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Beginners Guide to Cleaning and Organizing Your Garage

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Beginners Guide to Cleaning and Organizing Your Garage


As a homeowner, keeping your garage clean and organized can feel like an overwhelming task. However, with some planning and effort, you can transform your cluttered garage into an efficient storage space. In this beginner’s guide, I will provide tips to help you clean and organize your garage in simple steps.

Reasons to Organize Your Garage

Here are some of the key reasons why you should make organizing your garage a priority:

  • Find things easily – A cluttered garage makes it hard to find tools, seasonal items, sports equipment, etc. Organizing helps you locate things quickly.

  • Park vehicles inside – Cleaning out clutter makes room for your cars, bikes, etc. This protects them from sun damage and theft.

  • Create more space – An organized garage often doubles or triples your usable space. This gives you room for storage and hobbies.

  • Improve safety – Eliminating clutter reduces trip and fall hazards. It also makes it easier to notice leaks, damage, etc.

  • Increase efficiency – You waste less time searching for things in an organized garage. More time for enjoying hobbies and family activities!

  • Boost mood – Decluttering your garage provides a sense of accomplishment and control over your home environment.

Developing a Garage Organization Plan

Approaching garage organization systematically helps prevent feeling overwhelmed. Here are some tips for developing a successful garage plan:

  • Categorize items – Make a list of everything stored in your garage. Separate into categories like sports gear, tools, seasonal items, etc.

  • Purge unwanted items – Be ruthless. If you have not used it in a year, toss it, donate it or sell it. This immediately creates space.

  • Designate zones – Decide what areas will be for parking, sports equipment, lawn & garden supplies, etc. Mapping it out maximizes your layout.

  • Select storage options – Wall mounted racks, utility shelves, and storage bins keep categorized items orderly. Buy only what you need.

  • Label storage areas – Use signs and labels so everyone knows where to return items. This maintains organization.

Garage Zones to Consider

When designing your garage layout, here are some zone ideas to consider:

Parking Zones

  • Make neat parking spots for each vehicle – paint lines on the floor for accuracy every time.

Tool Zones

  • Keep tools organized on labeled wall hooks, boards, or in cabinets. Store lesser used tools away from prime parking areas.

Seasonal Zone

  • Use shelves, bins and hanging racks to store holiday decorations, camping gear and other seasonal items. Place near the entrance for easy access.

Sports/Hobby Zone

  • Use racks, shelving and storage containers to organize sports equipment, hobby supplies and kids’ toys based on frequency of use.

Lawn and Garden Zone

  • Keep yard tools and supplies neatly stored away from main parking areas. Use wall hooks, corner racks and utility shelves.

Cleaning and Decluttering the Garage

Here are some key steps to clean and declutter your garage:

  • Remove everything – Take everything out so you have an empty slate for organizing. Sweep floors and wipe down surfaces.

  • Sort items – Sort everything into “keep”, “donate/sell”, and “trash” piles. Be ruthless with decluttering!

  • Discard trash and donations – Get unwanted items immediately out of your way. Feel energized seeing new open space!

  • Assign locations – Based on your zones, decide on storage locations for the kept items. Start putting items neatly away in their designated spots.

  • Return vehicles – Sweep out parking zones. Carefully return vehicles and bicycles to their tidy parking places. Enjoy your decluttered space!

Top Garage Storage Solutions

Investing in some key storage solutions can make a huge impact organizing your garage. Here are some of the top options:

  • Wall mounted storage – Wall hooks, shelves and cabinets keep items up and out of the way. Frees up floor space.

  • Overhead storage racks – Racks mounted to ceiling rafters are great for ladders, pipes, and holiday decor.

  • Utility shelves – Free standing shelving units like wire shelves and plastic stackable shelving are sturdy and customizable.

  • Pegboards – Pegboards allow you to customize hooks and holders to store tools logically. Easy to change over time.

  • Cabinets – Storage cabinets and cupboards keep tools, chemicals and supplies organized and out of sight. Provides a clean look.

Maintaining an Organized Garage

Consistency is key to maintaining your organized garage over the long term:

  • Institute a “put back” rule so items are always returned to assigned spots after use.

  • Do periodic “purges” where you get rid of items you no longer need. Donate or sell them to make space.

  • Rearrange storage solutions if you find a better way. Adapting improves efficiency.

  • Use labels so occasional helpers know where things belong. Prevents “organization creep.”

  • Keep garage surfaces clean. Quickly wipe up spills, mud, grease etc. to prevent buildup.


Cleaning and organizing your garage may seem intimidating as a beginner. However, by breaking up the process into more manageable steps, almost anyone can transform even the most cluttered garage into an organized storage space. Investing in key storage solutions, taking time to properly declutter, and maintaining the system over time ensures you enjoy the benefits of garage organization for years to come.

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