Joyful Downsizing: Is Your Garage a Stuff Cemetery?

Kim Kubsch

Garages, sheds, basements, and attics have been called “stuff cemeteries.” They do so much for us: store our cars, hide our tools, stash our sporting equipment, act as an entry to our homes.

Things to Get Rid of in Your Garage Right Now

Be decisive—the items you don’t use, pass them on. If you love them, then it’s not clutter! Move your items out of the garage and group them by type. To free up valuable garage floor space, hang from the walls or ceiling. Hang bikes on the wall to keep them safely stowed until the next ride—alongside helmets and biking accessories.

Line the Walls with Shelves of Open and Closed Storage

There is no one, perfect solution for garage storage but, rather, a combination of a few methods works best. A vertical, tiered wire shelving rack on wheels (easily sourced) provides flexibility. Typically 48 inches wide, 24 inches deep, by 72 inches high, they can easily be combined along walls or separated with other methods in between. Most sizes of bins will fit securely on the shelves. Search for racks that have adjustable shelves.

Add a “Floating or Overhead” Shelfc

When it comes to your garage, a durable metal shelf suspended from the ceiling can house infrequently used items.

Create a Multi-Functional Rake Rack

Rakes, shovels, and brooms are natural fits for a rake rack. There’s a spot for every single dust pan, shovel, fruit picker, and Swiffer. The Command brand is one of many that offers several individual hooks or a multi-hook rack. Strong magnetic hooks on the side of a refrigerator are effective, too.

Post Up a Pegboard

Pegboards are one of the most versatile garage organization ideas. Metal pegboards can carry more weight than non-metal pegboards, typically weight of 100 pounds. Each hole of non-metal pegboard holds 5 pounds of weight.

Streamline Containers

Everything looks better in matching containers. Target, Walmart, Big Lots, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Staples all sell plastic, ventilated, clear totes. Separate large items into larger bins and smaller things in smaller, matching bins. For humid climates, consider putting a Wisedry silica gel packet.

Use Labels

Make it simple to find exactly what you need with a clear labeling system. (Use large lettering so you can see what’s inside the top-most bins without breaking out the ladder or step stool.) Painter’s tape comes in several widths, and it is easy to remove.

Create a Dedicated Workspace

If you’re a DIY fan, being functional and organized is key. Ensure an electrical outlet is near your new workspace. Put items you use often in an easy to reach place like a multi-tiered rolling cart.

Garage storage systems and companies are plentiful. Home Depot installs their Husky Garage Storage and Gladiator systems; Lowe’s installs Rubbermaid and Craftsman; IKEA designs their IVAR, BROR, and OMAR systems; The Container Store sells their Elfa system; SafeRacks does overhead racks; and has many types for any room.

Make it a goal to increase the functionality of your garage all year long. By organizing it now, you will optimize each square foot of space. Consider painting the walls a light color and adding art and decoration to make it a happy place to walk or drive into each day!

Call me at 480-720-8566 to learn about my free 30-minute consultation or to speak to your group or event. Or reach me by email at [email protected]. Website:

Check back monthly for more ideas about organizing, decluttering, downsizing, and moving.