Just like any other organizing project, you'll need to know what you need to store before running to the store to purchase storage solutions. Be sure to sort the contents of your garage into categories (i.e., car care, gardening, lawn care, sports gear, tools, etc). Then purge anything that is no longer needed or used. Move all things that belong elsewhere to their forever homes. After you have succeeded with these steps, consider storage solutions for what you are keeping in the garage.
The key to garage organization is to go vertical with storage. Adding storage elements that get stuff up and off the floor will allow you to use the floor space for parking vehicles. Although there are some items that will require a footprint on the floor such as your trash and recycling receptacles, you can elevate most other items off the floor.
There are several ways to elevate your stuff. You can use open shelves, closed cabinets, wall hooks, track systems with hooks, and/or lofts. I suggest using a variety of these solutions depending on what you are storing.
If you would like to learn more about garage organization, a great book on the topic was written by Barry Izsak called Organize your Garage in No Time.
For "stick-like" items such as shovels, rakes, and brooms, I recommend using hooks. You can keep it simple and inexpensive by purchasing steel muti-purpose hooks from a hardware store or opt for a track system. Track systems tend to be more versatile because there is a variety of hook options available and you can move the hooks around as your storage needs change over time. The following items can be stored on hooks in your garage:
Shelving or Cabinets
Smaller items can be grouped together into like categories and stored on open shelves or in cabinets.
If you opt for open shelves, be sure to get some sturdy plastic bins to keep like items together on the shelves. The bins will also protect your stuff from dirt and dust. You can choose clear or colored bins but either way, I recommend labeling them with their contents.
If you have kids and pets, items that are toxic or hazardous are best contained in closed (and possibly locked) cabinets. I found a wonderful brand call NewAge that has a variety of closed cabinet solutions. Consider your budget and decide which option, shelving or cabinets, might work best for you.
Items that can be stored on shelves or in cabinets include:
If you store tools in your garage, consider creating a workbench with tool storage and a work surface. Hand tools can be stored on a pegboard above a work bench or in a tool box below the bench. Power tools are best kept in their cases and stored below the work bench.
Liz Bremer, CPO