Ideas to Organize Your Garage: Shelves, Cabinets & Storage Solutions

Just put it in the garage." How many times has that direction been given at your house? Probably too many for whatever storage you have to handle without overflowing and/or making items impossible to find. Spend a couple of days getting organized and installing the right system for your needs.

Go Through Every Box, Bag, and Cabinet

Get up early on Saturday morning. Divide your driveway into three sections, placing a box in each with the word Keep, Donate or Toss. As you pull items from the garage , place them in the appropriate box/area. Have additional boxes ready for items to donate and bags out for trash. As you add to the Keep section, organize by type, such as tools, decorations, etc.

Finish your tasks for Saturday by taking all of the trash to the dump and the items to donate to your favorite charity.

If you would like to sell some of the items instead of donating them, only decide to do so if you can schedule a garage sale for the following weekend. Tackle two tasks in one effort and price them that same morning.

Choose an Install the Right Organizational System

Once you only have Keep items left, move them back into the garage for overnight storage. You can also start off with the Keep area inside the garage if you have enough room.

Look at what you have and assess what you would need to store everything in a tidy and easily accessible manner. Do you have tons of power tools and yard implements? Is decorating the outside of your home with the changing seasons and holidays your passion? Are you a grease monkey who likes to work on vehicles? Or a cyclist family with more bikes than cars?

Once you determine your biggest storage need, you can choose the right system. It can be a mix of storage options. Here are the basics:

Peg Boards
-If your garage doubles as a workspace like for woodworking, auto repair or whatever keeps your hands busy, consider installing a workbench and pegboards if you have not already. Pegboards allow you to keep all of your tools in sight and within reach. You can also install them wider than the workbench to allow for hanging tall items such as yard tools.

Cabinets-If you would like a more permanent solution, one that will add to your home's resale value and hide the majority of items from sight, consider installing cabinetry. Be sure to choose the material that best suits your environment. For example, wood cabinets might not be the best choice in wetter areas of the country, especially if your area has the potential for even the most minor flooding. Plastic or resin would work best then. Metal is another option. With cabinetry, you also can customize the cabinets, shelves and drawers to suit your storage needs.

Neatly stacked garage storage bins
-If you use your garage mainly for storage, as opposed to the above, a shelf and bin system may work best. That way, everything gets the protection a closed bin provides and you can organize the bins by how often you need to access their contents. For example, place holiday decorations on a top shelf but tools on the bottom. Use clear bins or labels so you know exactly where items are and can get to them quickly. And if space is at a premium in your garage, there are shelves that hang from the ceiling as well.

Once you decide the best combination, purchase the system or schedule your professional handyman to do the work. Again, just like with the garage sale you want to follow up with part two of this task as soon as possible to organize your garage.