A garage can be a messy place. Miscellaneous outdoors items, tools for all seasons, and a vehicle or two are usually crammed into a relatively small space. Add in the lack of time most people spend in their garage compared to the rest of the house and it’s easy to see how garages can be disorganized. With a little bit of money and time, a garage can be easily cleaned up.

The quickest way to clean up a garage is to start near the entryway into the house. Choose to begin by the door and expand outward. Homeowners will see the progress they’re making every time they enter and exit. If there isn’t enough time to take a day to throw out everything that is old, used up, or unneeded, simply try to dispose of one item at a time. Every time that someone goes in or out through the garage, take one item that isn’t needed and put it in the trash bin. It may be slow, but at least there will be noticeable progress.

For those with a weekend to spare, separate everything into keep and dispose piles. Lawn care, rakes, shovels, and related items should be put into one section. Tools should have their own pile. Automotive products like antifreeze, oil, or washing fluids can go into another pile. Some items stored in the garage like automotive fluid, fertilizer, and weedkiller cannot be put out in the trash bin. Special disposal may be needed because of the hazardous nature of those items.

With the garage cleared, it’s time to decide what storage system makes sense. A variety of options are available for do-it-yourself homeowners and those with a budget. Sheets of pegboard hung on the wall is a popular option. Pegboard is a board with an even distribution of columns and rows of holes. Hooks can then be inserted into the holes to hang tools on. Pegboard is easy to attach to existing walls. It can be installed cheaply and quickly by a do-it-yourself homeowner. Pegboard should not be used to hold up bulky or heavy items. It may have to be cut to fit the intended wall.

For homeowners with slightly larger garages, cabinets or shelves can be placed against the walls. A cabinet can be locked to prevent rodent damage to items such as birdseed. Some homeowners may also store their gun cabinet in the garage. Depending upon the cabinets, they can be pricier than pegboard or shelves. The amount of space they take up can also prevent using them in small garages. Shelves can be an easy do-it-yourself option, but it can be difficult to fit large items on shelves. Shorter members of the family may not be able to reach high shelves comfortably.

For most homeowners, a combination of all of these options may make the most sense. Pegboard with narrow hanging items along the sides of the garage keeps free space for vehicle doors to open and close. Cabinets and shelves at the front of the garage makes it easier to store automotive and lawn care products safely where they won’t spill. Whichever options are chosen, it’s important to fasten the storage options securely to the wall. This helps to prevent fall or drop damage to a vehicle or a family member. Leave some empty space for items that might be needed in the future. This will help keep the garage from quickly becoming messy again.

With some organization, a garage can be less cluttered. It’s unlikely that people will ever spend as much time in the garage when compared to the bedroom or living room. That’s why it’s important to keep the garage clean and organized or homeowners will be even less likely to use the garage. Taking a weekend or two to clean up the garage allows people to enjoy and use all parts of their home to the fullest.