After decluttering a ton of your belongings, it becomes so exciting to finally organize the stuff just the way you want it!
The problem is, it might make you think that you need to go out and buy a bunch of bins, or baskets, or shelves, or whatever you think you need to finally solve your organizing problems! Sometimes, that just creates a new kind of clutter. Have you ever gone out and stocked up on matching bins just to find that they don’t actually hold what you want them to?? If you’re lucky, you can return them all. If not, you are simply stuck with a bunch of bins, cluttering up your basement or garage!
When it really comes to organizing the space, it’s easiest to initially use what you have!
If you have any extra bins or shelves, or even some wood to build some shelves with, then start with that. Use what you have until you figure out what you truly want to store. Who knows? Once you get sorting and organizing your keep pile, you may actually find more stuff to donate. I always like to buy matching or fancier organizing products after I have lived with the stuff again for a bit.
In the garage, especially, there can be temporary organizing solutions until you figure out how you want to store the stuff you are actually keeping. But keep it temporary. Give it a week, or a month to see if the storage space is working.
In our home, the garage is always the most transitional and widely used space when it comes to storing random things! We’ve got kids’ toys, bikes, sports equipment, camping stuff, tools, yard supplies, gardening equipment, car washing tools, pool supplies, and even some work supplies! You may have just as much random stuff in yours, or maybe you have your car in there, or maybe you use your garage as a man cave, or a gym, or as some other creative hobby space. There are really endless uses for the garage. It’s what can make it a challenging space to actually organize.
After decluttering it all, and once you have determined what you are truly keeping, you can start to put stuff on your shelves or in bins. Always store like things together. Like gardening supplies, for example. Use a large bin or shelf for all of the gardening related things, that way you know exactly where to find anything you need for gardening – AND make sure the stuff you use always goes back to that same space! If you’ve got lots of kid related items, make sure they are reachable and easy for the kids to access – that way, you wont have to get everything down for them and you can start making them put away their own toys!
Once you have your stuff in your temporary storage spaces, you can start to look at what new products might help. Doing things in this order will help you determine what size the new bins might have to be, or how much wall space with hooks you need, or even how much shelving space you need. If you find that you have a lot of stuff on the floor around the outskirts, maybe look up options to buy or build something that helps you stack things, or mount a ceiling shelf for the ceiling or rafters. There are so many great organizing products, but if you don’t really know what you are storing or how much of it you have, it’s impossible to buy the right product to solve your problem. Buying a bin that holds 8 of your 10 items, for example, just means you need double the storage, or you need to get rid of still more stuff than you want!
Using what you have, at least temporarily, can be the difference between eventually having a functional matching organized garage, vs having exploding shelves or bins that don’t match (or where the lids don’t even close!)
Take your time so that you can really maximize the space!