Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the house, you realize that your storage situation is a disaster. Whether you are lacking space or just keep piling new things up in an unorganized fashion, storage is one of the easiest areas to lose control. I am going to give you some tips so you can turn that disaster into a thing of pride and joy!

The most important thing you are going to want to do is create a working system. If you only go through and make things neat and orderly without a system for the future, it will just look like a disaster again in a few months (believe me, been there…done that).

“How do I create a working system?” It really isn’t difficult as long as you keep it simple. In the picture (left), you will notice a home-made shelving unit featuring lots of labelled tubs. This storage room uses tubs for it’s system so that whenever something new needs to be added, it goes in the respective tub (or creates a new tub).

Tubs are relatively cheap and at most box stores. A label maker (or tape and marker) is inexpensive and will be essential to knowing where things go. For shelving, you can buy pre-made, or save money and build your own. I recommend building your own because they are usually sturdier and can be sized custom to your space. Pro tip: When building shelving, try to build it to a size that allows you to avoid as much cutting as possible. In the picture above, it uses full 8 ft 2×4’s horizontally.

If you are lacking space for all the stuff you have, chances are there is a good chunk of it you can get rid of. Come on people, don’t be hoarders! You’re going to want to sort it into 3 categories: keep, sell, and trash. After you have removed your “sell” and “trash” items from the area, create your system based on your “keep” items.

The same principle applies to the garage. Having shelving or wall hooks to keep things off the ground is a start. Have a designated spot for different types of items. That way it is easy to find, put away, and add any new items. Use boxes, totes, or shelf tags for easy to follow systems of organization.

I keep my tools in the garage. Having an organized tool box/bag and wall organizer or work bench is essential. I use a steel wall organizer (above) where I can hang tools and power tools. They are relatively inexpensive and utilize space the best. Work benches/carts can be very pricey, but do a phenomenal job organizing, storing, and creating a new work space. Do whatever works best in your available space.

In summary, every storage space/garage is different. Regardless of your situation, developing a solid system of organization and weeding out the “trash” and “sell” items will get you on track to having a storage space you can be proud of.