If you’re like most people, your garage is probably the messiest place in your home. Tidying up your garage can seem like an insurmountable task to many.

But by following these eight steps, you will easily transform your garage into an organized and functional storage space.

1. Evaluate your space | Take the time to assess the size of your garage and the amount of storage space available. Think about how you use your garage and how you would like to use it in the future. This assessment will help you determine how many items your garage can accommodate. Also, to see things more clearly, take the time to clean and clear the floor of anything that shouldn’t be there by consolidating it in one place or elsewhere in the house.

2. Sort your items | Sort through all the items you store in your garage and decide what can be thrown away, donated, or sold using the three-pile technique. Items that are no longer useful to you can be donated or sold. Items that cannot be donated or sold should be thrown away. And finally, the items you want to keep are the ones you will store in your garage. If you don’t know what to do with some items, consider selling them at a garage sale or donating them to a charity.

3. Categorize your items | It’s important to group items in the same category together: gardening items, sporting goods, household items, tools, etc. This will make it easier to store them and make your life easier later.

4. Take inventory of your garage’s storage space | Now that you’ve sorted and categorized your items, it’s time to assess the storage space you have available in your garage. Take a good look at your walls, ceiling, and floor. Think about how and where you want to organize your items. Do you have enough shelves, cabinets, hooks, storage bins, etc.? Be sure to organize your items so that they are easily accessible so that you can find them easily when the time comes.

5. Clean up your garage |Use this step to clean up your garage and repair any damage. Also take the opportunity to upgrade the lighting, heating, electrical and water outlets. Once you’ve cleaned up, give the walls and ceiling a good coat of paint, as it probably needs it, to give your garage a cleaner, brighter look.

6. Install your storage | Now it’s time to install your shelves, cabinets, hooks, storage bins, etc. Be sure to follow the assembly instructions for all these items to ensure that they are properly assembled and secured and won’t fall off when loaded. The larger and heavier the items, the more adequate storage space you need. Smaller, lighter items can be accommodated with storage bins that stack on top of each other. Use hooks and racks provided to organize your gardening tools, bicycles, and other sporting goods on the wall.

7. Label your items | Once you have all your items neatly stored in your garage, it’s handy to label them to help you quickly find what you need and easily store it later. Use labels or permanent markers to identify the contents of each bin or box.

8. Maintain your garage on a regular basis | Once you’ve finished the storage in your garage, it’s important to maintain it on a regular basis to keep your organization up to par. Put back right away the items you just used, get rid of the items you no longer need and keep your garage clean and tidy.

By following these eight easy steps, you’ll be assured of a clean, tidy and, most importantly, practical garage.

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