Clean out and organize the garage. You may be thinking, that’s nothing. I do that all the time.  Well, I don’t. In fact, it’s been over 10 years since that garage has had a thorough purging.  So on a hot, dry, windless day, I spent my Saturday reorganizing and purging my long-time garage accumulations.

I’m a bit late this month with my Fix-It-Up Project.  It’s already June, and May just slipped away.  But at least I squeezed it in during the first week of June, so maybe you’ll forgive me.  May was filled with graduations, a graduation party, my birthday, planting flowers, and Mother’s Day.  It was a good month.

I chuckle when I see pictures of ultra-clean garages like the one above.  They seem totally unrealistic except in the most professional of garages.  But after a day of dusty, hard work, my wooden shelves look uncluttered and free of useless or unneeded items, enough to hold a summer garage sale.

The pictures below are not from my garage, but they do show the before and after look of my garage. Now I know where and what are on those shelves.


Garage shelves before


Garage shelves after

Here are some tips to help your garage organization:

  1. Invest or make some sturdy shelves.  Garage items are heavy, so be sure they can hold a lot of poundage.  Wooden shelves should use solid wood for shelving since particle board can sag under the weight of heavy objects.
  2. Utilize the walls and overhead areas. There are numerous products to hang items like sporting goods, bikes, garden tools, and hoses to keep them off the floor or shelves.
  3. Organize areas by type of use.  I have bins that hold my home improvement supplies, and next to that, my additional items like bags of grout, extra tiles, and sealer.  Other areas have all the tools, nails and screws.  Picnic and camping supplies are in another area.
  4. Clean shelves once you’ve removed everything. Use a shop vac to remove accumulated dust.
  5. Throw away, donate, or sell anything that you don’t need anymore.  Be honest with yourself, and don’t be a pack-rat.
  6. Be considerate of other garage users and their stuff.  I washed some old greasy rags of my husband’s, folded them and organized them in a basket–this seemed logical to me. However, I heard ‘what-for’ for doing so.  Although I didn’t see the issue, they were his domain and not to be touched.
  7. If the kid’s have outgrown sports equipment, don’t keep it.  Donate it to charity.
  8. Recycle unnecessary paint cans in an appropriate facility. Don’t throw paint cans in the trash; they are combustible in the high heat of the summer. Dispose of toxic or hazardous materials properly.  The EPA Hazardous Waste website has useful information.

Five down, seven to go:

  1. Re-grout and caulk my master bath shower stall
  2. Touch up and re-stain my baseboards
  3. Fill holes punched in the walls by doorknobs
  4. Refinish the hardwood floors in the kitchen
  5. Fix the drawer in the kitchen
  6. Reorganize the garage shelves
  7. Fix the folding door in the office
  8. Touch up paint on the deck
  9. Replace the caulk in the boys’ bathrooms
  10. Refinish the wooden built-in bench under the fish tank (ruined by the water)
  11. Refinish and stain my window sills
  12. Caulk the outside windows