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Get in the zone

Situate your space and your stuff on paper before lugging it around on the concrete. Map out your garage and divide it by zones: indoor-outdoor transition, household overflow, large/long/long term, everyday yard gear; and hobbies. Let the map be your guide as you sort and assign your stuff. As you map out your garage and assign zones, consider the flow and accessibility of each area. Place frequently used items near the entrance or in easily reachable locations, while items that are used less often can be stored towards the back or in higher storage areas. This approach not only saves you time and effort when searching for items but also helps to maintain a clutter-free and efficient garage.

Admit it’s an entryway

Saddled with groceries, you stop in the garage and juggle keys, coffee, cell phone and more. For your kids, your spouse, and – let’s be honest – a handful of friends, this is the primary entry to your home. Ease the transition with surfaces for setting and hooks for hanging. Consider lockers or storage benches for backpacks, shoes and boots, and a rug or scraper to cut the dirt or snow tracked inside. If your garage is an extension of your kitchen, designate a spot for supplies like soda pop or paper towels.

Use the space you’ve created in your garage to host a tag sale, donating anything of value that doesn’t sell. Proceeds can fund a favorite charity or a future family vacation. Enlist your kids to spread the word with neighbors who might like to hold their own sales on the same day.

Find your station

Sports enthusiast? Garden grower? Grease monkey? If space allows, station a hobby center directly opposite the large garage door: Include a well-lit work surface so you can see what’s at hand. Keep it clear by storing small tools and supplies on the slatted walls that allow you to clip and endlessly rearrange an assortment of hooks, racks and baskets – whether you need to gather golf gloves, pressure gauges or pruning shears.

By stationing the hobby center directly opposite the large garage door, you take advantage of natural light, which can energize and inspire you while you indulge in your hobbies. The well-lit work surface becomes your creative zone, allowing you to focus on your tasks with clarity and precision.

The flexibility of the slatted walls enables you to customize the storage arrangement based on your specific needs. This adaptability allows you to create a personalized storage solution that maximizes efficiency and convenience.

Above the rest

The minute anything but your tires hits the garage floor; it’s the beginning of the end for your organization aspirations. You can mount heaps of things to the walls to spare your floor from pileups and make cleanup easy. By prioritizing stability and secure installation, you can confidently enjoy the benefits of an organized garage, with a clutter-free floor and easy cleanup whenever needed. Tug on wall systems to make sure they’re stable; If it’s not tight, it’s not right!

Layer by hazard and height

Store children’s items close to the ground, with things you’ll need to share at mid-level. Stow “adult” items – chemicals, breakables, or sharp tools – overhead and behind lockable cabinet doors if necessary.

On the other hand, items that need to be shared among family members or used more frequently can be stored at mid-level. This ensures easy access for both adults and older children without the need to bend down or reach too high.

Remember to label and categorize your storage areas accordingly to make it easy for everyone in the family to locate and return items to their designated places. This helps maintain order and minimizes the chances of items getting misplaced or lost.

Take sides

Hook or hang awkward seasonal tools – snow shovels, leaf rakes, folding chairs – on the walls nearest the garage door to lessen the likelihood that you’ll ding your cars by dragging things along the length of your stalls.

Utilize sturdy hooks or specialized hanging systems that can securely hold the weight of these items. Ensure that the hooks are properly installed and tightened to maintain their stability. This way, you can confidently retrieve and return seasonal tools without the risk of damaging your vehicles or creating unnecessary obstructions within the garage.

Lighten up

No one wants to spend time in a dim garage with hidden hazards. Shed a little (or a lot of) light on the issue. Install long-lasting, energy-efficient bulbs overhead and clip or hook mobile task lights in places where you’re most likely to need them. These portable lights provide flexibility and can be directed to illuminate workbenches, tool areas, or specific project spaces. Multiply the effect by coating your ceiling with light, reflective paint.

By shedding light on every corner of your garage and eliminating dim areas or hidden hazards, you create a safer and more enjoyable space to work, store items, or pursue your hobbies. A well-lit garage not only enhances visibility but also boosts your productivity and overall satisfaction while spending time in this important area of your home.

Mobilize your masses

You’ll only get so far sorting everyone’s stuff by yourself. Dedicate a day of family garage-keeping complete with pre-planning and recreation. Purchase organizers and cleanup supplies ahead of time. Define the project’s time and punctuate with snacks. Park curbside so you can move all garage contents to the driveway to conquer clutter by category. Assign an older child to burn a “garage grooves” soundtrack with pace-setting family favorites. Appoint a project photographer to capture before, after and candid shots.