3 Ways to Upgrade Your Garage in a Weekend

A family of three organizing a garage.
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The garage is often the place in the home where people dump items that don't get regular use. But if you’re like most people, your garage may be a bit of a disaster. Following are three ways to upgrade your garage in a weekend.

1. Annual Clean-Out

A yellow dumpster on the side of a road by the house.

Unless you're super organized, it’s likely your garage is a disorganized mess. However, we spend so much time cleaning spaces we actually live in we rarely have the time or energy to focus on the garage. If you take a day or two to do an annual (or bi-annual if you're feeling ambitious) garage clean-out, you’ll be left with a tidier space.

The best thing to do is to rent a dumpster for the weekend so you don't have garbage overflowing your everyday trash bins. The rental company will drop off an empty dumpster and pick it up full for a fee—all you need to do is fill it with whatever trash you find in your garage.

Start in one section or corner of your garage and sort items into groups to trash, donate, sell, and keep. Items saved to donate or sell should be in good to great condition and should have all parts needed. Think long and hard about the items you wish to keep. Do you really need 20 plastic pots? Also, some items you may want to keep shouldn't actually be stored in your garage for safety or quality issues. Check here to find out which items you have in the garage that should be relocated.

When you’ve completed your annual clean-out, quickly get rid of the donate and sell pile. Otherwise, these items will continue to take up space in your garage and you may reconsider your decision to get rid of them.

2. Dedicate a Space for Everything

Now that you’ve (hopefully) removed a majority of your items from the garage, it’s time to reorganize everything. The best way to do this is to go by the adage, "A place for everything and everything in its place." Bikes should go in a specific area, tools in another area, and sports equipment in its own bin. When you dedicate a space for your items, they'll be easier to find and store than throwing them wherever there's room.

Think about the size of your garage and how you use it. If your family bikes often, bikes should be placed near the entrance. As you're deciding where exactly to put things, move all like items to each section of the garage where you plan to store them. This will give you an idea of what you have and how you’ll need to store it.

2. Organize Your Garage

Yard tools hanging on a white wall.

Next comes the best part: organization. Think bins, floor-to-ceiling shelves, and overhead storage units. There are numerous garage storage options. You can go crazy and spend a ton of money, or keep it simple with metal shelving and bins.

Lawn and Garden—If you do your own landscaping, you’ll likely want to create a lawn and garden section in your garage. Consider hanging rakes and other tools on the wall. A potting bench with storage can be made or purchased. Use this for smaller tools and bags of fertilizer and soil.

DIY and Tools—If you're handy around the house, you likely have a growing supply of tools. Create a tool section in your garage and you’ll never wonder where the flat-head screwdriver is. Consider building or purchasing a work bench with storage. A hanging peg board is also a great way to store tools.

Sports Equipment—If you have a budding athlete in your house, chances are there are a lot of balls and other sports equipment sitting around. A sports equipment section, located near the garage entrance, is perfect for kids. You can purchase ball bags that hang on the wall for basketballs and soccer balls, as well as racks for bats or lacrosse sticks. The options are endless.

Bicycles and Gear—Bicycles take up a lot of floor space in the garage. Consider ceiling hooks and hang bikes from the garage ceiling. There are also storage options for the wall. Helmets and other gear can be stored in a bin on a shelf nearby.

Miscellaneous Items—Miscellaneous items like Christmas ornaments can be stored in labeled bins on hanging or freestanding shelves. Most home improvement stores sell tall metal shelving units that are sturdy and often have casters so you can move them around your garage as you see fit. These shelving units are perfect for storing labeled bins. As an added bonus, you can take them with you if you move.

If your garage is a mess, set aside a weekend and work on one or all of the above. You’ll have an upgraded and organized space before you know it.