Does your garage resemble a warehouse after a bomb went off? Has your garage parking space been taken over by everything else you own? With the constant flow of items in and out and the semi-hidden nature of this storage space, garages are notoriously difficult to keep organized. if you don’t have any room to park a car inside, or if it’s just gotten a little too messy, it’s time to think about cleaning out the garage.

In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to organizing your garage. It’s going to take some time, work, and patience, but you can do it. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to show your garage who’s boss! 

Step 1: Empty Your Garage

It can be extremely difficult to perform a spring clean-out of your garage when you can’t see or access everything in the space, so your first action item should be to remove everything and bring it into the light.

Yes, we mean everything. Empty the contents of your garage on the driveway or lawn. (We recommend putting down tarps to keep everything clean and dry.) To make this task easier, concentrate on one side at a time. If you are short on time, you can tackle each side on a separate day.

Step 2: Sort Your Items

Cleaning out your garage is a great opportunity to ask yourself whether each item you own still serves you (or “sparks joy” if you’re a Marie Kondo fan). We suggest performing two separate rounds of sorting.

During the first round, assess every single item and place it into one of the following categories:

  • Keep
  • Give away/sell
  • Trash
  • Unsure

Really ask yourself if you still need the item. If not, put it in the “give away” or “trash” pile based on whether it can be useful to someone else. At the end of the sorting, check back in with your “unsure” pile and make a final decision. If you still aren’t sure, we recommend giving the item away. 

On the second round of sorting, focus only on your “keep” pile. Now, you want to group like items together so you can store them together when you put them back in the garage. 

Some common categories include:

  • Tools
  • Lawn care
  • Decorations
  • Sports equipment
  • Books
  • Kids’ toys
  • Painting equipment

Step 3: Donate, Sell, or Toss Unused Items

It’s time to say goodbye to the items that no longer belong in your life. For some, this step is the most cathartic. Donate or sell items that can make someone else’s life a little brighter. Here’s a list of seven charities that accept gently used goods.

As for things that are broken, too worn out, or simply not valuable, now is the time to toss them. Make sure to dispose of items properly (you may need to take electronics and hazardous chemicals to special locations). If something holds sentimental value but is taking up too much physical space in your life, take a picture so you can always remember it. 

Step 4: Invest in Garage Storage Tools

Now that you know exactly what’s going back into your garage, consider how to use your space as productively as possible. Remember, you need to store your remaining items and fit your vehicle into the garage.

The way to do this is to invest in tried-and-true storage organization tools like:

  • Storage containers.
  • Shelving and storage racks.
  • Cabinets.
  • Pegboards.

Storage Containers

Storage containers are great for packing up things like seasonal clothing, books, holiday decorations, and other small- to medium-sized items. They allow you to store similar things together and can stack conveniently against walls or on shelves.

We recommend using sturdy plastic containers with sealed lids. Cardboard boxes can work, but they tend to break down over time and can’t protect against moisture. Always label your containers on multiple sides so you know exactly what they contain.

Shelving and Storage Racks

Optimize your vertical space by installing shelves against the walls of your garage or buying storage racks. Many shelving units allow you to move shelves up or down so you can store larger boxes together on one shelf and smaller containers on another. 


Garage cabinets offer many of the same benefits of shelving with a few extra features. Many come with adjustable shelves, allowing you to personalize your storage. They may also come with wheels, which can be very helpful if you have a large garage or like to move things around. 


Rather than keeping all your tools rattling around in drawers or cabinets, hang them on a pegboard so you can clearly see every tool in your collection. You can also use pegboards to hang things like wrench and screwdriver sets, hammers, saws, paintbrushes, drills, and levels.

You can even add shelves and buckets to your pegboard to store things that don’t hang as well. (Here are even more ideas on how to organize tools.)

Step 5: Rent a Storage Unit for Everything Else

As you clean out and organize your garage, you may realize you still can’t fit everything into the space along with your car. If so, consider renting a garage storage unit. They’re great for storing the things you love but don’t use very often, such as holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, family memorabilia, or season-specific sports equipment. 

Rent a Garage Storage Unit With Price Self Storage

We hope this guide has inspired you as you tackle cleaning out the garage. A spring clean-out can dramatically improve the usability of your garage space. Keeping your car in your garage will shield it from the elements and help protect its value.

If you need a storage unit to help organize your garage, consider Price Self Storage. We offer competitive rates and units sized small to large. Customers also love our month-to-month leases and convenient locations.

Find your nearest Price Self Storage