Your garage or shed is probably home to some crazy stuff. (I, for one, keep every photo I ever took between the years of 1998 and 2014 sitting in bins in my garage, just feet away from a tarp that I’ll probably never need, as well as a spare air conditioning unit, even though I have central air.) Even if you’re a fairly organized person, you’ve probably put off cleaning out or organizing your garage for far too long—if only because it’s out of sight, out of mind. But with these five genius garage organization ideas, you’ll wish you did it sooner. Ahead, find a handful of simple, easy ways to keep your garage or shed organized and functional.
Hide Your Mess
Ok, so we don’t generally recommend moving your mess to somewhere that it’s out of sight, but if you’re regularly using your garage to store your car, it’s best if any loose objects are well-contained. A simple unit with cabinets and drawers will suffice to keep various items out of the way—and it’ll make it easier to clear clutter and get rid of anything you don’t need.
Alternatively, if you have a lot of items that fit better in bins, like gardening equipment, hoses, or other seasonal items, stack them vertically—but on shelves. That way, you won’t have to unload five bins just to get to the one at the bottom. For an even better organizational hack, consider using different color bins for each category to make finding what you need a breeze. Finish by utilizing the space along the sides to mount any lightweight equipment.
Find a Place for Everything
Make room underneath any shelving units to store items like lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, or children’s toys, then use the upper shelf space to organize everything you need for cleaning your car, including your Leather Cleaner, Garment Groom, and All-Purpose Cleaner.
For all those little items that tend to grow legs and walk away (like everything in my partner’s tool kit), install magnetic strips to keep them organized, easy to access, and out of reach. (Don’t just use the metal on your existing shelving unit, as it’s nearly impossible to be careful enough to not knock anything over when reaching for something else.) I like to use mine to store my gardening shears, as well as paintbrushes and other metal tools that we regularly use outside. If your garage has studs, use the space between them to install a shelf, too.
Most bicycle storage techniques involve a lot of leaning. But resist the urge to stash-and-dash with strategically placed hooks on your ceiling, which frees up a lot of valuable garage real estate while providing efficient short- and long-term storage. If you have the space to install a shelf up high, too, go for it: You can utilize the space to store holiday decorations or out-of-season clothing.
Find New Uses For Old Stuff
Think about ways you can repurpose the container that something like a jar of salsa or pickles came in, like using it for thumb tacks or nails. Finished with your go-to everyday spray cleaner? Reuse the pump, nozzle, and bottle—but know that this only works if you can take the entire thing apart. (Many commercial cleaners don’t make it possible to screw off the cap or clean inside the nozzle thoroughly, which forces you to get rid of it. Never run into that issue again with our reusable glass Amber Bottles.)
You’re only a few hours away from a newly organized garage—now you just have to make the time to get it done!