I bought my home in August and felt very motivated to clean every inch of the home, both inside and out.  My garage was clean and tidy within the first month or so, but then as I started to really move into my home, unpack and organize, my garage quickly became the dumping ground for everything in the house which I said, “I’ll figure out later what I want to do with this.”

I actually have shelves, rafters, and quite a lot of workable space.  The problem is that everything that was determined to be sorted through later still stands where it was sporadically placed.

The garage gets no respect; and before my garage gets so cluttered that I can no longer drive in because there is too much “stuff”, I made a promise to declutter and organize and I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned.

Whether or not you are planning on selling your home anytime soon or are a new homeowner like myself, here are some useful tips I’ve found out along the way.

Open up your garage and TAKE EVERYTHING OUT. Then I challenge you to rethink your garage as the largest unused room of your house.

Once everything is out, sort your belongings into piles; keep, sell and throw out.  If you feel extra motivated you can have one additional pile for a yard sale.

Next step is to start cleaning.  After you’ve removed every last cobweb, take a step back and look at your clean garage (pat yourself on the back) and then assess what items need to be stored in the garage and if you need to add any hooks, shelves or cabinets. Visualize what your garage will look like when it is entirely finished.

I quickly realized that my garage has three main purposes:

  • Car storage
  • Stuff storage, and
  • Workspace

Now I looked at my keep pile and started to subdivide it into categories.  Things I won’t need for over a year, seasonal items (holiday decorations, weather specific lawn and home tools), and then things that I would use at least monthly.  This was an important step that I missed at first but realized an important one.  The less you need it the further back or less accessible it needs to be. Put the long-term stuff back first, then the seasonal, then the frequently used.

Part of your garage cleanup should also include checking all of your fixtures (lights, garage door opener, windows) to make sure they are in good working order and clean.

The advantages of a clean and organized garage are always knowing where your stored items are, having things in place will also make your garage look bigger.

It is a big accomplishment when you are able to create space in your home without spending the money to add on to it.  And believe it or not, there are garages in a lot worse shape than yours.