The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

NPI Marketing Team
NPI Marketing Team


How to Organize Your Garage in One Weekend

 September 12, 2018 |  Cleaning Tips, DIY |  garage, organization, kids, pets

The garage is one of those spaces that often serves as a “dump” zone. Not only does it house bikes, tools and lawnmowers, anything that can’t be stored inside tends to get shuffled off there. And before you know it, you can’t see the floor! While we realize everyone’s storage space and belongings are different, we have a few tips to help you organize your garage in a stress-free way that makes sense.

It’s Not Just You
Before you go feeling ashamed at the state of your garage, know that up to 57 percent of people with a two-car can’t even park one vehicle inside due to the sheer volume of clutter. Whether you want to blame it on consumerism, the homeowner DIY movement, or something else entirely, Americans have a lot of stuff. And with our busy schedules, we don’t make a lot of time to think about how we store it.

Because we’re betting on there being several years’ worth of clutter to sort through, we recommend setting aside one full weekend to conquer your garage with your undivided attention. It might not be the most fun you’ve ever had, but it’ll be worth it.

Make it a Family Event
Depending on how much stuff you’re dealing with, you may want to enlist the help of family or friends. Order lunch and have snacks and drinks on hand to make it an event. You may even be able to pass along your unwanted items to someone who’ll use and love them right then and there, saving you a trip to a donation center and making it a win-win for everyone.

Prepare to Go Through Every Single Item
No cutting corners! You’ll want to go through every drawer, cabinet, box and shelf to determine what stays and what needs to go. If you have screwdrivers and other small items scattered to the winds, try to place them together in a clearly labeled box so you can see what you have to work with.

Make Keep, Donate, Sell and Throw Away Piles
Everything in your garage will ideally fall under the categories of Keep, Donate, Sell and Toss. Clearly label sections of your driveway or yard for these areas and make sure all your helpers are onboard with the plan (it’s surprisingly easy to get mixed up once you’re on a roll!).

Sort Everything That’s Left Over
Once everything is divided into the above four categories, it’ll need to be broken down even further into frequently used items, like items, rarely used items and things that can be stored off the floor. You might categorize things accordingly:

Frequently used items: items like boots, jackets, pet leashes, shopping bags and seasonal sports equipment should be placed near the door that leads into your home for easy access. All the better if they can hang on hooks to keep floor space clear.

Like items: Gardening and lawn care, auto care, off-season sports equipment and any hobby items, like painting supplies, for example, should be organized together in different zones. A large shelving unit works well for this purpose.

Rarely used items: Holiday decorations, table saws, spare tires . . . these are all important items to have on hand, even if they don’t get used more than once a year. A separate shelving unit devoted to these objects will help you keep them organized. Be sure to clearly label any opaque bins with stickers facing outward so that you’re not stuck going through a bunch to find what you need.

Off-the-floor items: The more empty floor space you leave yourself to work with, the more clean and open your garage will feel. Follow this simple rule—anything that can be stored off the floor should be stored off the floor. Find hooks and hanging apparatuses for everything from shovels and rakes to bicycles and lawn chairs at your nearest home improvement store.

Get Ready to Cut Your Losses, Even on Big Ticket Items
In an ideal world, we would make back the majority of our money on gently used items that we wanted to sell rather than donate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always pan out this way. Storing items that need selling long-term will only put a roadblock in your way to a clean and organized garage. Make a deal with yourself: you’ll hang on to items that you’d like to recoup some money from for two weeks. Post them on Facebook, advertise them in your front yard, put an ad on Craigslist and spread the word among friends and family. If no one is biting, demand might be too low, and you’ll need to let go of it for free.

Check Your Local Home Improvement Store for Storage Solutions
Once you’ve got your garage organized, you’ll need storage solutions that will be up to the task for the long haul. Choose your hooks, bins, tool chests and shelving carefully. Avoid guesswork: see what you have to store after you’ve finished with the task of sorting through your things and draw up a plan for what you have left. Take measurements and bring your sketch with you to the store so that you can get valuable feedback from staff.

Most Importantly: Stop Tossing Things in the Garage
You don’t want to go back to square one, do you? Break the habit of tossing stuff in your garage once and for all and save yourself a ton of time and effort later. Make it a yearly task to sort out the small amount of clutter that will inevitably end up there, and keep using your garage for its intended purpose.


Call National Property Inspections Today for Your Residential Inspection Needs
At NPI, our inspectors are trained to access the condition of all the major systems in your home, including the roof, foundation, plumbing and more. Find an inspector near you today to sell or buy with confidence.

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