How To Organize A Small Garage

How To Organize a Small Garage


A garage can be used for much more than parking. Your garage can also double as an important storage space, a workroom for all those household projects, and a place to keep next season’s holiday decorations.

However, organizing a small garage is no easy feat. The last thing you want is to deal with is years and years of clutter crowding your space, leaving no room for any of the other garage essentials.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I am a huge projects guy, and am pretty dependent on having a clean and organized work table in my daily life. I am intentional about the way I organize small spaces so that they still feel spacious and functional.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Simple Steps To Start Organizing Your Small Garage

Steps To Start Organizing Your Small Garage

Within a small garage, it is way too easy for old clothing, furniture, toys, tools, games, dishes, decorations, and endless miscellaneous trinkets to get thrown into your space.

As the stuff stacks up, it makes it difficult to keep your small garage organized and spacious. However, with a strategy, you can create more room for work and play.

Step One: Sort What’s Visible In Your Small Garage

Sort Whats Visible In Your Small Garage

When it comes to organizing any small space, the best way to begin is with the items you can already see. Take a look around your small garage — what do you have laying around that can be sorted better? Move tools, stacked dishes, furniture, and other trinkets and knick-knacks to the center of the room.

If you’re trying to organize your small garage all in one day, consider using your driveway as a holding space while you work to get everything organized. As you lay everything out, start to make piles based on categories that makes sense. Keep toys with toys, sports equipment with sports equipment, and décor with décor.

small garage organization

Step Two: Sort What’s Hiding In The Depths Of Your Garage

Sort Whats Hiding In The Depths Of Your Garage

Now it’s time for the fun part — going through items hidden away. Similar to an attic or a basement, it’s all too easy for your small garage to become a dumping ground.

Dig in the back of garage cabinets, under tables, in drawers near your tool wall, inside of stacked boxes, or in any other storage areas you may have in your small garage.

Take out all of your extra clutter and gather it on your driveway or in the center of your garage floor with the rest of your items. Make sure you categorize things as you go and create piles while you dig through every nook and cranny.

Potential Items Stored In A Garage

  • Old clothes
  • Extra dishes
  • Home décor
  • Sports equipment
  • Car supplies
  • Toys and games
  • Books, movies, DVDs
  • Hardware tools
  • Holiday decorations
  • Donation boxes
things to store in a small garage

Step Three: Declutter What You Don’t Need

Declutter What You Do Not Need

Once you have everything sorted, it’s time to dive into the decluttering process. It’s important to declutter your belongings before you organize them so you can get rid of everything you don’t actually need to keep around in your small garage.

I like to go with the Four Box Decluttering because of the way the approach is set up. I find the method to be incredibly simple, yet highly effective for getting the job done.

Step Four: Reorganize Your Small Garage Layout

Reorganize Your Small Garage Layout

Organizing a small garage goes beyond sorting the stuff you own. A huge facet of the organization process involves layout and design.

four box decluttering methodIf you aren’t intentional about the way you organize and lay out your small garage, you’ll create a space where you have to work much harder to feel like you have the room you need. With an intelligent design, you can have room for your cars, storage, and work table despite the challenge of a small space.

There are several functional ways you can organize your small garage. Typically, you’ll have your work table area against the furthest flat wall, away from the car area. You can design your work table set up however you please, depending on how much of a handyman you tend to be and how large your projects are.

Against the perpendicular wall, it’s wise to add in extra storage. To do that, you can install cabinets, add floating shelves, or buy storage bins and some kind for rack for all your miscellaneous storage needs.

1 car small garage layout

1 car small gareage floorplan

2 car small garage floorplan

2 car small garage layout

Step Five: Categorize Items By How They’re Used

Categorize Items By How They Are Used

I’ve found that the best way to categorize items in any room is to [BOLD]sort your items by the specific purpose they serve. This way, you know exactly where everything you need is at all times.

erin mursch

“After you think you’re done organizing, look at your garage with fresh eyes. Put the tools you use most frequently in the easiest to reach spots. Add some shelving, add some hooks — make your garage functional.”

– Erin Mursch, Organized For Good

Be sure not to forget about key categories in your small garage. This might look like keeping all of your pool toys in a bin on the backyard side of the garage, keeping your bicycle and air pump by the garage door, or keeping all of your car repair gadgets by your parked cars.

