroying your newly organized garage.
Sort by Frequency of Use
If you’re going to use it a lot, it should be somewhere you can easily grab it. If not, tuck it away.
Put seasonal items or holiday decorations on a shelf high up and far back, but somewhere you can still access it when the times comes. Put the items you use the most where you can easily grab them AND easily put them away.
Storage Tip: Use canvas storage bags to protect your decorations. They’re soft and easy to store and will keep your decorations safe.
Pro Tip: Keep a stool handy to make it easy to put items back on high shelves. If it’s not easy, the item will get set where it doesn’t belong and this can start a bad habit!
Label, Label, Label!
It doesn’t matter if everything has a place if you don’t remember where that place is. Label the outside of bins and boxes so that you can easily find the things you need without pulling everything off the shelf.
Keep Things off the Floor
As you start to think about where you’ll put everything, you should have one hard and fast rule; nothing goes on the floor. If you have stuff in a bin, that bin should go on a shelf.
Since the “floor” of your garage should be reserved for one of the most expensive things you own (your car), you’ll want to utilize wall (and even ceiling) space to keep your garage neat and functional.
Below, you’ll find some products to help with that.
Garage Storage Solutions
Storage Bin Towers
If you can’t hang stuff from the walls (or don’t want to) but have a ton of bins you don’t want to store on the floor (because you shouldn’t!), you can utilize storage towers to keep your bins neatly stacked. You can even get them with hooks, or install your own, to add an extra level of organization.
Closet Style Storage
Not feeling the DIY mode? That’s ok. You can utilize closet-style storage for a combination of shelving, bars for hanging, and hooks to keep everything in your garage organized and even create a handy workstation.
IKEA has great closet storage solutions that can double as garage systems.
A Track System
Some of your stuff is not going to fit on shelves and you’re going to want to store some tools somewhere you can easily grab them (like rakes and brooms). For these items, a track system is a great choice.
Track systems can be easily customized to fit your unique needs and added on to or changed as your needs change.
Hooks Help Get Bulky Items off the Floor
Hooks are versatile, can be hung anywhere there is a stud available (or on boards or screens specifically made for this), and can hang any number of things that won’t fit on a shelf (think soccer goals).
They’re also perfect for small items that don’t need a whole shelf. You could put a few hooks by the door of the garage specifically for your ShoeSling® and the shoes that only get worn during seasonal sports, games, or practices. Leave them hanging where you can easily grab them when you’re headed out but where they won’t take up room inside (or on the floor of the garage!)
Our solution (with or without a carabiner) makes it easy to hang your sling and keep your athletic shoes stored neatly.
Get 10% Off Your First Order!
And a free gift!
Metal Shelving Units
If you can’t hang stuff in your garage, metal shelving units work well if you have the space. You can get these at any home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe’s and pairing them with plastic, labeled bins, will help keep all your items off the floor and within arms reach.
When spring hits, you can use these tips to help your garage once again serve its original purpose, protect your car! Bonus, it will be able to neatly store your stuff. And, if you stick with these storage tips, your garage will stay neat all winter, spring, summer, and fall!