How to Organize a Cluttered Garage

How to Organize a Cluttered Garage

Is your garage a cluttered mess? Has it gotten to the point where you can *maybe* park one car inside your two-car garage? You’re not alone! So… let’s talk about how to organize a cluttered garage. Chances are your messy garage is not the only thing that might need to be decluttered and organized. If you’re also trying to get the clutter under control in the rest of your home, then these declutter tips might help you. 

Garages have a way of becoming the place where we shove everything that we can’t find a place for inside the house. Even if your garage is packed full of items that do belong there — like outdoor gear, tools, and automotive equipment — it can be difficult to find what you need if your garage is cluttered and unorganized. 

Organizing a cluttered garage doesn’t have to be difficult, although it may take some time to accomplish. 

Many people love the idea of tackling the garage together as a family over a weekend. If you can set aside an entire weekend for the project, awesome! But if you don’t have a large chunk of available time, you can still make progress in shorter periods. 

I believe working in shorter bursts is the best solution for most people. This way, you just focus on one section of the garage at a time. Plus, you don’t end up with a driveway full of stuff after pulling everything out on a Saturday and no idea what you’re going to do with it.

What Should Not Be Stored In A Garage?

There are some things that we often don’t think twice about, like using the garage as a sort of pantry, or storing an extra tank for the grill. But there are some things you need to think about when it comes to planning for organizing your garage safely.

Don’t store these items in your garage:

  • Clothing in open boxes or closed cardboard boxes. If you must store extra clothes in the garage, keep them in plastic bins with gasket-sealed lids. Mice love clothing in open storage, and some regular plastic bins have holes beneath the handles that allow the little critters access. The same goes for things like sleeping bags.
  • Special documents, photographs, and books. The temperature extremes and potential for insect infestation in your garage will ruin them.
  • Propane tanks. The risk of a leaking tank and a spark is too dangerous. The same goes for gasoline and other flammable products
  • Birdseed and pet food in open bags. Once again… critters and bugs. The same gasketed plastic bins will work for these, or something like a galvanized can with a very tight-fitting lid. I use this rolling pet food container for our cat food and dog food.
  • Food. Your garage isn’t an extra pantry. Extreme temperatures and critters are likely to ruin your groceries.
  • Paint. I know.  it seems like the garage is the perfect place to store all those cans of paint and stain, right? Well, it’s not. Keep them indoors with more controlled temperatures, and they will last much longer!

7 Smart Strategies to Eliminate Your Garage Visual Clutter

Do you ever wonder why even relatively clean and organized areas of your home can still seem like they’re too cluttered?

The reason is probably “visual clutter”. Naturally, regular clutter will make any space look disorganized. Visual clutter, on the other hand, can stem from having poorly thought-out arrangements and locations for your storage and organization systems (or a lack of them).

Bad decisions with your décor can also contribute to visual clutter and garage visual clutter is no different. It can leave a generally off-putting vibe that your garage is just not looking its best.

  • a fridge front that’s overloaded with photos, memos, notes, and lists
  • having too many photos or pictures hung on your wall (mismatching frames also add to the visual clutter)
  • piles of magazines kept on a coffee table

An excess of cleaning supplies or auto fluid containers left on your garage floor

Just as it does in the rest of your home, garage visual clutter adds to your stress level. It also detracts from your enjoyment of the space, in addition to the fact it limits your functionality within it.

Most homeowners use the garage as the main entry and exit point for their home. Therefore, if you have garage visual clutter, it’s almost impossible to avoid. And if you use your garage as a workspace, workout area, or hobby area, garage visual clutter can also limit your productivity during time spent in the space.

Work on eliminating your garage visual clutter to create a more streamlined, aesthetically pleasing garage environment. Use these seven strategies to guide you.

Get your garage floor cleared

Your garage floor can be a clutter magnet, so getting it cleared and keeping it that way will have a huge impact on minimizing or eliminating garage visual clutter.

Remember, your garage’s most important purpose is for parking vehicles. Floor clutter only makes that more difficult, in addition to detracting from your garage’s appearance.

A clear garage floor also allows you to enter and exit vehicles easier and foot traffic can travel without any obstructions or tripping hazards. To get things off your floor, look to your garage’s underused wall and vertical space to create more storage room.

Slatwall panels allow everything from bikes to power cords to garden tools to sports equipment to be hung on your walls, as opposed to being left on your floor.

Our various specialty storage racks include tire racks and heavy-duty overhead storage racks. These are great for storing the bulkier and heavier items in your garage that can take up a lot of valuable floor space.

Many of these bulkier items are for seasonal use or are infrequently used, so it makes even more sense to store them elsewhere so they’re not always in your way.

Eliminate conflicting design elements

Conflicting patterns and colors in your garage can contribute to garage visual clutter. With the addition of slatwall panels, your garage interior will have a more finished, organized appearance that’s easier on the eyes.

That sleek and clean look can be achieved even if you have light switches, conduit pipe, receptacles, and other wall obstructions. These can all be accounted for by our installers when they’re cutting the panels. Color-matched screws and trim for ends, corners, and any gaps between panels make up the finishing touches that help create the consistent look.

You’ll also minimize garage visual clutter by choosing colors for your garage upgrades that effectively complement each other. Your garage’s interior visuals can really pop when the right colors of both garage cabinets and slatwall are matched with the perfect flooring color.

