Pro Tip: As you prepare to tackle the organization of your garage — consider using a PODS portable storage container as a staging area to sort through everything. It’s easy to stash our things in a room made for storage, but using the garage as a home junk drawer can quickly cause a big mess.
If you’re ready to sweep up that pile of brooms, untangle the bikes, and finally figure out what to do with all those tools, then we have some tried and true DIY garage organization recommendations for you. This one may seem obvious, but sometimes people get so excited to tackle a home DIY project that they jump right in without a plan or enough time carved out of their day.
Organizing a garage can be incredibly time consuming, so don’t kick things off at 10 p.m. unless you’ve got the coffee pot ready and no alarm coming early the next morning. As a best practice, set aside a weekend or entire day — or at least a good five to six hours — to account for the cleanout, organization, small fixes, and trips to the home improvement store.
A: Organizing your garage doesn’t require going out and purchasing one of those storage systems that costs thousands of dollars — no matter how nice it is to look at. Yes, even that scary pile of lawn chairs, tiki torches, and bent rakes in the corner.
Instead of putting everything into one big pile or trying to tackle your entire garage at once, break the space into quadrants. Sort through one section at a time, grouping items in categories: tools, lawn care, cleaning supplies, recreation, etc. Organizing a garage involves going through each item and determining whether it needs to stay or go — and that takes a lot of time. From there, you divide your “keep” items by category and then find the right bins or containers to neatly store them in.
You may be wondering what to do with seasonal items like your Christmas tree, strands of twinkle lights, and that bulky turkey fryer. To reduce that clutter but still have easy access to those things, consider renting a small storage unit or portable container. This allows you 24/7 access to all your stuff, just steps away, giving you time to sort everything, add shelving, or even organize items for a garage sale (the goal is to end up with more usable space, right?
And when your organization is complete, keep the holiday decor in the container and send it to a PODS Storage Center.
Once you’ve grouped your things into categories, put them into a bin and add a label. You can purchase an affordable and sturdy storage rack at a home improvement or bulk store.
When stacking your bins, put the most commonly used items on the middle shelf for easy access and anything hazardous or dangerous on the top rack so it’s out of the reach of children. To store smaller items, like nails and screws, use a muffin tin or small plastic lunch containers with dividers.
Typically, building garage shelves would be cheaper that purchasing pre-fab, but that assumes you’re not making anything too ornate, you know what you’re doing, and you do it correctly the first time (meaning you don’t have to buy more materials). Regardless of your reason, it’s totally possible to organize your garage without actually installing any type of storage system.
Basically, if you have the stuff to store, you can easily find a freestanding unit that will do the job — without breaking the bank, too! A great way to make the most of your small space is by using pegboards, wall mounts, and hooks for your smaller hand tools.
Consider investing in a vertical bike rack to free up valuable floor space. Install racks or shelving close to the ceiling for large boxes, coolers, backpacks, and more. This video shows you how to install shelves in the often-wasted space above the garage door: You can easily find metal versions of shelving that hangs from the ceiling. All of the parts and pieces are specifically made to complement each other, in turn making the storage system as effective as possible. You can purchase the items in the collection piecemeal, making it work with your specific budget.
If your kids always drop their soccer gear by the back door or your husband props his golf bag on the garage wall, you could probably use a sports station. All it takes is a few racks, hooks, or open bins, and say goodbye to tripping over cleats or rolling the basketball out from under the car. Use a hanging mesh bag to contain loose balls, a few hooks to hold tennis racquets, or install a simple drying rack to air out that sweaty athletic gear.
Here’s a how-to video for creating a low-cost shoe rack with PVC pipe:
Speaking of workstations and sports sections, the most organized garages are those that have designated “zones” for specific things. LB Gabriel is a freelance writer who lives with her husband, daughter and Golden Retriever in Memphis, TN.
A frequent PODS Blog contributor, she’s a sucker for any tip she can find on downsizing, cutting clutter, or minimalist living.