Your garage likely needs a little organizational TLC if you’re reading this article. Consumer Reports offers insights into tidying up, reorganizing, and bringing peace to the space crammed with everything but the cars it’s supposed to hold. Here are some of the brilliant ideas the CR team came up with — and a few tidbits of our own — to help you get your garage spring cleaning off on the right foot. With any luck, your car might finally fit.
Taking a proper inventory
You can’t begin to organize your garage without first taking a proper inventory to purge those no-longer-essential items. Take a few boxes and start by removing any items that are no longer needed, no longer work, or are in irreparable condition. There’s no sense in trying to organize things you don’t use or need.
The sorting and stowing method
Another great first step that Consumer Reports recommends involves sorting and stowing. Try to group garage items into categories, like lawn equipment in one pile, hardware tools in another, and sports equipment separately. Working with smaller, manageable groups, you can start putting items into boxes or tubs for stowing. Sure, you’ll need certain essentials on hand. But those holiday decorations or extra bike tires can get tucked away.
Organizing items by size
Another Consumer Reports tip to help you make light work of garage organization is grouping items together by size. You can neatly assemble small accessories for your workbench in labeled boxes or containers. Pegboards are great for hanging longer tools, such as crowbars, rakes, or extra PVC pipes.
Designating your parking space in the garage
The CR team also recommends designating an area in your garage to park vehicles and other motorized items. Lawn mowers, snowblowers, and wheelbarrows fall into this category. Of course, if you don’t use them regularly, you can save floor space by suspending bikes, sleds, and skis from hooks and racks.
PVC pipes are great for stand-up tools
Get creative with your garage organization by using PVC pipes to store stand-up tools that always end up in a pile before collapsing. Screw pipes into the garage wall within a reachable height so you can tuck shovels, rakes, and other long-handled tools neatly.
Storage bins hanging from the ceiling
Attaching sliding storage bins to the ceiling is another genius way to get items off the floor and in an easy-to-find and accessible spot. It’s the best option for storing seasonal items or stuff you don’t usually need but once or twice each year.
Magnetic strips easily organize metal tools
Sure, you have a toolbox and probably a bunch of totes to hold your nails, screws, metal files, and blades. But consider adding a magnet to the wall, allowing you to toss those incidentals off the workbench or counter area without losing track of them or risking accidental injury.
Wall cubbies are excellent garage organizers
Whether you need an easily accessible place to toss all those loose Nerf footballs or baling wire, the old-fashioned milk crate is a perfect garage organizer. Sturdy milk crates are stackable, lightweight, and easily affixed to the wall for off-the-floor solutions. Bonus: Turn them sideways and stack them to create a vertical bookshelf-like storage option.
Get creative with your garage organization, from shoe racks to S-hooks. Tackle your project with some of these ideas to get started. You’ll enjoy a clutter-free, well-organized space before you know it. And you might even have room for your car.