A blog post

Garage Organizing: It’s that time of year!

Posted on the 02 August, 2013 at 5:28 pm Written by in Home Organizing, Uncategorized

I live in a typical suburban neighbourhood – our homes are on narrow lots with one- or two-car garages, and almost all of my neighbours park their cars on the driveway and store junk in their garages.  Does this sound familiar?  Our vehicles are probably our most valuable belongings, after our homes, and we leave them outside to face the elements while protecting miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam from our lives in our garage!  In the summer this is not such a problem, and it might even be easier on the paintjobs to keep our cars outside, away from bikes, trikes and scooters.  If you would like to park at least one vehicle in the garage when the snow flies, now is the time to clear out the garage space.

  1. Do some pre-planning – Investigate storage options. Take a trip to the hardware store to see what’s available. Garage organizing systems can be custom installations costing lots of money, or odds and ends of leftover hardware.  Use what works for your budget.  Cupboard storage of some kind is great for keeping bugs, dust, and dirt away.  Look up for storage – can you fashion loft storage overhead?  (Be careful and ensure that things stored overhead are secure – you don’t want your off-season tires to come crashing down on anyone when a door bangs shut.)  Consider the needs of your family – do you have lots of sporting equipment? Do you have recreational vehicles?  Don’t buy the organizing products until you are sure of how much you will have to store.
  2. Check the upcoming weather and choose a couple of nice sunny days for the actual garage work.  While you might be able to finish in a day it’s great to have extra time to install organizing products.  Pull everything out onto your driveway – yes, everything!  Clear the floor, the walls, and the rafters.  As you are doing this, toss any garbage and recyclables, consider a pile for a dump run, another for give-aways.
  3. Sweep the space thoroughly, wash the windows, clear the cobwebs.  Get rid of those weird little round worms that look like washers.
  4. Take a look at what you need to put back into the garage. Get rid of anything you no longer use or need.   If someone else can still use it, add it to the donation pile.  If you are leaving space for your car, pull it in, open the doors and mark the space you need – everything else must fit around this space.  Pull the car back out and reconsider what is left to go back in!
  5. Examine your space to determine placement of your storage.  Find and mark the wall studs.  This is where you will attach any tool hangers or garage organizing systems.  Try to keep things up and off the floor as much as possible. Before purchasing or installing any garage organizing system, put the things you want to store roughly into place to see how they fit.  Take measurements. Mark parking spaces on the floor with paint for kids’ bikes and scooters. Look around for storage items –bins and crates, scrap lumber, old cupboards can all be put to great use as garage storage. Cardboard boxes should not be used in the garage – they are prone to mould, and easily infested with critters of 4 or more legs! Try special hanging hardware for skateboards, skis, snowboards, garden tools. Now install the appropriate organizing products.
  6. Containerize smaller items – store small garden tools together in a bin. Clear bins keep things visible and easy to find. Store similar things together – gather sports equipment in one place, hang lawn chairs close together.  Store any hazardous materials safely, and be sure they are well marked.
  7. Put back only the items that belong in the garage.  Take the donation pile to your favourite charity.  Make the dump run.  Have a refreshing beverage and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Written by Laurene


As a formerly disorganized person, Laurene Livesey Park believes that organizing is supposed to make your life easier. She is a big believer in “organized enough”. In 1999 Laurene founded OrganizeMe101.com.

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