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6 Garage Zones for Maximum Organization

The garage is one of the most under-utilized storage spaces in many homes. We usually think of the garage as a place to park our cars and store bulky items, with not much thought to what goes where. But the garage has the potential to be so much more!

Don’t get stuck when organizing the garage –instead, design with family organization in mind. A simple redesign of your garage can make all the difference, specifically when you assign organizing “zones” to each section of the garage. Each zone will have its own purpose: outdoor gear, often-used, hobby items, etc. When you organize your garage by zones, don’t be surprised when you find yourself thinking, “Was my garage always this big?!

We like to stick to 6 main zones when organizing the garage:

Organizing Your Garage by Zones

  1. The Transition Zone. This is a place to put all the items you grab or take off when you’re going in and out of the house. Shoes, jackets, bags, etc. find their home on shoe racks and hanging hooks. This area should be a natural transition zone; in other words, it’s a spot that’s right by the door and can be easily accessed when entering and leaving.
  2. Need It Now. Every day items like dog food, canned goods, and recyclables can be placed on shelving located by the entrance to the house. This is an area for things you need every day and can be easily reached. This is also a great place for things you don’t want taking up space in the pantry, like bulk food items.
  3. Long, Tall, Thin Storage. The name of this zone explains it all: if it’s long, tall, or thin this is the place to store it! Rakes, shovels, and other yard equipment can be hung on the walls for a non-bulky storage solution that won’t leave you squeezed for space next to parked cars.
  4. Large Item Storage. Large, rarely used items should be placed in an area that’s up high and out of the way. Camping gear and holiday décor are perfect candidates for this high, corner storage area. The less you use it, the higher it should go to free up space for more frequently used items.
  5. Frequently Used Items. Frequently used outdoor and yard gear should be placed by the garage door for easy access when you need it. Rakes, brooms, and bird feed are best stored here so you can quickly grab them when you’re outside. Sports equipment is also best suited for this area. Keep bikes and golf clubs within easy reach when you’re itching for some outdoor fun!
  6. Workspace. What are you passionate about? This is place to create a center for your favorite hobby, whether it’s gardening, woodworking, auto repair, or something else. Focus on your hobby with a versatile workbench and cabinets for plenty of storage.

A few other points to keep in mind when reorganizing your garage:

  • Keep safety in mind by placing non-child safe items up high, like chemicals and cleaners.
  • Place toys and children’s outdoor equipment, like sidewalk chalk and roller skates, down low where kids can easily reach them.
  • Always remember the correlation between ease of access and frequency of use. Often used items should be stored in the easiest-to-reach places in the garage. Rarely used items can be placed in more out-of-the-way places.

Design a garage layout with organizing zones to keep your garage running smoothly and maximize its storage potential for the whole family. You’ll be amazed at how much space you really have when you use smart organization and stick to it. You’ll be able to kick back, relax, and zone out knowing everything is in its place in your perfectly organized garage. 

8 Comments

  1. What about things like kids’ bikes and other larger outdoor toys?

    • Hi Angie! Zone 5 (frequently used items) is a great place for bikes and toys. You can incorporate wall storage into your garage so toys can be placed in large wall-mounted wire baskets, and bikes can be hung on a storewall like in this photo from our Pinterest.

    • LOL you need to buy a shed!

  2. where do you keep the bulky items? ie: lawn mower, power washer, air compressor, wheel barrow….

    • Hi Terri, you can always remove storage zones 3 and 5 on one side of the garage to make room for all the items you mentioned. By just removing the storage zones on one side you still leave yourself with plenty of storage on the other side with the remaining 3 and 5 sections. Does that make sense?

      Thanks for the question!

  3. great article love the examples!
    We have a Garage Shelving product we represent called Monkey Bars, they have a bit more modern industrial look but they do a great job and can support a lot of weight. We have helped with many installations and have helped hundreds of families reclaim their garage storage. This product give many options and help you choose the best possible solution for organizing your garage mess into convenient and accessible storage space.

  4. The need it now section would have been really helpful at my last house. It’s easy to let anything in the garage go to chaos.

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