5 Secrets of an Organized Garage

By Sue Anderson from angieslist.com

You can effectively maximize your storage with an organized garage.

Fall is the perfect time to tackle organizing your garage and/or outdoor shed, because the weather is nice enough that you can drag everything out to sort through it.

Also, we're heading into the winter months, when you would like to be able to park in your garage.

Because I didn't have a garage most of my life, I relish having one now. I love never having to get out of my car in the rain or snow, and never worrying if the hail storm damaged my car. I would never want to not be able to use my garage because it was full of stuff!

I'd love to help you make the most of your garage by sharing these five secrets of an organized garage:

1. Store things vertically

One of the least-known organizing secrets is to use your space efficiently. Many times that means storing things vertically. You'll notice in the photo that the wheelbarrow and spreader are hanging above the washer and dryer, making effective use of what would otherwise be wasted storage space. Of equal importance, you can still access them easily, and the way they are stored frees up extra floor space. You'll also notice the pool is on its side, so that it takes up less space and makes good use of vertical space.

2. Strong, sturdy deep shelves are a must

Rather than having paint cans and yard tools all over the floor, shelves help you make great use of your vertical storage space. And once items are organized and labeled on the shelves you can see them more easily. A common mistake we see with shelves is that they are not sturdy and they are not deep, so they can't do their job effectively. Look for sturdy shelves that hold a lot of weight and are 24 inches deep.

3. Consolidate items

If you have two or more of the same item open in your garage or storage shed, it's time to consolidate them into one container. This simple act frees up lots of space.

4. Do you really need it?

So many times we hold on to things because we plan to complete that project and make that, build that or fix that. Today is the day to be brutally honest with yourself about the reality of that ever happening. How many years have you been saying you wanted to do that project? Nine times out of 10 you'll have no problem discarding those unnecessary items. It's amazing how freeing it feels to let go of those things once you've really thought through their practical uses in your life.

5. Today is the day!

You know those excess paint cans you have stacked up in the corner? What about those bags of outgrown clothes you have piling up? And all of those broken and outdated computer parts and electronics? Today is the day that you are going to take those items where they can be disposed of properly. A quick Google search will help you find a place nearby to take these items. Taking action to clear space by getting those unnecessary items out will have a positive impact on your everyday life.


Sue Anderson 

is a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of the highly rated Simplified Living Solutions.She is a regular contributor to the Experts Contributor Program.