We moved into our house over 6 years ago and since then we have just been filling our garage with more and more stuff. As the family have grown we haven’t been very good at decluttering as new things arrive. This has resulted in us just adding to our collections of bikes, tools, paint and goodness knows what else.
We needed to do something about this and decided to give the garage a massive declutter and reclaim back some space. Seeing more of the floor again would be a bonus too!
We knew it was going to be a big job so we decided to cut it into bite sized pieces and tackle it in smaller chunks. This whole process has taken us about a month to complete but it is already making such a difference. I also don’t sigh and mutter under my breath about how much stuff was in there anymore when I open the garage door.
So, here are the rather embarrassing before pictures:
As you can see the space is stuffed full to the rafters literally!
To tackle this mammoth task hubby and I set about breaking it down into 5 steps and chipped away at it over the last month. So what did we do?
First step: Getting everything out!
As it says above, the first thing we did was get everything out of the garage and onto the driveway. This helped us to see what was in the garage and we could start to group like for like things together.
Second step: Sort through
Now everything was out it was time to sort through it all The contents of the garage were all over one side of the driveway and we sifted through everything and sorted it all into 4 piles:
If we were keeping it we put it over the other side of the driveway and started to group things that went together:
- Gardening stuff
- Paint and decorating bits and pieces
- Accessories for bikes – helmets, locks, pumps etc.
- Camping gear (still no idea!)
- And so on…..
Take stuff to the tip and visit the charity shops as soon as possible. The longer that stuff stays around the more likely it will stay. Also, if you have got things to sell take pictures there and then and upload to selling sites/Facebook etc. the same day.
This is what that process looked like on our driveway:
Third step: Decide how you want to use your garage space
What I mean by this is work out what things you need to get to easily and what needs to be stored away and you only need to access a couple of times a year.
We have a freezer, a spare fridge (alright beer fridge) and a tumble dryer in our garage. We use all these appliances quite a lot so we moved them to the front of the garage on the left as you look in. We also need access to wellies more now it’s coming into the winter so we kept those at the front too, along with the kindling for the log burner. This meant that we could put our camping gear right at the back and out of the way as we won’t be using this now until at least next spring. The husband also hoasted the Kayak up off the floor using the rafters.
Fourth step: Decide how to store everything in the garage
I already had an idea on how I wanted our stuff stored but if you don’t, take a look on Pinterest or Google ‘garage storing’ to get an idea of what will fit in your space. I wanted shelving because instead of things spreading on the floor it could go vertically and would help with putting the same things together.
We used this great shelving system from Tufferman. As well as it being sturdy the shelves can take a lot of weight. The shelves arrive flat packed but there is no need for screws and bolts as it can all be clipped together. Within 20 minutes we had a shelving unit ready to go. What I also like about this system is that if you don’t want the five shelves it can also be constructed as a workbench.
After working out what shelving unit was going to go where we then looked at what kind of tubs we could use to store things in on the shelves. We found these Fold Flat Crates and they fit perfectly in the shelves, and surprisingly fit a lot of stuff. What I also liked is that if you don’t need them, or need to create extra space they can be folded down and put away. We got ours in grey but I have seen pink, blue and purple ones too.
Fifth step: Putting everything back in
Now the fun bit, put everything back! We designated shelves for each category and made sure the heaviest stuff went at the bottom.
With everything back in we have actually found that we have spare space on the new shelves. Not sure if that’s because of the decluttering or we have the extra space by having the shelves, but it is so nice to actually see the whole garage now and not a pile of things on one side that we used to have to clamber over.
And now the big reveal, and I think you will agree it looks 100% better. I have added the before photos as well so you can see the big difference it has made:
I have also put these pics and the process into a little video:
I think we could have done all this in a weekend, but with the kids, hubby’s shifts and generally life it took us a few weeks to accomplish it. Yes it was hard work, and took a few decisions and emotions on the decluttering side but it has been worth it. I now open the garage door and smile, I can now find things!!
Even though we have tackled the big job of decluttering there is now talk of how we can make better use of the walls. So watch this space as I feel there will be peg boards on walls and bike storage systems in no time. I will no doubt as well be getting my label maker out and marking up where everything goes so everyone knows where to put things back, I know I am sad!
How’s your garage? If you have a go at organising yours let me know, I would love to see how you store everything.
Lets get organsied
Disclosure: I was sent the garage shelving to try out but all my opinons in this post are my own. There is also an affiliate link.