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Garage Organizing: Zones & Homes

Updated: May 24, 2023

Create "zones" to make getting and staying organized easier

If you look at your garage and feel like barfing because of all the clutter, you're not alone!

Let me be a beacon of hope: I once felt overwhelmed by all the clutter in our garage and couldn't find a hammer to save my life.

Now my hubby and I BOTH park in the garage, can find everything we need when we need it, and, most miraculously...

We're both inspired to put everything away and keep it organized! Whaaat?

Yes, it's true. We now put ALL our toys and tools away when we're done with them.

That doesn't mean that we're anal or all Martha Stewart-y, we've just taken the time to make putting things away as easy as not putting them away (or easier).

First we took the time to take out everything we DIDN'T want in the garage (it took 3 times and ongoing tuneups)...

Then we created zones. And stuck to them.

What are Zones?

Imagine a kitchen - each appliance is like a zone:

  • The cupboard is where dishes are stored

  • The drawer is where silverware is stored

  • The sink is where hand washing happens

  • The stove and microwave are where cooking happens

  • The fridge is where food that needs to be kept cold is stored

If you were to put the food that's supposed to be kept cold in the silverware drawer, it wouldn't make sense, right?

Zones are places where you keep like items together.

Some common useful garage zones are:

  • Hand tools

  • Power tools

  • Paint

  • Painting supplies

  • Garden tools

  • Power cords

  • Outdoor toys

  • Car care supplies

  • Bikes

  • Kids outdoor toys

  • Long term storage

  • Holidays

You can have purely storage zones: tools, car care supplies, paint, etc.

Or you can have active storage zones: wood project area with woodworking tools and a table, workout area with workout items, garden tools with a potting table, etc.

I shared some of my zones in my post about Vertical Storage, but didn't point out that they were zones. You can see here our zones for garden/yard tools, hand tools (on magnetic strips) and flat wood zone.

The I Don't Know Zone

Often our garage or storage spaces are one big "I don't know, but I wish I did" zone.

That's why I created the Great Garage Clearout Challenge - make sure you're on my mailing list to learn when the next one is, but don't wait until then to start organizing your garage! If you're ready to go, you can work with me privately to help figure out how to go through all that stuff effectively and efficiently, then how to make it easy to store everything and put it away when you're creating zones and homes.

It's for anyone who wants an organized garage or storage space (or at least a functional!) with clear, easy-to-use-and-maintain zones, but isn't sure how to get there.

It's also for anyone whose garage or storage space makes them shudder with frustration and is ready to change that...

My Dad, Alan Maywood Courtright

My Dad's Garage - a Sad/Happy Story

Clearing and organizing a garage is how I began my career as a professional organizer...

After my Dad died suddenly from falling off a ladder in his newly built garage (PLEASE get rid of old rickety ladders TODAY!), I took time to clear and organize that space.

It was a surprisingly beautiful experience. It felt amazing to go through all his things one by one, then set up what my Mum needed and wanted in her new home. We still have family gatherings in that space 15 years later!

Clearing and organizing can be a very freeing, meditative, even fun process if you let it be. It's like an archaeological dig into your and your family's history.

If you let me guide you and set aside the judge and nervous nelly in your brain, we can clear and organize your garage without it being torture.

Clear out what you don't want, create those zones, give EVERYTHING a home, and take time to maintain it, and you CAN have the garage or storage space of your dreams.

I have the goal of you finding freedom from 'stuff' stress. I've done it and I'm here to help you do it, too :)



Please remember that I'm here for you! Reach out if you have questions and/or you feel stuck.

There's no need to struggle with clutter anymore - you're not alone and I can help you feel better right away.

For inspiration and organizing tips in your in-box, join my e-newsletter, Sunbeams. Inspiration only, no spam, I promise :)

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