A garage is like a bonus room for many homeowners, offering an area that quickly becomes a storage space or overgrown junk drawer instead of a home for tools, outside toys, and the vehicle. Making a garage ship shape in three easy steps is an option if it is time to reclaim your space. While there are many ways to take advantage of even a small garage space, these three simple steps will eliminate much of the work and expense associated with organizing and maximizing this space’s potential.

1. Start by prioritizing the items in your garage, since ship shape refers to clean, organized space free of clutter. Keep only what you really need to keep in the garage, and if you want to keep items that do not belong in this space find another home for them. What should not be kept either in the home or in the garage can be dealt with in other ways, but be sure that you completely follow through with each step in order to avoid re-assimilating the items back into your garage later.

There are a few basic ways to deal with items that you and your family do not need or want anymore, such as outgrown clothing and toys, seasonal items, and trash. You can choose to throw things away, which is the best choice for garbage. You can choose to donate items, and this is an ideal solution for gently used clothing and toys. You also have the option to sell items, such as by listing them on an auction website or having a yard sale. Donate or throw away the items that do not sell.

2. Add new ways to organize the items that are kept. There are many great ideas to help you get and stay organized in the garage, such as heavy-duty shelving and storage bins. Overhead storage is also an option for some homeowners, but contact an expert before attempting to add this type of storage since a lot of experience is necessary for safety’s sake. Label your storage method so that family members will learn where things go, and this will decrease the likelihood of the problem becoming a problem again in the near future.

Use appropriate storage for the space, such as those that can handle heavier loads or bulky items. The garage is often the home for outdoor toys, coats, rain gear, garage tools, and household items too large for storage elsewhere. For that reason, make sure that the organizational tool can handle the heavy items in order to prevent breaks, damage, and having to replace the storage tool later.

3. Keep up the good work! Once you have everything put into place and organized, strive to keep it that way. Talk to the family and make sure that everyone knows your organizational setup and plan, to make it a simple task for everyone to put things away. Throw away trash and donate or sell any new items that are put into the garage, and store only what you want to continue owning.