If your garage is messy and cluttered, it can get in the way of the tasks you hope to do in it, such as when it comes to using your garage as a workshop or man cave.
That’s why it’s so important to organize your garage. This not only makes the space easier to use, but it also prevents potential health dangers.
What health dangers can occur as a result of a messy garage?
If your garage has become untidy or packed to the rafters, it can be a fire or mold hazard.
Take your stress levels into account. You want your garage to be a lovely, neat space that makes you feel good whenever you walk into it, instead of a stressful environment. So, with that in mind, here’s your ultimate guide on how to organize your garage and where to start.
- 1 Give It A Good Clean
- 2 Sort Through The Items
- 3 Get More Storage Options
- 4 Insulate Your Garage
- 5 Choose The Right Garage Flooring
- 6 Install A Garage HVAC System
- 7 Store Your Tools Off The Floor
- 8 What Items Can You Store In Your Garage?
- 9 Get The Right Facilities
- 10 Related Questions
- 11 Conclusion
Give It A Good Clean
One of the best ways to start organizing your garage is to clean it.
You’ll have to remove all the clutter from it so that you can give it a good clean. Once everything has been taken out of the garage, it will be easier to clean and organize.
- Dust all the surfaces in the garage, like shelves, workbenches, and tables.
- With a damp cloth, wipe down all the surfaces as well as inside shelves, cabinets, and cupboards. You can use a mild household detergent for this task.
- Sweep the floor and mop them.
- You might have to give the floors a more intensive clean if they are stained. To remove stains such as oil stains, you’ll have to use detergent and a wire scrub brush. To remove mold, you’ll need to use bleach and water.
- Once you’re done, you might need to put on a fan in order to ensure that all surfaces and flooring is completely dry. This is important to do before you bring items back into the garage.
Sort Through The Items
While your garage is drying after being cleaned, you can take a critical look at the items you’ve left outside. You should sort through them before you bring them back into the garage as this will make it easier to organize them.
Ask yourself what you really need and if all the items you have should be in your garage.
For example, some items like paint shouldn’t be stored in your garage where the temperature fluctuations can reduce their quality and make them unusable. Find other storage spaces for these in the home.
If you haven’t used an item for six months to a year, consider giving it away. You could donate it or give it to a friend. If you think you might use it someday, you should consider putting it in another type of storage, such as offsite, so that it won’t take up precious space in your garage.
Consider the purpose of your garage. This is important because it will help you figure out what items really need to be stored in the garage.
If you want to turn your garage into a DIY workshop but it’s cluttered with lots of sporting equipment that never gets used, this will prevent it from being a workshop. Find other ways to store your sporting equipment so it doesn’t get in the way.
Plan different zones in your garage. Before you start bringing items back into the garage, it’s important to see the empty garage with new eyes.
Chances are even if you’re only using your garage for one purpose, such as your workshop, you’ll still have other items that need to be stored in the garage, such as your car or gardening tools.
Therefore, consider separating the garage layout into different zones so that you can group together items for different purposes.
For example, maybe all the gardening tools will be grouped together on the wall, and all your cordless tools will be put on another wall. Imagine the space so that you’ll have a better idea of what to do with the stuff you bring back into the garage.
Important note: Remember that you should never store anything in the garage in such a way that it will potentially obstruct your garage door opener. This can block its sensor, causing your door not to close properly, which could be a safety issue.
Get More Storage Options
You might be using cabinets and shelves to store your garage items, and that’s great, but consider extra storage if you need it – and think out of the box for this one.
Movable trolleys can come in handy as a portable idea, while making use of the wall space in your garage will increase your storage space phenomenally.
A tip when using the wall space is to make use of the height you have – aim to store seasonal items, such as your fishing gear, higher up, and items that you use regularly lower down so that you have easy access to them.
Insulate Your Garage
You might think that if you’re not using your garage for social purposes, such as by turning it into a man cave, you don’t have to worry about insulating it. But you should always insulate your garage, regardless of its function.
