Downsizing and Organizing Your Garage

man holding Mini Mall Storage moving boxes for self storage

Summer is here and that means it’s time to drag all the garden supplies, sporting equipment, camping gear, and tools out of your garage for regular use again. Getting everything sorted can feel like a herculean task, but your friendly neighborhood self storage experts at Mini Mall Storage are here to help! Whether you’re looking to downsize your garage for a move, make space for more projects, regain the ability to park in the garage, or just get things more organized, we’ve got you covered.  

You might ask why all of this is necessary – who even cares about how your garage looks? Odds are good that if it looks like a mess, it functions like one too. For those of you who use your garage as a workshop, regardless of whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, having a well-organized and efficient workspace is essential to achieving your goals. You can enhance your creativity and productivity while reducing the stress and frustration of needing help finding the necessary tools and parts. The same often goes for gardeners and sports enthusiasts – if you struggle to find what you’re looking for, it’s harder to do the things you love. That leads us to our first question in this guide: what do you want from your space? 

wrenches on wall pegs for storage

Get Ready, Get Set, Sort! 

It’s easier to accomplish a task if you know what you’re aiming for. Ask yourself what you need from your garage to be satisfied. Think about all the things you use regularly and keep them in mind when you begin the next part of the process: sorting everything. Plan when you’ll work on this project, and set goals for each day, even if it’s something as simple as having a particular corner cleaned out. These goals can and should be adjusted as you progress and may go faster if you make it a family affair and invite loved ones over to help. More hands make less work, after all.  

Next, it’s time for the hardest part: sorting through everything. Designate 3 areas for what you want to keep, donate, and discard. In the keep pile, try to place objects that go together closely, like gardening tools and fertilizer.  As you pick up each item ask yourself how often you’ve used it and how often you can reasonably see yourself using it. Oftentimes we keep items that we intend to use but never do. There’s no shame in it either, it’s something we all do! Many of these items can be sold on places like Facebook Marketplace for extra cash if you don’t want to donate them. Some things may also be put in a storage unit for further use in the future, but we’ll get to that later. Donated items can be dropped off at charities directly (remember that donations are tax-deductible and to get a receipt) or even picked up directly in some places. When discarding items, it’s always good to check with your local waste management to see if things like electronics, batteries, paint, etc. need to be disposed ofa certain way.  

Once everything is sorted and donated or discarded turn your eyes to the keep pile. Take stock of what’s left and where it might go. If it helps. Take a piece of paper and a pencil and start sketching potential layouts. If you have or want a work bench, make sure it’s near an outlet if you use power tools. Consider things like this when making your map, as it will help you with the next step: organizing.  

labeled storage containers on garage ceiling

Maximize Your Storage 

When I asked our marketing manager, an avid woodworker, for his best advice on turning your garage into a more usable space he gave me two words: store up. I didn’t realize how literally he meant that until he sent me pictures of his garage covered in neat rows of storage containers on ceiling-mounted racks. Ceiling storage is best used for small items that are rarely used, like seasonal decorations. High wall shelves can house extra tires, hand tools can be attached to magnetic strips, and other tools can hang on a pegboard. Shelving is key – drawers and cabinets often hide messes we don’t want to deal with and need valuable clearance to open. Save cabinets for items that need to be stored away from dirt and dust and use drawers for loose items like screws.  

For larger tools try using hooks and shelf brackets. Hooks are especially useful for garden tools, which usually have a loop at the end for easy hanging. Nearby shelving or cabinets can be used to store things like fertilizer and pesticides when not in use.  

Don’t Need It Now? Store It for Later! 

It’s likely that you won’t have room for everything you keep, even after donating, discarding, and organizing. Larger, more expensive tools that you don’t currently need but still use can find their perfect home in one of our storage units. That’s where we come in! We offer self storage units in a variety of sizes and prices, with drive up and climate controlled options available. All of our leases are month-to-month, facilities are fenced and gated for security, and you can rent completely online or give us a call. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff at your local Mini Mall Storage are ready to help you with all of your self storage needs. When you’re ready to store, we’ll be there for you.  

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