Tips and Tricks for Garage Organization

This should be the last post on our garage.  But, I thought you might want some details on a few spots. 

First, some general tips for organizing your garage.
#1 keep like things together – one of the most frustrating things about cleaning the garage was how things were all over the place.  For example I found paint supplies in several different locations – and when I got it altogether, there was a lot of it!!
#2 keep as much off the floor as you can
#3 plan spaces for things based on frequency of use and location of use

What works best for me to achieve #1 when organizing a space is to empty out the space.  Don’t try to move things around in the space – you will just end up moving things too much.  Empty everything out and make piles – use buckets if you have them, or just use the floor.  There is no real right or wrong categories for sorting – it just needs to make sense to you and your family.  
garage organization
To achieve #2 we added a couple of shelves to one side of the garage.  We inherited the large shelves that cover one whole side, but the other side was lacking, and we needed something simple and shallow to store homeowner type supplies.  
garage shelves
garage storage
I also purchased a simple wooden shoe rack for by the door for outside shoes – water shoes, fishing shoes, mowing shoes, you know the ones you never want in the house :).  
shoes in garage
We also utilized pegboard in two locations to hold tools – my hubbies tools and garden and yard tools. 
tool storage
garden storage
The pegboards got a coat of the blue paint we used on the shelves, just to spice them up a bit.  By this point we were on the home stretch, so I didn’t get too decorative with the paint, but I still like the pop of color :).
You can see the garden area got a shelf too, for all those sprays and liquids that you prefer to have up high – this is actually a laundry shelf hung upside down, but it was the perfect size.
shelf to hold bug spray and other chemicals
Also, hooks, nails, etc. are great to hang things you need easy access to – some frequently used tools, sports equipment, brooms, etc.  
garage storage and organization
To achieve #3 we took a. lot. of. time. thinking, planning, discussing the location of things.  Because as I said before, we had half-done this project several times, and I really hope to never do it again.  So, the things we rarely need access to – went on the top shelves, then we worked down from there.  Things that we wanted on hand went on hooks on the walls, or on the pegboards.  
As to my inspirations – for paint storage, I loved the idea of the mason jars and being able to SEE the color of paint, however glass and my family is not really a good idea, so I went to my standby plastic containers from walmart.  These will hold about 1/2 gallon of paint.  
leftover paint storage
I had a few cans that had around 1/4 gallon of paint, so I found some other plastic food storage containers with a screw on lid, and they worked great.  Two tubs for other paint supplies and this is what I ended up with :).
paint and paint supply storage
For homeowner type supplies – you know those random home repair items that you have because you had to fix something and you bought way more than you needed so you need somewhere to store it, because you will surely need it again. I again went with CLEAR tubs.  Even though I did label all of these, I still wanted clear tubs, so there was no confusion, and besides I just like the look of them.
storage tubs in garage
labeled tubs in garage
As for the cordless charging station…nothing was built, but we did attach a power strip to our work table and rigged up a “table” below for the chargers to sit on.  To be honest when we were going through tools we discovered that only one cordless item would still charge, so not too much to plug in at this time.
garage charging station
I feel very confident that this is going to make a huge difference in how we use this space.  I pulled my car in yesterday finally and there was plenty of room. We could honestly pull both our trucks in but we probably couldn’t open any doors :).  Just so nice to have space!!
Maybe you feel stuck right now by all the stuff that seems to be closing in on you.  In our culture today it seems stuff reigns supreme.  I mean seriously storage facilities are popping up everywhere.  Run out of room in your garage? – go rent one on someone else’s property.  What is the purpose of collecting stuff?  As my grandma used to say – “you can’t take it with you when you die”.  I like pretty things, and we all have our things that we must keep for fear we might need it someday – mine is bags.  About a year or so ago I got inspired to clean out our home and our lives of all the excess stuff.  When the stuff is piled up I feel overwhelmed and I just want to bury my head in the sand.  When things are clear and clean I feel relaxed.  How about you?  Do you like stuff or do you prefer space?


  • Lisa @ Shine Your Light

    Denise I have been working on this exact same project! I just love that pop of blue in your garage – how fun and much better looking than my mismatched shelving and grungy wood. I'm inspired to paint and make the space not only more organized, but a bit more attractive. I just got a pegboard yesterday and was thinking about spraying it white…but maybe I'll do a fun color instead! Isn't it great to have some organization out there? It makes me feel a tad less crazy.

  • James Reynolds

    Great information, I always have trouble keeping my garage tidy and clean. I've made a promise to myself to put away all of my tools and not use any extra space as a storage room for things I don't need. My garage also has some pretty badly stained concrete floors that I have been trying to research a cleaning method for; any tips?

  • Christy James

    Wow, you have a place for everything! I am loving the clear containers for all of your paint…clever and so much neater! I'm so glad you shared this with us at our Get Your DIY on Party! XO

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