How to Organize Your Garage… to Park in It!

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Is “organize the garage” always on your to-do list?

Here are some simple tips on how to maximize the space in your garage and organize it in a way that will allow you to park your car in it…FINALLY!





Many Americans use their garages as storage units.

If you are one of them, you know that there simply isn’t enough room for storing both a car and household items.

The Center of Everyday Lives of Families at the University of California in Los Angeles studied three dozen families and their garages over nine years.

They concluded that 3 of 4 households had too much stuff in their garage to park a car in it!

Families like these have plenty of reasons for crowding their garages with stuff, including but not limited to:

  • there isn’t sufficient closet space inside their homes to store excess paper goods, small appliances, gift wrapping items, holiday decorations, etc.
  • they don’t have a tool shed to store tools and equipment needed to maintain their property
  • the gardening supplies also have no shed or separate location 
  • hobbyist crafters have insufficient space inside for all their tools, supplies and materials
  • they don’t want to pay for off-site storage (understandably)
  • they are storing someone else’s items “temporarily”

No matter the reason, many families do wish to park their car in the garage.

They just need a little help, motivation and ideas to make it happen.

I hope that if you want to organize your garage to park in it that this blog post gives you the motivation and ideas to make it happen!



First of all, everyone in your home that uses or owns the items in your garage needs to be involved.

It’s going to take more than an hour or two.

If you have young kids at home, assign them sorting and containing tasks and make it fun.

Timers and scavenger hunts with fun (or yummy) prizes might give them some organizing spirit!

Is it just you?

Get that motivation and help that you need by asking a friend or neighbor to spend the day with you organizing your garage.


Do make sure those hands (and backs) are strong for lifting, moving and mounting items to the walls.



Make sure you have the following items available to ensure you have a smooth and productive day:

  • Water and snacks
  • Heavy duty trash bags
  • Music
  • Bug repellent
  • Sunscreen

If you are in a warmer climate like I am in Florida, start early in the morning!

Depending on the amount of stuff to pull out and sort through, you’ll likely need at least several hours to the whole day.



When I start an organizing project, I traditionally purchase nothing new to contain items in unless I have a clear plan upfront with a need for containers.

Oftentimes, the clients I work with have already purchased storage bins and other organizing solutions.

They just either aren’t in use yet or the stuff they are containing is disorganized and excessive.

The key is to assess your home for storage solutions that you already have before spending any money on new products.

Remember also that your goal is to be able to park your car in the garage, so ensure you keep as much off the garage floor as possible.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • clear plastic storage bins – enough to contain the holiday décor you intend to keep, sports equipment, off-season clothing, etc.
  • a locking cabinet for hazardous supplies that your children shouldn’t have access to
  • clear jars with lids for storing nails, screws and other small items
  • a label maker or other supplies for labeling the bins, such as tape and a sharpie
  • shelving for the bins to be stored on
  • pegboards and hooks for hanging lightweight hand tools
  • tables and flat surface areas for sorting

Want an even better chance at being able to keep things off the garage floor?

If you are in Polk County, hire someone like Black’s Garage Storage & Doors LLC to mount storage racks from the ceiling or on the walls.

Tell them I sent you!



One of the first steps in organizing your garage is deciding what you will keep, donate and toss.

Doing so requires lots of open space to set things as you sort like with like to determine what you have in each category.

This is where the tables mentioned above would be helpful to keep things at hip level to limit bending.

You’ll need your driveway space for sorting if your garage is full with no extra space for tables.

I like to pull everything out first so I have a clean slate to start with before putting things back in make-sense homes in the garage.


Obviously, you will want to keep the items that you use on a daily, weekly and monthly basis (lawn equipment, recreational equipment, excess household goods, etc.)

However, keep in mind that if you have not used some of these items in the past year or more, consider selling or donating them.


Clothing, shoes, home and holiday décor, furniture, and sports equipment are all fantastic items to donate.

These are all items that could be of great use to another individual or family if they are just taking up valuable storage space in your garage and not going to good use.

There are many reputable charities that accept donations, and many of them offer free donation pickup.

*Note that they require notice for pickup and might not be able to do so for a couple of weeks.

8 Charities That Offer Free Donation Pick Up


Any item that you have kept that isn’t in good condition just needs to go!

The longer these items have sat in the heat of your garage, the less donatable/recyclable they will be:

  • spare parts
  • old clothing and shoes
  • damaged holiday decorations
  • items with missing pieces
  • empty boxes
  • old rags

**Make sure you are properly disposing of paint and chemicals!

There are hazardous materials sections at most local landfills.

Take them there instead of throwing them in your hefty bags!



After everything is sorted and all decisions have been made, it is time to utilize those storage bins and other products to contain the “keepers.”

Items that you use together, should be stored together.

For example, lawn and gardening tools and lawn chemicals can go in one bin/cabinet.

Car washing supplies should go together.

Paint supplies and other household maintenance items can be stored together.

Place frequently used items as close to the garage door as possible for easy access.

Put rarely used items like holiday décor at the back of the garage – ideally along one side wall.

You can store bulky items like lawnmowers in an area where there is plenty of space, if another location on your property isn’t available.



Different DIY projects are going to require different types of tools.

If you have multiple power tools and batteries, you may want to consider creating a charging station in your garage.

Do you prefer to build a charging station from scratch?

There are many tutorials that you can find online, however, if you aren’t incredibly handy, you can purchase charging stations at stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot and Amazon.

Just a reminder — your charging station doesn’t have to be elaborate in order to be functional.

Keeping all of your parts together and easily accessible should be your main goal, and if that means just adding a power strip and a few hooks to the wall, then so be it.



Benjamin Franklin once said,

“A place for everything, everything in its place”, which is a principle that applies to every person and every home.

Whether you want to accept it or not, every space in your home has a particular function.

The key to keeping any space organized is to put things away when you are done.

You worked so hard to organize your garage, so keep it that way!

My advice: at least once a year, sort through your belongings and donate or toss what you aren’t using.


With that all being said, it’s now time to drive your car into your spacious garage! 🙂


*Don’t forget to take before and after pictures!


Do you have any additional tips to get (and keep) your garage organized?

Let us know in the comments!


PIN IT to remember it!

Happy organizing!



By: Nicole Ramer, CPO®, SMM~C®

(Certified Professional Organizer® & Certified Senior Move Manager®)

© 2023 Organized Haven. All rights reserved.

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