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How to organize a garage in 4 simple steps

When you first move into a new home, the garage is a wide open space full of potential, but it doesn’t often stay that way for long. If you’re having trouble finding a parking space in your own garage, it may be time to kick the clutter to the curb. Give your cars some breathing room today with these garage organization tips.Organized garage

1. Decide what can go.
The first step to organizing your garage is to stop thinking of it as a catch-all storage area. If you want to conquer the chaos, boxes of old clothing and your grandmother’s china must find another home. Park your cars on the street and pull everything out onto your driveway. All you want to do in this step is create three piles: one for trash, one for things you’re keeping and one for donations (which may be tax deductible).   

TIP! Garage sales are a good way to turn gently used items into cash. Since larger events typically attract more traffic, recruit neighbors for a block sale. You may also want to list your sale on your local Craigslist.org.

2. Get in the zone.
Once you’ve decided what to keep in your garage, sort your items by category. Create separate zones for items with similar purposes such as tools, lawn and garden supplies, and recreation equipment. Assigning clear functions to different areas will make finding things a breeze, and will make it easier for you to stay organized in the long term. When you know how many categories you have, look at your empty garage and decide how to best fit everything back in.

3. Go vertical.
Because the majority of garage floor space is typically used for vehicle storage, it can be challenging to find enough space for everything from the lawn mower to camping gear. Make up for the lack of available square footage by taking advantage of the vertical space. Installing shelving units, bicycle hooks and pegboard can quickly help you maximize storage. You can even repurpose old filing cabinets into lockable storage for paint, heavy-duty cleaners and power tools.

4. Use color.
Color coding is a basic when it comes to organizing, but many don’t think to carry the idea over to the garage. Assigning a different color to each zone will make it simple for family members to put things back where they belong. It’s easy to remember that sports equipment goes in orange containers and that sandpaper goes in the drawer with the brown front. Also, painting “parking spots” in your children’s favorite colors can actually make putting their bikes away fun.

Still don’t have enough storage space? It may be time for a new house! Search new homes in your area »