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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Garage, Attic, and Basement Storage > Spring Clean and Organize Your Garage
Spring is the perfect time to tackle any outdoor storage project, and most of us have garages that could use a little help. So, to prepare for upcoming yard work and outdoor recreation and sports activities, here are some tips and ideas for organizing your garage.

Now that you’ve decided to clean up the garage and make the best use of it, give yourself a fair chance by committing to sort and purge all your items making honest assessments: do I need this? If I need this in the future, can I easily and inexpensively replace it? Will I have the space to store it?

Second: decide what your goal is for the space. Do you want to park your cars and create storage? Do you want to use it just for storage? Create an extra play area for the kids? Workshop for yourself/husband?

If your garage is packed to the brim with stuff, then most likely you haven't gone through it in ages and also, you don't know what's there. If you decide to go through it, you'll find yourself saying: “Oh, I haven't seen this in...years,” or “I have looked for this everywhere.”

The garage is suitable for to create activity areas: storage, workshop, play area, parking and so forth. With that in mind, as you clean, sort your items into three categories: keep, donate and trash. Once you have all the keepers, sort them in piles according to the activity areas you’ve chosen for your garage.

Now with the space empty, mark on the floor, with masking tape, the zones you want to have for your activities and you can see if it will actually work for you. This way, you don't keep more than you can and you can still rethink your space allocation.

Garages are the places to use vertical storage as much as you can. According to your budget, select the type of storage you will need and then plan to have them on the wall or hanging from the ceiling. Here you can plan for larger items like tents, Christmas and holidays decoration, and other things you use once a year. Leave the wall storage for items you will be reaching for more often, like sports gear or bulk shopping items.

Just because it's the garage, doesn't mean it has to look sad, all in white walls or exposed beams. Paint is an inexpensive and quick way to bring fun colors to this space. Paint the beams one color and the walls on a contrasting color, and there you have it -- a fun space.

Use clear bins, with lids with colors, labels and you will easily see the sections you created.

If you want to use the space for playing as well, like I'm doing for my 3 young boys, consider painting one of the walls with chalkboard/magnetic paint and drill buckets on the wall to keep chalk and magnetic pins on hand. Attach a roll of paper to the wall and paint close by, so the kids can do the messy projects outside.

Floors can get a happy look either with paint or with FLOR, carpet squares you can mix match colors and replace the ones that get damaged. And the big plus, they are washable!

Pay attention to your lighting in the garage. Most spaces have only the garage door opener light, so include track lighting on the walls if you can. It's wonderful to be able to find what you are looking for in a well lit space.

Hope these ideas can help you!

Thanks to Organized A to Z.com partner Helena Alkhas for contributing this article. Helena is the owner of A Personal Organizer who is dedicated to promoting well-being to individuals through de-cluttering and organizing, creating healthy, functional and attractive spaces where they can thrive and grow. She loves organizing and making every space functional. For more information, call 240.855.2786, email Helena at helena@apersonalorganizer.com or visit www.apersonalorganizer.blogspot.com.