9 Things Professional Organizers Swear by for Tidy Garages
A garage is not a storage unit, but using it as such is one common pitfall experts see all the time. “The biggest mistake people make with garage space is using it as a dumping ground for items that aren’t easily tidied,” home organizer Pia Thompson of Sweet Digs tells Real Simple. Adds Cindy Huzenman, the professional organizer behind Cindyology, “Most of the items inside my clients’ garages are leftovers…they’re simply dropped in the first available spot.”
If you’re guilty of falling into this garage organization trap, don’t sweat it. While it may be tempting to use your garage as a catchall for the things that don’t fit neatly inside your home, Thompson, Huzenman, and Holly Blakey, the owner of Breathing Room Organization, have other ideas in mind. Spring cleaning season has arrived, and we tapped these three professionals to learn more about how to get your spare space in shape using a few key garage organization products.
Thompson suggests being “both intentional and mindful about what is stored in your garage.” Ask yourself how you need the space to work for you, whether it’s making room to park a car, storing specific equipment and supplies, or both. Huzenman also encourages people to have patience. “Make sure what’s inside the garage actually belongs there; don’t keep outdated and damaged items,” she says.
Once you’ve focused on your needs and decluttered your space, it’s time to get organized. All of the experts we talked to recommend using labeled boxes and bins to store items and then easily find them when you need them. They’re also keen on getting things off the ground by utilizing shelving units and wall-mounted racks.
Ahead, discover nine organizer-approved products to help you turn your messy garage into a neat and tidy space. “Yes, a garage can be beautiful!” according to Thompson, and we think so, too.
“All stacked together, these bins can actually make a garage look tidy,” Blakey says. “Even though I love clear canisters in my pantry, I love not seeing what’s inside the boxes in my garage.” Order one bin at a time, or invest in a pack of six for cohesive storage.
Thompson suggests using a ceiling-mounted storage rack to store things you don’t use frequently, like a ladder or off-season sports gear, especially if you’re working with a small space. “It keeps them out of the way and makes use of space that would otherwise go unused,” she explains.
“I love using these to take advantage of the wall space,” Huzenman says. The hooks can hold everything from tools to ladders to bikes.
Blakey recommends writing or printing out labels to place in these index card pockets to keep your garage bins in order. “You can swap out the labels as often as you need to,” she adds.
“I love this product,” Thompson says. “Not only does it serve as fantastic storage for your rake, outdoor broom, and fertilizer, but you can roll it right out into the garden, get to work, and then not have to do anything but roll it right back into the garage.”
Huzenman says these weather-resistant bins offer “great storage for special items that can damage easily… and even natural disaster items and first aid kits.” Use them to stash photo albums, memory boxes, sentimental decor, and emergency supplies.
When you get things off the floor, it “instantly transforms the look of your garage,” according to Blakey. “I’ve used these shelf kits in many garages—they’re easy to install, and the white and wood look updates any garage.”
Thompson likes pegboards because they’re incredibly versatile. “This one is extra perfect because not only does it have hooks for your tools, but it also has shelves.” She suggests using the shelves to store bins of loose items and things you don’t use often. Stick a label on them to really stay organized.
You can use this six-tier metal shelving unit to store things you reach for daily, according to Huzenman. “It’s easy to install and customizable to fit in different spaces