Figuring out how to declutter and organize your garage might be one of the hardest places in your home to tackle. It’s filled with years of stuff. Most days it’s much easier to just simply close the door and forget about it!
Unfortunately, we reach a point where we no longer can pretend our half-broken tangled Christmas lights and that dusty treadmill isn’t there, because it is. In fact, all those belongings stuffed into your garage are also stuffed into your mind.
Imagine a life where your garage is organized and decluttered. Think about how much easier it would be to grab what you needed, decorate for the holidays, or work on projects.
Our environment profoundly affects us. So if your garage is a huge overstuffed mess, it’s no wonder we feel stress every time we walk through there.
It doesn’t have to be this way! With some guidance and a free weekend you can learn how to effectively declutter and organize your garage into a space, you’ll love.
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01 | PREPARATION IS KEY
Decide what you want. Before you even open up that garage door you need to really think about all of your options.
Are you transforming it into a different space? (Office, gym, game room, etc.).
Do you really need to get the cars parked in the garage?
Or do you really just need your garage for storage?
Once you identify what you want out of your garage now it’s time to make a plan.
Whether or not you are skilled at drawing, it does not hurt to quickly assess your garage and create a rough drawing of what you are envisioning.
This new schematic for your garage “reorganized” will help you stick to the plan versus going in without one.
Also, this is the time to consider some serious changes to the garage that can really transform the space.
Could you paint the walls a fun color? A minty blue or a fresh coat of white?
Do you need to power wash the cement floor?
Do you want to paint or glaze the garage floor?
Do you need to add lighting, fans, air conditioning, and a heater? Especially if you want to change this space into a functional room.
Do you want to install shelving? Built-in or maybe add wire racks to help you organize your garage?
02 | GATHER UP WHAT YOU NEED
Now that you have more of an idea of what you want for your garage, it is time to get prepped for your weekend.
Whatever you feel you will need, make a list and gather these supplies. Once you start you won’t be leaving the garage every two minutes to grab things you need.
Think paint, brushes, tape, markers, scissors, hammer, nails, trash bags, ladder, boxes, bins, rags, disinfectant wipes, etc.
Don’t be afraid to get specific on your list, you will probably need car keys, water, music, your phone, etc.
Buy and bring all of your supplies in a box or caddy so you can keep your supplies together and not get mixed into the mess in your garage!
Most importantly, ask yourself do you need help.
Because if you do contract someone’s help for this job. Friend, family, neighbor, or whomever you need to help you achieve success with your garage challenge. Make sure to inform them of your plan so they know what you need from them.
Now that you’re prepped to the max, it is time to start on day one of your weekends which is going through your stuff and decluttering.
Don’t worry too much about how to organize your garage just yet since you will be kept busy this first day.
The easiest thing to start with in a garage is trash.
Grab trash bags and throw away anything you know is obviously trash.
The second easiest thing to do is to take anything that needs to go back into the house, well back into the house. (Shoes, coats, packages of water bottles you keep meaning to take up the flight of stairs! etc.)
After these first two steps if you are lucky enough to have a driveway or yard, lay sheets or blankets in all four corners of your driveway or yard to create sections to help you organize the items in your garage.
I want to sell section.
I want to donate section.
I want to keep section.
I’m not sure section.
If you don’t have the space to do something like this, then you might need to find a place where you can start to create these sections to help you figure out what needs to stay and go. (Maybe you clear a section of the garage or maybe you need to bring things into the home to evaluate and divide).
You have got to be ruthless when purging your items.
Keep your goal focused. If you want to use this garage for an art studio, then use that goal as your fuel to declutter your items.
Get through all visible items first before you dive inside boxes or totes, this will take you the longest.
Remember earlier how I mentioned bringing your car keys?
Once your pile of things to donate is sky-high, take it one step further and fill your car with these items. Do not let your donation pile sit in your garage taking up valuable space!
If you’re wanting to donate furniture, then set up a time for a donation company to pick up your items.
Most public trash pick-up also has a monthly pick-up for furniture and large items that need to be thrown away. Check your local city’s trash schedule for furniture pickups!
When you need a “break” snap pictures of the items you want to sell so they are already on your phone ready to be uploaded to Offer Up, Craigslist, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, etc. when you’re ready.
The Most Helpful Decluttering Guide Ever
03 | CLEAN & CHANGE
Decluttering and purging probably have taken up all of day one. Unless you really didn’t have much to actually go through. (Lucky you!)
Day two is the time for cleaning, organization, and or making those changes you wanted, like painting, glazing the floor, or installing built-in shelves.
If you are doing these types of changes, you are probably going to have to spread your weekend garage project into two weekends!
Otherwise, day two is meant to get your garage organized the way you planned for.
Before you start to put things away, give your garage a much-needed cleaning.
Dust the walls, clean the door inside and out, sweep and or hose down the floor, and clean any windows inside and out.
Now it is time to reorganize your keep pile!
Could you condense what is inside your totes and boxes?
Could you rearrange the layout in the garage to make it flow better?
Group like items together. (Holiday decor, hobbies, camping supplies, etc.)
The best way to organize your garage is to buy all new matching plastic containers instead of mismatched boxes and totes.
Think vertical space! Can you capture more floor space by storing things on shelves or could you use pegboard to get tools, bikes, and sports equipment off the ground?
Do you want to create a mudroom-style entry into your home from the garage? Maybe you add a bench, hooks for backpacks, a cubbie to collect shoes, or whatever you feel you need to make this space more practical.
Be thoughtful will what you decide to put back into your garage!
Really look at everything you are keeping and make one more attempt to declutter anything you think you can part with before you find it a home in your newly organized and decluttered garage!
04 | MAINTAIN IT
The final step to having a clean and organized garage is to maintain it!
Have a trashcan handy in the garage to collect trash instead of leaving half-drunken Starbucks cups laying around… *cough*cough* guilty…
Over the next month or so, you will notice things slowly trickle back into your garage.
Keep a donation box open and available to put things in that you wish to donate, and once it’s full haul it away!
Create solutions for obstacles.
Maybe you don’t put things back in the garage where they belong because the floor is dirty and cold, leave a pair of slippers at the door.
Maybe you don’t like putting things away in the garage because it is very dark. Install new lighting to brighten up the place.
You can have the garage of your dreams if you are willing to put in the elbow grease to get it!
So make your plan, see it through, get the help you need, organize your garage, and go for it!