Potential Categories In A Garage

  • Sports gear
  • Pool toys and towels
  • Car supplies
  • Lawn care
  • Bike and pump
  • Seasonal décor
  • Gardening gear
  • Hardware tools
  • Camping gear
  • Workout equipment
  • Items to donate
  • Miscellaneous storage

Organization Guide For Each Room Of Your Home

home organization guide

Tips And Tricks For Organizing A Small Garage

Tips And Tricks For Organizing A Small Garage

When trying to organize your small garage, it’s important to think about the little things you can do to maximize your space and make the most of storage areas.

1Clear Everything Off Your Small Garage Floor

The absolute best thing you can do to make the most of your small garage space is clear everything off the floor. It’s all too easy for your garage floor to become a dumping ground for miscellaneous items, storage boxes, and items that don’t have their own home.

It’s absolutely essential that you avoid the impulse to throw things on the floor if you want to stay organized and on top of your space. I’ve listed a ton of storage hacks further down in the post that can help you avoid using your floor space as a storage area.

small garage floor

2Make It Easy On Yourself By Using Labels

In any room you need organized, labels are going to be your best friend. This is especially true in rooms like a kitchen, craft room, or garage, where you collect tools that help you perform daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and building.

Invest in a label maker and go crazy labeling the drawers and cabinets in your small garage. You will only thank yourself later when you are able to locate your nails and hammer in record time.

3Store Items On The Underside Of Surfaces

Becoming an expert organizer means considering utilizing spaces you may not initially think of. Don’t forget about ways you can use the underside of flat surfaces like the bottom of a workbench, underneath cabinets, or the space between the bottom of a rolling shelf and your garage floor.

Make the most of these spaces by installing hooks to hang tools underneath cabinets, adding under shelf baskets, or even hanging your ladders sideways on the wall space under your raised shelving.

4Repurpose Old Furniture To Use As Storage

Before you head to the store to buy a bunch of organization bins, consider what you can do with items you already have at home. I love the idea of upcycling old furniture to use as extra storage, especially in a small garage where that very same furniture piece is probably already being stored.

Repurpose an old armoire or wardrobe to store toys, sports equipment, and games. Use an old baby crib spring as a tool wall. Turn old coat hangers into hooks for yard tools. There are endless possibilities when it comes to upcycling.

5Outline Your Hanging Hardware Tools With Paint

This tip takes a little extra work on the front end, but it’s a great way to stay extremely organized in your small garage. When you outline your tools in paint on your tool wall, you can visually see exactly where that tool needs to hang when you’re done using it.

This is an especially helpful trick for people with tons of tools because it helps you keep track of everything you own and easily visualize if you’ve misplaced a tool.

6Organize Hand Tools With Magnetic Strips

Magnetic strips can be a godsend when it comes to keeping your tools organized. If you’re like me, always busy with the next project around the house, you’ll need a nifty way to keep track of all those small hand tools.

Using a magnetic strip is awesome because you can just slap tools on the strip at the end of each use and you always know where they’re located. Also, magnetic strips are relatively inexpensive and easy to add to any tool wall.

magnetic tool strip

7Hollow Out PVC Pipes To Hang Rakes, Brooms & Shovels

Don’t be so quick to throw out your extra PVC pipes. PVC Pipes are a great way to keep your garden and yard tools in place. Just cut out a small piece of PVC pipe, hang it on your flat wall, and slide your garden tools in to help keep them in place.

8Use Painter’s Tape To Map Out A Walking Path

If your garage is so small that you inevitably have to fill the floorspace — have no fear. There are still ways you can incorporate order and organization even if you absolutely must use your floor space.

My best suggestion is to map out a walking path through your small garage with painter’s tape. Mapping off a specific walking path is a wise way to ensure clutter doesn’t find its way between you and the items you need to reach.

use painters tape to mask area

Inspiration For Organizing A Small Garage: Storage And Cleaning

Inspiration For Organizing A Small Garage

When you don’t have a ton of space in your small garage, you have to be creative with the ways you maximize the space and the storage products you invest in to help you create room.

Not only are storage products essential for keeping your small garage organized, but also you don’t want to lose the mojo once you finally get your space clean. I’ve linked some cleaning products that are helpful in keeping your garage organized in the long term.

ceiling rack for small garage

Invest In A Ceiling Rack For Extra Storage

Making use of ceiling storage is key when trying to keep your small garage organized. This garage storage rack from MonsterRax can hold up to 500 pounds and is great for bicycles or huge storage bins of sports equipment or car supplies.

rubbermaid tool hanging kit

Use This Rubbermaid Tool Hanging Kit

This Rubbermaid Fastrack tool hanging kit is the perfect wall mount for hand tools, garden tools, yard tools, and more. It’s great for providing easy access to the essential yard and garden tools you use every day.

