How to Organize Your Garage

Today we are going to find simple ways how to organize your garage so you can use it in a way that best suits you and your family.

Whether you use your garage to park your car or have it set up as an extension of your home, this room is often one of our most overlooked spaces. Use these how to organize tips to streamline this under-utilized space in your home!

Organizing ideas for your garage. How to set up a garage into another space. How to organize your garage without spending money. Step by step garage organizing tips. DIY organizing ideas for your garage. How to turn your garage into a playroom. How to turn your garage into a studio, how to turn your garage into a home office. #organizegarage #garageorganization #garagediy #garageideas #declutterinminutes

Forgot where you put your rake?

Stacked too many old paint cans in a corner and can’t fit your car in the garage anymore?

If so, you’re not alone. Many people have trouble organizing their garages, which can lead to a lot of clutter. But don’t worry – it’s not impossible to get your garage in order. In fact, with a little bit of work and some handy tips, you can have a tidy garage in no time.

First things first.

Before you begin organizing your garage, you will want to be sure you have all the excess clutter removed or at the very least sorted out. If you are not quite there yet and need some help decluttering, you can read more here: How to Declutter a Messy Garage.

I know that removing the clutter may not be what you were hoping for here, but trust me on this, the less you have in your garage the easier it will be to streamline it into a space that is easy to keep neat and put away.

The interior suburban garage with car parts.

How to Organize Your Garage the Easy Way

Let’s face this, streamlining this room can be pretty overwhelming, after all so much needs to be kept here. Don’t worry. I have things broken down into steps that will help you organize this one area into a spot where many activities happen.

Step #1. Break this Space Down

When you have a room that houses so many activities it is essential to break things down especially if you want to keep this space organized.

By knowing what will happen where, you will be better able to set up shelves and cubbies to keep all the things you use to do that activity.

I like to use zones to help make organizing this room easier. If you are not sure what zones are or how they work you can read more on that here.

A brief overview of a zone is when you have an area in a room where a specific activity takes place. For example, in the kitchen, the cooking zone is where the stove is. This means by keeping the tools you use to cook with nearby you will streamline this activity more efficiently.

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The same approach will work in your garage.

A few ideas for zones may be:

  • Toys
  • Camping
  • Auto Repair / Auto Care
  • Gardening / Lawn Care
  • Pet care
  • Home Improvement
  • Storage of holiday decorations or other items

To identify the zones in your own garage, take a clipboard and a piece of paper and look around.

By being in this space, you will be better able to identify what activities happen there and how much room you have to house all the tools needed to perform them.

Once you have your zones figured out you can then decide if the area you already have set up is the best fit.

So, if you have “auto repair” on your zones list, you may want to choose a spot that has enough room to hold toolboxes, car care supplies such as oils or other fluids, and room for laying out tools or equipment as you work on your vehicle and space to hold larger equipment as well.

A few ideas are:

  • Wall space to hold tools on a peg board or other organizer.
  • Cabinet space to hold supplies such as oils, fluids, or cleaners.
  • Floor space to hold toolboxes and larger equipment.

Your goal is to choose an area in the space that makes the most sense for the zone.

If gardening is a Zone on your list, look to see if you have a work space available to use such as a countertop or workbench.

This will give you an open surface that you can use for transplanting and other gardening tasks.

Location really does matter when setting up your zones. Try to think of what it is you do and how often you do it, so you are better able to pick the most convenient location for your final setup

Step #2. Set Things Up

You will next want to focus on one zone at a time using organizers, shelving, bins, baskets, etc to set up each area.

Remember your goal with organizers, to use containers to hold like items together making it easy to find what you need quickly.

Make a list of baskets or bins that will work and the sizes that will fit. Next, look for that container before heading out to purchase a new one. You might just have what you need already!

Take a walk around your home and see what is available for you to use. If you have a stash of leftover organizers, go through them now and see if any will work for you here. If you can’t find what you need, maybe you can DIY an option.

Cardboard boxes work great in a garage and can be reinforced with duct tape if needed.

stack of baskets in a garage

If you still are not finding a container that will work, you can start a list of bins you would like to purchase for your garage. Remember to check out our Organizing Deals Page!

Step #3. Put Things in Their New Home

The next step is putting things in their containers being sure to use labels so you remember what belongs where. Labels are an organizer’s best friend and will keep all of your things put away rather than lying out.

Continue working until you have items put into the containers you have set up.

D/M PRO TIP: As you are doing this, you may find a few things you can toss or donate. I like to have my decluttering kit always handy, so I can quickly declutter even as I am organizing a space.

I tend to get distracted, and having my decluttering kit close by for any organizing project, it will allow me to work without getting sidetracked.

a basket of car wash supplies in a garage

Step #4. Put Away What Doesn’t Belong

Once you are done putting all the items you plan to keep into their new spaces, you may find a few items that belong in another space. Take the time now to put those things away so you don’t forget.

I like to use a laundry basket for this as it will easily hold a variety of things and allows me to carry them around my home as I put them where they belong.

If you find things to donate while you are organizing your garage, you can set them off to the side. At then end of your work day, be sure to box them up and put them into your car4. The next time you are out running errands, you can drop those boxes off.

Nest, if you have items you are giving away, you can either make the call now to the chosen person for each item or make a note on your to-do list to get to this in the next day or so.

Finally, toss any trash and gather up any recyclables and take them to your trash area.

Remember decluttering and organizing means more than sorting and piling things to get to later. You need to get the items out of the home completely before it is considered a finished project.

