I know, we’re expecting snow here in the Northeast right now, and spring might be the last thing on your mind. Personally, all I want to do is cuddle up under a cozy blanket with my fuzzy socks and hibernate until Spring! But, in the organizing world, this is exactly when we start thinking about spring garage organization.
If you don’t have a whole day to devote to organizing your garage, start with one pile or section at a time. Make a commitment to doing one category each weekend from now until Memorial Day. Organizing a large space in bite sized pieces can make it less overwhelming and easier to tackle over a longer period of time.
Planning now will ensure that the warmer weather doesn’t sneak up on you and suddenly you’re in the thick of spring sports and then before you know it summer vacation is upon you! So, let’s plan out how to get your garage organized in some easy steps.
Step 1. Take It All Out
When I say take it all out, I mean alllll of it. You have to take everything out in order to get to the bottom of every forgotten pile, every unopened box, every shelf filled with stuff. Garages routinely become a dumping ground and the only way to get that under control is to take it all out so that you can see it. Carve out the time and enlist your family for help.
Taking it all out also means that you can see everything at once and start to make decisions about things. It also allows you to look at the space as a blank slate so you’re not locked into keeping things where they started out. More on planning out your space later!
Step 2. Sort Your Piles
Once it’s all out, the next step is to sort all of it into categories. Categories could include: sports equipment, holiday décor (take one holiday at a time!), tools, lawn and garden equipment, and things with wheels (bikes, scooters, strollers, ride on toys). Take a look at your things and put like with like. This is the quickest, easiest step of the process!
"Organizing in small sections can make a large job seem less overwhelming."
Step 3. Make Some Decisions
Now that you have all of your things sorted into categories, it’s time to make some decisions. Make quick decisions on everything: Keep, Donate and Trash. You can also create a Maybe pile because when we are trying to make quick decisions about a lot of stuff, let’s not get bogged down and waste time over something you’re not sure of- come back to it later. Be truly intentional about what you are keeping- if you haven’t used it in the last year, it’s probably safe to let it go.
You will inevitably have things that you don’t know what to do with - electronics and paint disposal usually top the list. Sentimental items, things you are storing for other people, and things that have been handed down and you feel emotional attachment to are also on this list. Make a plan for proper disposal or storage. Don’t allow yourself to let these things remain in garage purgatory! It takes effort, but you’ll be so proud of yourself if you see this through to completion.
Step 4. Space Plan and Choose Your Containment
Taking everything out and sorting allows you to see the space as a blank slate.
Don’t just put things back on the shelves where they were- think about the things you need access to daily,
sometimes, and seasonally.
Daily needs like kids’ sports equipment usually need to be put closet to a door. Seasonal items like holiday décor and a snow blower can be stored up high or in a far corner out of the way.
Decide if you need wall storage like hooks for garden tools and snow shovels. Maybe you need to add some shelving or cabinets to get things off the floor. We love slatwall systems because they are easy to modify if your needs change, they look beautiful, they are pretty easy to install, and they are super durable. Most slatwall systems have different options of shelving, hooks, and baskets you can use.
Finally, measure your shelving and choose some storage bins. Clear bins allow you to see what’s inside, while opaque bins hid the mess and give you a visually sleek and organized space. Whichever option you choose, make sure you label your bins!
Step 5. Enjoy Your Garage!
Now that you’re organized, you can enjoy your organized garage this spring. By taking all the steps one by one, and finishing them, you will ensure that the systems you put in place can be followed long-term.
When everything has a place and is labeled, you also avoid people just tossing or stuffing things anywhere- everyone knows where the soccer balls and garden shovels belong now!
Organize Your Garage, Make it Work for You!
Your garage can be a place that functions seamlessly to support your busy family lifestyle, rather than a disorganized dumping ground that stresses you out.
I hope this helped you think about how you can make a plan and execute garage organization in time to enjoy the warmer months with your family!
Leave me a comment or question below if you have something organizing related that I can help you with!
Trish Johnson is a professional organizer, wife, and mom of 3 kids. She is a former elementary school teacher who understands the stresses of daily life and truly enjoys helping busy families get set up with effective, organized systems that are functional as well as beautiful. Her company, This Organized Chaos, is located in New Jersey and services the surrounding areas organizing homes and small businesses.