Garages have become clutter central in most homes: Typically, they’re packed with so much sports equipment, garden tools, toys, hardware and household supplies that there’s no room for your car. “Without a doubt, the garage is one of the most disorganized, out of control places in the home,” says Barry Izsak, author of Organize Your Garage in No Time (Que Publishing). “It’s also the one room where the door is open daily for the whole world to see.” Try Izsak’s tips for taking back your garage:
1. Define your zones. Divide the garage into areas for specific types of items—create a section for sports equipment, for instance, another for hand tools and a third for outdoor equipment. “Put lawn and garden items closer to the door so they’re easy to get in and out,” suggests Izsak. The easy-to-assemble Rubbermaid Corner Tool Tower ($28, amazon.com) holds up to 30 yard tools and maximizes corner space.
2. Clear the clutter. Start with the easy decisions, such as getting rid of the old VCR, the rusty wheelbarrow and the too-small puppy crate.
3. Sort it out. Weed out duplicates as you place things in each zone. Use labeled containers for small items, or a system like the Stalwart 30-Bin Wall-Mounted Parts Rack ($29.34, walmart.com).
4. Stick to your system. Take time to return items to their proper homes after you use them. And when you see clutter starting to form, immediately address it. “Even the best system won’t last if you don’t stick to it,” Izsak says.