This has many benefits, such as helping you to maintain a more balanced temperature for added comfort, while reducing your energy costs because insulation can help to make your garage much more energy efficient.
You should insulate your garage door, ceiling, and walls, to ensure that they are more protected against the weather and temperature fluctuations.
Here are some important tips to bear in mind when it comes to garage insulation:
- You need to take your garage door material into consideration to choose the most effective insulation, but there are three main types of door insulation: flexible batt insulation, reflective foil roll insulation, and rigid foam board.
- You’ll need a garage door threshold seal, as this will be watertight. You can find ones in recyclable material that won’t fade or decay over time.
- You should install weather stripping on the frame outside the door – this will prevent drafts, pests, and moisture.
- When insulating your windows, your goal is to reduce drafts. You can do this by replacing missing glazing on the windows, such as with glazing putty, and weatherstripping the sides.
- When insulating your walls, there are many options available. One of the best is rockwool insulation. This is fire-resistant and sound-resistant, so it’s ideal for your garage. It also prevents mold growth because it’s resistant to water. Since it remains durable over time and doesn’t degrade, it’s perfect to consider for the garage. You won’t have to worry about installation because it’s really easy – the rockwool comes in batts that are cut with a handsaw and then fit into place.
- When insulating your garage ceiling, fiberglass insulation is a good choice as it’s easy to adjust, durable, and inexpensive. However, always make sure that you also install a vapor retarder. This will prevent moisture from accumulating on the sheathing and wood trusses.
Choose The Right Garage Flooring
Chances are your garage floors are concrete. This is a practical and durable choice, but to protect them and make them look their best, you will have to consider applying a garage floor coating.
Popular options include concrete paint and stain. At the very least, a concrete sealer will help to keep your concrete protected against stains and damage.
Besides for coatings, you need to consider floor coverings. These can also add protection while totally changing the look of your garage. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular garage floor coverings:
These can be rigid or flexible. Rigid plastic tiles are made of hard plastic and are very strong.
Flexible plastic tiles work well because they’re softer so they’re more comfortable if you’re going to be working on your feet a lot, such as in your workshop.
These rubber mats can easily be applied because you just roll them across the floor.
They are more for aesthetics because they come in a variety of styles and patterns. They’re durable, but not as strong as other floor coverings.
If you want to have a blend of carpeting and tiling, carpet tiles are a good choice. They are interlocking and work well if you want to make your garage look a bit cozier. However, they’re not ideal for heavy-duty garages with lots of traffic.
Carpet tiles are made out of polypropylene and covered with synthetic carpet. Surprisingly, they’re a good choice for you if your garage is prone to moisture because they insulate the floor while encouraging air flow.
Install A Garage HVAC System
You need to ensure your garage is ventilated and that it has proper temperature control to prevent fluctuations that can be uncomfortable and cause damage to the items you store in it.
When it comes to air conditioning, you can get away with a garage exhaust fan if you live in a mild climate. But, there are many benefits to having a garage HVAC system, such as that it’s more energy efficient because it will regulate the temperature.
There are many different types of air conditioning systems you can choose for your garage. Some top picks include units that are installed in the wall.
These are useful because they enable you to cool down your garage even if you don’t have a window in it, for which a window AC unit would be required.
Multi-split HVAC systems are also useful if you want to have variable fan speeds so that you can change the airflow in your garage, and they will reduce your energy costs.
Store Your Tools Off The Floor
You should never leave your tools on the floor, as they can become a tripping hazard. Doing this can also lead to a cluttered mess in your garage, which is stressful and will make it difficult for you to find the tool you need when you need it.
So, it’s important to ensure that you have the correct tool storage. Here are some options to consider:
- Hang your tools on hooks. This is a simple way to keep your tools organized and out of the way. For even better organization, invest in a pegboard.
- Make use of shelves. If you’re short on space, floating shelves can work well.
