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Tips for Organizing Your Garage

If you’ve ever spent 20 minutes in your garage looking for the right screwdriver, or you can’t get to your bicycle without tripping over a rake, it may be time to get organized.

You can probably think of better ways to spend a weekend, but when you take time to organize your garage, you won’t have to spend so much time in the future looking for whatever it is you need.

If you can hang it, do it

Bicycles and large garden tools can swallow up a lot of valuable space in a garage, so get them off the floor with hooks and hangers. A bicycle hanger can be mounted to the wall, and a simple sturdy S-hook in an overhead beam will work, too (although make sure the bike will hang free-and-clear of the garage door and its path). Tension-mount racks expand to fit snugly between the ceiling and floor and can hold two bikes.

Garden tool hanging systems run the gamut — from individual hooks to handmade hanging bars with custom-size notches to hold all your tools. When deciding how to hang tools, make sure the solution you choose is flexible enough to accommodate new tools, and if you’re making your own, remember to account for the size of shovel and rake heads, so they won’t overlap.

Pegboard is perhaps the best way to store hanging items. Hooks and holders for pegboard come in a variety of shapes and sizes — for example, small, ring-shaped holders are perfect for storing individual screwdrivers, and long, two-pronged holders are sturdy enough to support a garden hose. Plus, you can easily reconfigure hooks at any time.

Get modular

Garage shelves can become a cluttered mess in no time, especially if you use them to store lots of small items.

Buy a few inexpensive plastic crates to corral small items into logical groups — like an “automotive” crate for motor oil, windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze and similar items, and a “household cleaning” crate with cleaning supplies, rags and sponges.

Instead of grabbing items one at a time – and returning to the shelves when you realize you forgot something – you can grab a specific crate and take it with you.

Spending a half-day or a day organizing your garage is well worth the effort. You may never again have to waste time rummaging around for the right tool.

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