Garages are an important part of most homes. However, it becomes a dumping ground for items that don’t have a proper place inside the house. If you’re tired of tripping over clutter and wasting time searching for tools, it’s time to get organized. Here are four ways to declutter and organize your garage.

1. Sort and purge

The first step in organizing any space is to sort through everything and eliminate what you no longer need. Create three piles: keep, donate, or sell, and trash. As you go through each item, ask yourself if you’ve used it in the last year, if it’s in good condition, and if it’s something you truly need. Once you have sorted everything, it’s time to dispose of the items in the designated piles. Consider having a garage sale, posting items for sale online, or donating to a local charity. Not only will this help you declutter your garage, but it will also benefit others.

2. Create zones

Once you have pared down your belongings, it’s time to create zones for your remaining items. Start by grouping similar items. For example, all your gardening tools should be in one area, while all your sports equipment should be in another. You can use shelves, cabinets, or wall-mounted organizers to create zones. Labeling each zone will make finding what you need easier and putting items back in their proper places. You can label your zones using a label maker, sticky notes, or even chalkboard paint.

3. Pest control

Pests such as rodents, ants, and spiders can quickly take over a cluttered and disorganized garage, making it a hazardous and unsanitary space. Consider removing any piles of debris, old newspapers, cardboard boxes, and other items that pests can use as shelter. Next, seal any cracks and gaps in the walls, doors, and windows to prevent pests from entering. Rodents can squeeze through very small openings, so sealing even the tiniest gaps is crucial. You can also use weather stripping around doors and windows and fill in gaps around pipes and vents with caulk. If you have a severe pest problem, you may need to hire a professional pest control company to treat your garage.

4. Maintain your organization

Organizing your garage is a significant undertaking, but it’s only the first step. To maintain your organization, you must habitually put items back in their designated zones after each use. This can be challenging, but it’s vital to preventing clutter from creeping back in. To make it easier, consider investing in organizational tools that make it easy to return items where they belong. For example, a magnetic strip on the wall can hold frequently used items, so they are always within reach. A rolling cart can transport items from one zone to another, making it easy to put things away.

Organizing your garage may seem overwhelming, but it’s a worthwhile task. You can transform your garage into a functional and organized space by sorting and purging, creating zones, maximizing vertical space, and maintaining your organization.