Garages are difficult spaces to keep organized since they often are just big blank boxes, without much structure to help keep things in order. And that’s in addition to the fact that transition spaces like garages, where you’re coming and going from often, lend themselves to the accumulation of clutter. As well as they’re multi-purpose space and ultimately a storage space and not a living space.
Light It Up*
First, you can’t do much if you can’t see due to to poor lighting.
And garages are notorious for being dark spaces.
Instantly add light to the space, making everything easier to see with these LED lightbulbs designed to brighten ever corner of the space.
They’re adjustable so you can focus light where you need it most. Spend a just few minutes needing out about how and where the light is shining and it’ll payoff later when you’re not working in the shadows.
The first step in creating order in the space is to establish some structure.
I absolutely love the RubberMaid Fast Track system because it’s super flexible, durable and extremely easy to install. And it allows you to easily use the vertical space on the wall, wasting none of it.
If you’re not yet familiar, the system works like this: you hang a top rail and either pop accessory hooks along it or vertical rails to add shelves, baskets and other accessories.
It’s super easy to adjust the hooks along the rail without any tools to perfectly position everything you need to hang. These hooks are great for storing long handled tools. Keep rakes on one, shovels on another, brooms on yet another. The tools you use most frequently will find their way to the front and it’ll be simple to pluck off what you need.
This vertical ball holder is a great accessory to add to your space to corral loose soccer balls, footballs and basketballs. And it’s simple to pull out just the ball you’re looking for without having all the balls come out.
The RubberMaid line of wire baskets for the Fast Track system, offers a nice way to keep smaller items like baseballs, garage rags, and rope contained and handy.
This drop front style basket allows you to fit more baskets and shelves vertically since the items don’t need to be lifted out of the basket and can come straight out.
The Fast Track shelves are a good way to keep things off the garage floor and minimize tripping hazards, as well as making it easier to keep the space clean. Each shelf holds up to 50 pounds of weight, making it perfect for heavy items like plant fertilizer and large bottles of cleaning products. I doubted the weight limits, but a huge bag of plant food sat on one of the shelves in my garage all Fall and Winter without issue.
Every garage can benefit from a mix of both open and closed storage options so that items that are used frequently. But items that don’t necessarily need to be kept dust and dirt free can be easily accessible in an open top bin, whereas items you’d like to keep clean are protected in a closed top container.
There are two options for adding closed storage to a garage.
The first is to add a set of shelves and then add storage containers. This set of shelves hold up to 250 pounds of weight per shelf.
Storing heavier items? This shelving unit will accommodate up to 500 pounds per shelf. Wowza!
Shelving units are good for items that are too big, deep or heavy) to fit into a cabinet (think tires, camping equipment and gardening supplies) or for spaces that you’d like to keep flexible without installing things into the walls.
If you’re keeping items better kept in closed storage containers, such as inflatable holiday lawn decorations or camping equipment, opt for translucent containers like these from Iris. Iris makes super durable plastic containers that are straight-sided to maximize storage area.
And these are designed to be water tight too, meaning moisture will stay out, reducing the risk of mold and mildew ruining the items. They’re available in a myriad of different size options, so measure both your available shelf space as well as the times you anticipate storing in them to get a good fit.
The next option for closed storage is to add storage cabinet to the garage. For lighter items, this Sterilite cabinet is perfect since it’s not too deep and tuck into a smaller footprint.
For heavier items, opt for this cabinet duo from RubberMaid cabinet featuring a set of double doors.
For wall cabinets, the key to having them be super functional is to add them at a height where all adults in the household can reach them. Don’t hang the cabinets high up just for the tallest person in the house to reach. If the shorter adults can’t reach, they won’t and things won’t find their way back into the cabinets, creating clutter or duplicate purchases will happen since they items are too high to reach.
These white metal cabinets would add a brightness to the space.
Another option for closed storage is to get hard sided and non-plastic cabinets like this Hangups cabinet system. This system is fantastic because it comes with a load of storage space, as well as a flat work surface.
This rolling tool cabinet is a fantastic option for storing tools and provides a workbench set up at the same time.
Organizing Smaller Items
Don’t forget to carve out solutions for handling the storage of smaller items too.
For tools, a pegboard is super useful. Skip the little bins often sold with pegboard systems and use the additional space to hang up more tools instead.
Store nails, screws, small hooks, other hardware and the like in a container like this Iris organizer. It can sit on a shelf or be wall mounted. Be sure to add labels to the drawers so you don’t have to open each drawer to find what you need. Another bonus? The units stack if you have more than will fit in one cabinet!
Reach in containers and bins are a smart addition to a garage space. Items are easily accessible with just one hand and you don’t have to lift a lid or another container off the top to get to what you need.
No matter what system you choose, whether open shelving or closed containers, be sure to label the containers and even cabinet doors. This will instantly eliminate the frustration of not being able to find things. Labels featuring an image make it easy to quickly spy what you need and the clean and bold typeface on these labels make it obvious what’s where.
Over to You!
As you can see, there are a bunch of really good solutions for getting any garage space organized. It’s all about using the space wisely and arranging things in a simple and straightforward way so everything’s accessible.
Hope these ideas have sparked some motivation and inspiration for you to use them in your own garage space!
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