Create a singular focal point

One way to reduce garage visual clutter is to create a singular focal point within the space. This means that when you enter your garage, your eyes should be drawn to one main wall.

Garage cabinetry can be a great anchor to help you achieve this goal. Garage Living carries a variety of cabinet styles and colors to match your design tastes and establish a showpiece focal point in your garage.

For example, the GL NEOS Elite cabinet system has a thoroughly modern look that features a seamless wall-to-wall presentation. The sleek, stylish look of the cabinets will instantly become the focus of your attention and functions as an effective countermeasure against the ugliness of visual clutter.

Hiding your supplies behind storage cabinet doors maintains an organized appearance within your garage space.

Keep supplies and other belongings hidden

Along with improving your garage’s look, there are obvious functional benefits to adding garage cabinetry. First, they’ll help you keep many of your belongings better organized.

They also enable you to keep supplies and other belongings hidden and out of sight, which reduces your garage visual clutter. Tall cabinets, upper cabinetry, lower cabinetry, and drawers work wonders to obscure many of the items kept in your garage.

By having the ability to store items behind doors and in cabinet drawers, you’ll no longer have a constant reminder of everything your garage contains. That makes for a neater, more inviting-looking space.

Keep similar items together to reduce garage visual clutter

It’s always a good organizing practice to keep similar items stored together, whether you’re cleaning up a bedroom, a home office, or a garage. One reason to do this is to make it easy to find specific items without wasting much time.

The other reason to group like items together is because it simply looks neater and creates a more cohesive look. Think of how displays in stores are designed. The consistent, uniform look of many similar or identical products on display can be a real eye-catcher.

Some larger items in your garage can’t be hidden behind cabinetry doors, but you can still store them in a neatly organized manner on your slatwall.

There are many types of slatwall accessory hooks, shelves, racks, baskets, and bins available for hanging your belongings. That means you can configure your slatwall’s storage layout just about any way you’d like. Keep items like rakes, tools, or a multitude of other things grouped together, easy to find, and looking satisfyingly orderly.

Group similar items together on slatwall panels to avoid garage visual clutter.

Use legible, consistent-looking labels

Using labels in your garage is a good idea, as it helps to locate infrequently used items quicker. One of the best examples of this would be bins of holiday decorations, which are ideal for storing in an overhead rack.

Perhaps your garage cabinetry, like the GL Custom Steel cabinet system, has an option to include utility drawers with organizing bins. They’re very useful for keeping small screws, nails, and other small bits of hardware organized, with the help of labels.

When making labels to identify your things, take the time to create labels that are legible and consistent-looking. If you’re using a marker, print neatly, make the writing easy to read from a distance, and stick with the same color.

If you’re able to, use a handheld label maker or print your labels on the computer. They’ll look nicer and create the desired consistent, uniform appearance that doesn’t produce garage visual clutter.

Don’t forget the visual clutter of parking in your driveway

You might not have considered it, but parking your vehicles all the time in your driveway is another type of visual clutter for your home’s exterior. That negatively impacts your home’s curb appeal.

And when you consider that our vehicles sit parked 95% of the time, that’s even more reason to take the time to make space in your garage for parking vehicles.

The Benefits of Having a Clean Garage

For many people, the garage is a place to store everything that doesn’t fit inside the house. Like a built-in storage unit, garages quickly turn into a place where anything and everything can be put. While having a place to put your miscellaneous objects can be convenient, it can quickly turn into a disorganized mess. If you’re currently thinking about your garage and how messy it is, keep reading for some inspiration that will motivate you to take some time this summer and clean out your garage.

Fewer Pests

First and foremost, cleaning your garage will do a lot to eliminate pest problems or prevent them before they even happen. Unattended piles of junk are pests’ favorite places to make their home, and if you take measures to get rid of those piles, you’ll be doing yourself a favor in the long run. Additionally, people often store food in their garage, and when the garage is messy, mice, rats, and other pests have a free pass to all of it. Not to mention getting rid of garage pests is a nearly impossible task when there’s too much junk lying around for you to navigate it.

More Organization

This one hardly needs to be said, but it is worth repeating: the cleaner your garage, the more organized it will be. No longer will you need to rummage through all of your junk looking for your seasonal decorations, power tools, or anything else, because it will all be in its proper place. The time you spend cleaning and organizing your garage will ultimately pay for itself by saving you time in the future that you otherwise would have spent searching for things you’d misplaced.

Extra Space

A clean garage can serve multiple purposes. Instead of having it be entirely filled with junk that is scattered across the floor, you can organize it all to one side and park your car on the other. Or, you can find somewhere else to put your belongings and park multiple cars inside the garage. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can convert a clean garage into a workshop, play place, recording studio, mechanic shop, home gym, or anything else you can think of.

Appealing Aesthetic

Let’s face it: clean garages are much more appealing and attractive than dirty ones. In recent years, minimalistic home decorating has become a new trend, and for good reason—it’s been shown that the more organized a room is, the calmer and more focused we feel when we’re in it. Your garage doesn’t have to be a place you’d be embarrassed to have your guests see. When you take the time to clean it, you’ll thank yourself every time you walk inside and are happy with what you see

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