- Use cabinets or chests. Keeping your tools in cabinets is a good idea to ensure they remain in a cool and dry place. This is especially important for power tools. You can also find tool chests that are on wheels to make them more versatile. Some have pull-out trays or work surfaces, to further save space in your garage.
How to organize a toolbox
If you love your trusty toolbox, you should ensure that it doesn’t get cluttered. As you probably know, this isn’t always an easy task. Here are some tips to ensure your toolbox makes your work easier and less stressful.
- Choose cushioned liners for the drawers in your toolbox or chest. This keeps your tools in place and it also protects the box material.
- Keep your heaviest items at the bottom of the toolbox. This will make it easier to move the top drawers while also making the chest feel more stable.
- Organize your toolbox in the way that makes the most sense to you, such as by putting the tools that you use the most regularly on top where you have easy access to them.
What About Ceiling Storage Racks?
Whether you want to store tools or other items in the garage, a ceiling storage rack is a fantastic way to save space while making sure you keep your items safe.
You can find ceiling storage racks on Amazon and they don’t cost a lot of money – you can find ones for $100 or less. When purchasing a ceiling storage rack, make sure you check that the rack can handle the weight you intend on putting on it.
There are other ceiling storage options, though, such as ceiling hooks, nets, and storage lifts – the latter is great for objects such as bikes and kayaks that can take up lots of space on the floor.
What Items Can You Store In Your Garage?
While you can obviously store items such as gardening tools, workshop tools, and more in your garage, you need to be careful that the temperature fluctuations in your garage don’t ruin them.
For example, always ensure that you properly clean and dry your tools so that they can’t rust. Keeping them in a clean, dry, and cool place in the garage will also help to protect them.
Things You Shouldn’t Store In The Garage
Due to how garages are usually susceptible to temperature fluctuations, there are some items you should never store in the garage. These include the following:
- Flammable objects. These include propane tanks because they risk leaking and being ignited. If you want to store gasoline, you can store it in the garage but you need to keep it far away from any ignition sources and in an appropriate container (via The Spruce).
- Objects that attract pests. You should avoid storing items in the garage that can attract pests, such as bedding, clothing, papers, books, firewood, and food.
- Fragile items. The extreme temperatures and humidity that can occur in the garage make it an inhospitable environment for items that could warp or break. For example, don’t store electronics, refrigerators, or other appliances in the garage. Same goes for wood as the extreme temperatures can cause the wood to swell and warp.
- Items that attract mold. You don’t want to store old papers, magazines, books or similar items in the garage because these can be damaged by moisture. And moisture, in turn, can attract mold. Never store valuable papers in the garage as you never know when they can be destroyed by pests or floods!
Get The Right Facilities
Having water and electricity in your garage is important but consider what you need depending on how you’ll use the space.
If you need to retrofit your garage for plumbing, you’ll have to ensure you get a professional plumber in if you’re not a DIY pro. Remember that if you need facilities like a sink, washing machine, and toilet, these require water lines, drain lines, as well as shutoff valves (via HGTV).
Now, water lines will have to be run through the walls and drain lines through the floor, meaning you’ll need to break the garage floor for pipes.
As for electricity requirements, consider how much equipment you’ll have to power up at the same time. Aim for up to 240 volts with higher-gauge wiring if you want to do this, so that you won’t overload the system.
Since moisture is a common problem in garages you need to be careful and install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) safety outlets as they prevent electrocution (via HGTV).
Do you need a drop cord outlet?
If you’re going to be turning your garage into a workshop, a drop cord outlet will enable you to plug your tools overhead so you won’t have to have a bunch of cords on the garage floor.
How do you prevent clutter from forming again in future?
It’s important to take stock of the items you have in your garage on a regular basis. This will allow you to remove items you no longer use and avoid clutter.
If your garage is cluttered, you need to ensure that you organize it. Not only will the space look larger, but you’ll be able to use it much more effectively – and prevent potential hazards.