walll storage holder for camping chairs

Wall Storage Holder For Camping Chairs

If you have kids with soccer games or love to take your family camping at your local state parks, you’ll need easy access to camping chairs. Try this wall storage holder. It easily mounts to your garage wall and can hold up to four chairs.

tote stackers

Try These Tote Stackers For More Storage

Matching bins are essential for giving a small space a more orderly feeling. These 50-gallon, matching stackable totes are perfect to give you tons of storage in your small garage.

wall mount rack for cleaning supplies

Use This Wall Mount Rack For Your Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies are items you’ll need frequent and easy access to. Try this wall-mounted storage rack for your sprays, brooms, mops, and sponges.

outdoor mini shed

Purchase This Outdoor Mini Shed

If you don’t have enough space inside, create more space outside with this outdoor mini shed. This shed has three tiered shelves, is waterproof, and comes with lockable doors.

tool rack organizer

Invest In This Tool Rack

A high-quality tool rack is a must in a well-organized garage. This rack holds up to four power drills and also includes a shelf for other electric hand tools.

Ladder Ceiling Storage Hoist

Try This Ladder Storage Rack

I love this ladder storage rack! It neatly hoists your ladder and stores it in the air. It uses a pulley system to raise and lower your ladder.

Bike Rack Garage Wall Mount

Hang Up Your Bicycle With This Bike Hanger

Bicycles can easily take up a huge amount of space in a small garage. This wall-mounted bike rack is ideal for maximizing vertical storage space and hanging your bike on the wall.

Wall Mount Hardware Storage

Use These Drawers To Keep Track Of Small Parts

You don’t want to lose your nuts, bolts, nails, and other small yet essential pieces. Try this set of drawers to keep track of all the small parts you need to store in your garage. Don’t forget to label your drawers to stay extra organized!

cord wraps

Try Out These Cord Wraps

Tangled cords are the absolute worst. Try these heavy-duty cord straps to keep all of your extension and electrical cords neatly wrapped.

erin mursch

“Always wrap your cords! Get some Velcro wraps, rubber bands, or twist ties to keep your cords from becoming a tangled mess.”

– Erin Mursch, Organized For Good

Make It Easy To Keep Your Garage Clean

Ridgid Portable Vacuum

Get a Good Quality Vacuum

I definitely recommend this vacuum to use in a small garage. I have this model and it’s small and compact, but has a lot of power. It’s great for getting dirt and dust out of hard-to-reach places. I’ve also included a link to a hose upgrade if needed.

Premium Multi-Surface Push Broom

Try Out This Multi-Surface Push Broom

This broom is perfect for making sure your garage floor stays clean. The set comes with the broom itself as well as interchangeable cleaning heads.

Heavy Duty Aluminum Dustpan

Invest In A Quality Dust Pan

A good dust pan is key for keeping your small garage squeaky clean. Try out this durable, aluminum dust pan by Quickie.

Heavy-Duty Round Trash Can

Every Garage Needs A Good Trash Can

I love this heavy-duty trash can by Rubbermaid. It is super sturdy and comes in many colors.

High Flow Safety Blow Gun

Use This Air Gun To Eliminate Dust

This high-flow air gun is awesome for clearing dust, crumbs, and debris out of small crevices and corners. Try it out for yourself!

Minimalists Checklist When Organizing A Small Garage

Minimalists Checklist When Organizing A Small Garage

Organizing your small garage in a way that makes it feel larger than it actually is will give you the room you need to complete all of your household projects, park your cars, and keep things in storage.


Sort Items In Your Garage

  • Make piles by category
  • Sort your car supplies
  • Make a pile of garden tools
  • Put away home décor
  • Create a miscellaneous pile
  • Put things to donate in a box

Organizing In A Small Garage

  • Clear off your garage floor
  • Hang tools from the wall
  • Use space underneath surfaces
  • Label drawers of small parts
  • Give every tool a home
  • Make use of vertical space

Design Your Small Garage

  • Choose a garage layout
  • Play with item placement
  • Create a work station area
  • Don’t use the floor as storage
  • Be strategic placing large items
  • Leave room to park your cars

Storage For Your Garage

  • Use shelves, cabinets, and racks
  • Add a magnetic strip for tools
  • Use a tool shed outside your garage
  • Add extra racks to garage wall
  • Buy cleaning products to stay tidy
  • Repurpose old furniture

Your Turn!

  • What tips will you use to keep your small garage organized?
  • What steps will you take today to begin maximizing your small garage?

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