Garage Organization
Planning and Layout
Will Make it Happen

Garage organization is a challenge to millions of people. I say this confidently because many people leave their garage doors up while they are working in the garage. People only tend to notice the organized ones, which are few and far between.

Garage Organization Systems for Garage Clutter

A quip I heard a few years ago commented that only in America do we jam a few thousand dollars' worth of junk in a beautiful garage, while leaving the forty-five thousand dollar truck outside in the snow. Have you ever felt that this is the story of your garage? You are not alone, and there is hope for your garage organization.

The first thing that needs done is to visualize how you want the garage to look. For this process, put the budget aside, get a sheet of paper and a pencil or pen, and write which wall represents the front , back, left side (as you are looking at the garage), and the right side. Whether the garage is attached to the home or a separate building, it is going to be a better place soon.

Make a square where windows, access doors, vents, and the garage door/s are. Write the measurements of each item in its representative box. Next, make a small ‘X' where each electrical outlet is. Are there open rafters in the garage?

Make a note outside the drawing and the approximate distance between the beams and the garage roof. Finally, note anything in the garage that is attached and will not be moved, and indicate where the light or lights are.

It's not yet time to visualize your garage layout. First, determine what is in the garage that will continue to be kept there. There are several suggested methods for using this time to eliminate items from the area.

One idea is to sort things into three stacks for garage organization:

  • definitely use often
  • use sometimes, and
  • "I don't ever recall using that."

The sorting guideline I feel most comfortable with is:

  • If it's been used in the last two years, keep it.
  • If it hasn't been used in the last two years, get rid of it.
  • If it hasn't been used lately, but you love it, keep it and treasure it.

Visualize your garage layout now. Estimate how much cupboard or shelf space will be required to hold the things being retained. Ask what can be done to make it easier to place or remove items. Cupboards do not have to use the floor as the base. They can be installed to suit the user.

If you have open beams above, what large items can be placed there if you add plywood flooring and a drop-down stairway? Perhaps there are tools to place on hooks on a pegboard.

 If the garage is unfinished on the inside, insulation and plasterboard walls are feasible upgrades.

When ideas come to mind, write them down. If others in your family will be using the garage, get their input, also. Take advantage of natural light, if possible. Consider painting or paneling areas. Garage organization is not something that will be done overnight. It needs a concise plan to make it happen.

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