Alternate Uses for an Organize Garage

Now all garages need to hold cars or gardening supplies, you can transform this area into whatever you need to round out your home.

With any of these ideas, you will want to be sure your garage has good insulation. This is important if you live in a 4 season area where the summers get incredibly hot, and the winters get incredibly cold.

Idea #1. A Playroom

If you have more kids than you have space, I am sure toys are scattered all over your home. Why not contain those toys in their own dedicated space and give yourself a break from constantly picking things up?

With a few touches, you can convert your garage into a playroom for kids of all ages.

  1. Comfortable Flooring. Add in flooring that is easy to clean and maintain. A playroom floor pad will work great and is much more affordable than carpet or tile.
  2. Toy Storage. Put in shelving that is kid-friendly. This will work for toys that fit all ages and can be used in other ways if you decide to change this room later.
  3. Age-Appropriate Furniture. Bean Bag chairs or a small sleeper sofa will give your kids a soft place to hang out.
  4. TV or Other Electronics. If you have the room, you may want to consider adding a television along with an entertainment center that can be used to watch TV or gaming.
garage converted into a playroom

Idea #2. A Studio or Creative Space

If you are a crafter, painter, or sewer, how nice would it be to have a dedicated space all your own? A she-shed where you can do all the DIY you love without having to put projects away before you are finished.

  1. Flooring. You can paint the floor with no-slip paint or put in a large floor mat for stain protection where your main work area will be located.
  2. Shelf Storage. Have plenty of shelving to hold supplies, equipment, and more.
  3. Wall Storage. You can install a few cabinets and counters for more storage and workspace.
  4. Work Area. A large work table that you can use to keep current projects on so you do not need to put things away each time.
  5. Lighting. Consider installing extra lighting to ensure you can work without strain.

Idea #3. A Family Room

If you have more family than space, you can convert your garage into a family hangout. A place to play games, watch movies, do puzzles, and have fun.

  1. Flooring. Consider installing a floor that is both comfortable and works well in this space and weather. Carpet or floor pads are great ideas.
  2. Cozy Furniture. A day bed will fit in great here and give you extra sleeping space if you have guests over.
  3. Room for Games. A table and chairs is excellent to have for games and puzzles.
  4. Entertainment. A wall-mounted tv for movies or a TV stand to hold all of your family’s electronics.

family garage game room

Idea #4. A Rentable Room

It’s true this idea is a bit out of the box, but it seems to be happening more and more as families work to make ends meet. This option is not for the faint of heart, however, And you will need to know the rules and laws of your area. But if you are curious, you can read more.

My son rented and stayed in a converted garage for a while, and I thought this idea was genius. If you are looking for a way to bring in just a bit more income to your home this might be an option worth considering.

A few major things to remember:

  1. Be sure you are following safety guidelines for fires, floods, and security for both your tenant and yourself before renting this space out.
  2. Give your tenant use of the closest bathroom if installing one is just not an option for now.
  3. Be sure you have outside access so your tenant can come and go as they please.
  4. If you have a garage door you will need to take steps to secure it into place and keep any openings closed up tight. This will keep out moisture and rodents as well.

D/M Pro Tip: If you have a child that is older but not quite ready to move out on their own, this might be an excellent option for you and them. A bit of independence while still under your roof is a great stepping stone.

  1. Flooring. You will want to put in flooring that is both comfortable and works well with your weather. Tile, linoleum, and even hardwood will all work well here.
  2. Furniture. A space that will work for a bed and for lounging. You will want to choose an area that has the most comfortable weather. A futon may be a good option if your garage is small.
  3. Eating. An area that can be used as a kitchenette. Install a few cabinets to hold food and dishes.
  4. Food Storage. A dorm fridge will work great for cold items and takes up little space.
  5. Washing up. A utility sink will work great for all washing.
  6. Light Cooking. Since you will not have a kitchen in this room, an option may be a toaster oven and hot plate.
  7. Storage. Plenty of shelving throughout to hold items up off the ground.
organize a garage into a rentable room

A Home Office

This might be my favorite option for a garage that you may not be used for storage or for your car. A dedicated space that you can use for an in-home business or the office to run your home business.

The best part of this is, that by having a separate space for your office you will give yourself a more distinct location that is away from your home.

As someone that works from home full-time, I know how hard it can be to make that transition in the beginning. By having a separate space just for work, you will help make that transition easier.

  1. Flooring. You will want to put in flooring that is both comfortable and works well with your weather. Tile, linoleum, and even hardwood will all work well here.
  2. Furniture. A desk for work and a comfortable chair.
  3. Storage. Plenty of shelving for supplies.
  4. Lighting. You will want to invest in good lighting as well.
  5. Electric. Adequate electricity for your computer and other electronic devices.
  6. Extras. Room for personal touches.
a garage office desk chair and shelving

Setting up a room in your home does not need to be one-size-fits-all.

Just because it started out as a garage does not mean it has to finish as one. Remember there are no rules when it comes to your home, the only thing you need to remember is to use the space that fits your family, your stage of life, and what you like to do.

Set up each space that fits your family directly and you will create a home that you all truly love.

What tips do you have for how to organize your garage? Share in the comments below!

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  1. My son’s best friend lived in his parents garage when he first got married. I have to tell you I was a bit jealous. It was so cute and very comfortable. They has sealed it, of course used their kitchen and bath. It was just inside the garage door. So it worked out perfect.

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