Designed with the intentions of storing vehicles, modern garages have largely become just as cluttered as closets. A messy garage leads the way to other problems, like misplaced tools, no place to park the car, and commonly, difficulty in getting to the items you can see but can’t reach. This summer, take charge of your cluttered garage and reclaim your parking space as well as your sanity. Use these garage organization tips and tricks to make the most of the space you have and get creative for the space you don’t have.

A man and woman working at clearing out their garage

Tips for Organizing a Messy Garage

As you begin your garage organization project, remember to look at the task as individual slices rather than one big pie. You can accomplish a lot more than you might expect if you can avoid overwhelming yourself right out of the gate. Try these tips to help you tackle a messy garage.

A board with garden tools hanging in a garage

  1. Score the easy wins right away. Take care of your trash and recycling first and foremost. Find any other big ticket items that don’t belong in your garage and move them to their appropriate location.
  2. Get rid of what you don’t need. Clutter is typically at the root of most messy garage situations. As you work your way through your tools, gardening supplies, and sand toys, set aside items you no longer need. Plan to donate, give away, or sell what you no longer want or set it out on the curb on trash day.

  3. Don’t feel guilty keeping some things. Oftentimes when decluttering, we run across items with a sentimental importance. Other times we may have great plans to use something but difficulty in finding the time. A personal storage unit can be one of the most effective garage storage solutions, allowing you to take clutter offsite, leaving behind a clean and organized space.
  4. Divide and conquer. If you won’t have enough time to tackle the whole garage in one shot, work on one garage bay or the other. Save the other side for your next available window of time. You will still notice a wonderful difference after even a few hours of garage organization at its best.
  5. Focus on cleaning and decluttering separately. Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, plan to wipe down surfaces and sweep out the debris from your garage.
  6. Implement new processes to better maintain a neatly organized garage. Remember that you can solve some of your clutter problems with garage shelf plans and other creative storage solutions. Choose shelves and storage bins that fit nicely together for a system that looks great and keeps the clutter tidily at bay.

A man standing in his garage with two cars parked inside

How to Make Room for Your Car

Many times the garage becomes so cluttered with yard equipment and supplies that little room is left for the cars. Turn that messy garage around with a few fast solutions to give your car that garage-kept honor once again.

  1. Consider a shed for large outdoor items. The lawnmower or tractor, wheelbarrow, and other items for the yard can usurp most of the space in a single-car garage or a fair chunk of one side in a two-car garage. Moving these items to a shed can make a real difference in your storage situation. You could even turn a shed into garage workshop storage with a workbench, pegboard wall, loft, and other creative touches.
  2. Get creative with homemade garage storage solutions. Think about it – the inside of your neighbor’s garage likely looks quite different than the inside of yours, even though you live on the same street, possibly in very similar houses. For this reason, customized garage organization layouts reign supreme. You put the shelves where you need them or add more complex storage solutions for a bigger impact.
  3. If it doesn’t fit, out with it. Keeping your car in the garage is a reasonable expectation as a homeowner. If you’ve already tossed, donated, given away, or sold as much as possible, it’s time to consider personal storage solutions. This way you can keep your stuff safe and sound, but not in the limited space available in your garage.
  4. Take DIY garage storage shelves to new heights. Add plenty of shelving to the walls as appropriate, but don’t stop there. Next, install plywood flooring within the rafters of your garage for attic-like storage that truly moves mountains (of clutter). Now your car is sure to have a place to call home once again.

Set aside a day or two this month to tackle your garage with these garage clutter solutions. What other ways can you find to fix up your messy garage? Post your ideas in the comments below.