Springtime Garage organization

It’s spring and finally starting to feel like it.  Time to put away the shovels and sleds and get your garage organized.  Afterall, kids will be playing outside more and I’d rather be playing with them than searching for balls, bike helmets and other outdoor gear.

First things first. Sort like items together and purge.  I always start an organizing project with a few contractor bags.  It’s usually easiest to sort through the stuff you can do without.  Put trash into one bag and items to donate into another contractor bag or other heavy duty bag or box.

Properly dispose of old paint and oil cans and empty cleaning supply bottles.  Check with your town’s disposal facility to find out when they accept hazardous waste.

Once you have like items grouped together (i.e. gardening, car care, outdoor games, bikes and other ride on toys, helmets, other pads- like street hockey and skateboarding kneepads, chalk, bubbles, etc) think about where to store them.  I like to use plastic shelving like this InterMetro one from The Container Store.  Hard working shelves are 18″ deep (any deeper and items can get lost on the shelves)  and can hold up to 300 pounds per shelf!


Frequently  used items used should be stored at eye level or below. Seasonal items should be kept on higher shelves. Choose ventilated shelves and drawers which allow visibility to what you’re storing — they also prevent dust and dirt from collecting. I use mesh handled bins like this one from The Container store to coral

  • baseballs and whiffleballs
  • chalk
  • bubble and bubble toys
  • street hockey balls and pucks
  • wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads
  • outdoor games

mesh handled bin
Lacrosse sticks, baseball bats, hockey sticks, are oranized in a couple of tall mesh bins. Rollerblades sit on the shelf by themselves but get stored in clear bins during the winter.
mesh bin casters

About 80% of items stored in a garage can be stored on shelving — the other 20% can be organized on hooks.  These items are usually handled tools including shovels, roof rake, and gardening tools.  Other large bulky items like garden hoses, ladders, strollers and backpack carriers can also be stored up off the ground on hooks.  To organize your entire garage, you’ll need a combination of shelving, drawers and hooks to keep everything organized.

I recommend kids’ bikes, sports equipment and toys to be closest to the garage door if possible and everything else deepest in the garage.  Create a “gardening station”, “car care station”, “winter station” to keep like items together. Once you’ve designated a spot to store everything you must be diligent and conscientious about returning everything to it’s proper place.

If your storage space is limited, consider storing items hanging from the ceiling, under a workbench, behind the door, and maximize vertical wall space. Utilizing The Container Store’s best-selling elfa shelving, everything from bikes to hedge clippers to screwdrivers can be in their own designated spot!

elfa Garage

Spring Cleaning!

I recently worked with a client who wanted to organize his garage.  He knew he wanted to get garden tools and shovels off the ground and was open to suggestions.  First we talked about how he wanted to use the garage.  There were two alcoves.  A refrigerator was already in the larger alcove and he wanted to add a chest freezer.  Both parents work outside of the home and he wanted to be able to store extra meat and other frozen foods.  After talking about the benefits of a standing freezer and utilizing vertical space, his mind was changed and he knew he would shop for a standing freezer.  The smaller alcove was close to the garage door, so we ultimately decided to tuck the lawn mower away in that nook and mount the snow rake and extension and shovels to the wall in that alcove.   Next we determined what items in the garage could be discarded or donated.  Then we measured the length of the walls we planned to use to hang the tools and items and took iventory of what was going onto the walls.  That was the end of our first session.  Here are a couple of “before” pictures.

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Armed with my list, I headed to one of my favorite stores, The Container Store.  I ordered Elfa Platinum Easy Hang top tracks and the accessory hooks and scheduled installation.  Easy peasy.  Done just in time for spring gardening!  Here’s what it looked like “after”.  Now if only it would start feeling like Spring!!

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