How to Organize a Messy Garage

My garage has always been a bit of a mess. Amazon boxes were piled in one corner, sporting equipment was shoved behind my car and loose tools and spare parts were scattered on shelves lining the walls.

How to Organize a Messy Garage

Whenever I needed something from the garage, it was like going on a scavenger hunt. I’d move things around, dig through piles, and open random boxes hoping to catch a glimpse of what I was looking for. More often than not, I’d give up in frustration, convinced the item was lost in the chaos forever.

But no more – I finally decided to bite the bullet and tackle the messy beast that was my garage. Over two long weekends, I methodically sorted, purged and reorganized every nook and cranny. Now, finding things is a breeze. In this post on how to organize a messy garage, I’ll share my simple system for organizing a messy garage so you too can banish the scavenger days and always know where everything is.

Needed Tools

Before you begin, here are a few tools that will come in handy during the garage organization process:

  • Plastic Bins or Containers
  • Shelving Units or Cabinets
  • Label Maker or Labels and Markers
  • Clear Plastic Storage Bags
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Step Ladder

11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Organize a Messy Garage

Step 1: Sort and Purge

The first step in organizing a messy garage is to sort through everything. Take everything out of the garage and divide it into like categories – tools, sports equipment, camping gear, etc.

As you sort, start purging items that are broken or no longer needed. Trust me, this will make a huge difference in the end. It’s also a great opportunity to donate or sell items that are still in good condition but no longer serve a purpose for you.

Start Purging Items That Are Broken

Step 2: Assign Zones

Once you have everything sorted, it’s time to assign zones for each category. For example, designate one corner of the garage for sporting equipment and another for tools. This will help keep things organized and easy to find. You can even mark off the zones with tape or use floor markings to help maintain the designated spaces.

Step 3: Determine Storage Needs

Next, determine what type of storage solutions will work best for each zone. Plastic bins or containers are great for storing smaller items and keeping them contained in one place. Shelving units or cabinets are perfect for larger items like tools and equipment. Be sure to measure your garage space beforehand and invest in storage solutions that will fit comfortably.

Step 4: Install Shelving or Cabinets

If you decide to use shelving units or cabinets, now is the time to install them. Make sure they are securely anchored to the walls for safety and stability. But if you don’t have the budget for new storage solutions, don’t worry. You can always repurpose items like old bookshelves or dressers to use as storage in your garage. It’s all about getting creative!

Use Shelving Units or Cabinets

Step 5: Label Everything

As you put items into your designated zones and storage solutions, be sure to label everything. This will save time and frustration in the long run when you’re trying to find something specific. You can use a label maker or simply make your own with markers and labels. You can also color code labels for different categories to make things even easier to find. But remember to keep the labels visible and easy to read.

Step 6: Utilize Wall Space

Don’t forget about utilizing wall space in your garage. Hooks, pegboards, and magnetic strips are great for hanging tools and other items that may take up a lot of floor space. Plus, it adds an extra layer of organization and makes everything easily accessible. If you have a lot of gardening tools, consider installing a wall-mounted tool rack to keep them all in one place.

Step 7: Clear Plastic Bags for Seasonal Items

Seasonal items like holiday decorations and winter gear can take up a lot of space. Consider using clear plastic bags to store these items as they are stackable and allow you to see what is inside without having to open each bag. You can also label the bags with the season or holiday they correspond to for even easier access.

Consider Using Clear Plastic Bags

Step 8: Create a Workbench

If you have space in your garage, consider creating a designated workbench area. This will not only give you a spot to work on projects but also keep all of your tools in one place. You can use an old table or create your own using a sturdy piece of plywood. Don’t forget to add drawers or shelves underneath for additional storage space.

Step 9: Hang Bikes and Other Large Equipment

Bicycles, lawnmowers, and other large equipment can take up a lot of floor space in the garage. Consider investing in bike hooks or racks to hang these items on the wall or ceiling. This frees up valuable floor space and keeps things organized. It’s also a great way to showcase your prized possessions.

Step 10: Keep it Clean and Tidy

Now that you’ve organized your messy garage, the key is to keep it clean and tidy. Make sure to put items back in their designated zones after use and do a quick sweep every once in a while to keep things looking neat. If everyone in the household follows this rule, your garage will stay organized for a long time.

Step 11: Re-evaluate Regularly

Life happens and things change, so it’s important to re-evaluate your garage organization regularly. As you accumulate new items or get rid of old ones, make sure they are properly placed in their designated zones. This will help maintain the organization system and prevent a messy garage from happening again. Don’t be afraid to make changes and adapt as needed.

Following these 11 steps will help you organize your messy garage and keep it that way. It may seem like a daunting task, but the end result is worth it. Not only will you save time and frustration in the long run by always knowing where everything is, but an organized garage also adds value to your home. So what are you waiting for? Get started on organizing your messy garage today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Long Does It Usually Take to Organize a Messy Garage?

A: The time it takes to organize a messy garage varies depending on the size of the garage and the amount of clutter. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, or even longer for larger garages. However, the time invested is worth it for an organized and functional space.

Q: Can I Use My Garage to Store Chemicals or Flammable Items?

A: It’s not recommended to store chemicals or flammable items in your garage. These items can be hazardous and should be stored in a designated area that is well-ventilated and away from any potential sources of fire.

Q: How Often Should I Re-evaluate My Garage Organization?

A: It’s recommended to re-evaluate your garage organization at least once a year. This will allow you to make any necessary changes and keep up with any changes in your storage needs.

Recommended Re evaluate Your Garage Organization

However, if you notice things becoming cluttered or disorganized, it may be time to re-evaluate sooner.  Overall, the key is to regularly maintain and adjust your organization system as needed.  So keep an eye on your garage and make changes when necessary to keep it organized for the long term!

Q: Can I Use the Garage for Other Purposes Besides Storage?

A: Absolutely! If you have extra space in your garage, you can use it for other purposes besides storage. Some ideas include creating a home gym, a workshop, or even an entertainment space. Just make sure to keep these areas organized and separate from your designated storage zones to prevent clutter. 

So get creative and make the most out of your garage space!  How to Organize a Messy Garage – it may seem like a daunting task, but with these helpful tips and steps, you can tackle the clutter and create an organized and functional space. Remember to designate zones, utilize storage solutions, label everything, and regularly re-evaluate to maintain the organization.


Armed with these organization tips, it is time to tackle your garage and make it into a functional space that can be used for many purposes. The materials are all within reach so take the time to invest in a good system that suits both on how to organize a messy garage and your needs and the size of your garage. Keep in mind that it’s never too late to start organizing, no matter how daunting the task may seem.

Take this chance to get rid of some outdated things you don’t need, create an orderly layout you will enjoy using, and make sure every item has its own designated spot. With a little bit of effort, you can easily transform that cluttered and messy garage into the organized space you have always wanted. So get out there, start planning, and take control over all of those odds and ends. With the right approach it won’t take long to give your garage a much-needed facelift!

Photo of author

Rick Kelly

I am Rick. I grew up helping my dad with his handyman service. I learned a lot from him about how to fix things, and also about how to work hard and take care of business. These days, I'm still into fixing things- only now, I'm doing it for a living. I'm always looking for new ways to help people grow and develop. That's why I have created this blog to share all my experience and knowledge so that I can help people who are interested in DIY repair.

Leave a Comment