4 Steps to a Minimalist Garage

They say less is more, and nowhere is this truer than for home storage. Recent trends encourage tidying up by letting go of items that no longer spark joy, leaving behind the possessions and essentials that matter most in your life. Maybe you’ve made a commitment to a more minimalist lifestyle—but have yet to tackle a garage piled high with boxes storing everything from your kids’ preschool creations to the snowboarding gear you hope you’ll use again someday. 

The key to creating a minimalist garage is some great storage techniques—plus letting go of the items you don’t need and probably won’t ever use. Take a look at some ways you can create a truly minimalist garage. 

1. Cut the Crap (and the Clutter)

Start your journey to a minimalist garage with some self-reflection and honesty. Before you can rethink your garage storage system, you need to pull out and sort everything you have languishing there, and toss what you don’t need. Open every box, and reevaluate every item to determine if it has earned its space in your garage. 

You could try the trendy “spark joy” trick: keep only the things that give you a little ping of happiness and donate or toss the rest. Or look at things from a more practical, less touchy-feely standpoint: when was the last time you opened this box, and do you even know what’s inside? If you haven’t used something or taken it out of the box in the past year or so, chances are you won’t miss it. If you live in a warm climate now or just aren’t in the right shape, you probably don’t need that snowboard anymore. Get rid of what you don’t need or use, and ask for help with sorting from a trusted friend if you need an outside opinion or moral support.

2. Organize Your Items

Once you’ve cut out the crap, you may find that you need to reorganize and re-box your items. Store like items together, ideally in sturdy totes that shut tight. If you can’t readily see inside a box or tote, give it a legible and easy-to-spot label. There may be some items you choose to display: your tools and drills, for example, or maybe your outdoor gear. Get a pegboard and install it on the wall—you’re likely to have more wall space now that you’ve thrown out excess clutter—and take pride in showing off and organizing your things. Making it easy to see and access your possessions will inspire you to use them more. 

3. Use Your Vertical Space

Get your gear and possessions up off the floor. This will make the garage look more spacious, protect your things from floods, and free up space for storage or other uses. Once you organize and label your possessions, you’ll know how much and what kind of storage space you might need. Shelves and cabinets are great for smaller things like pool cleaning supplies and food storage. Pegboards are great for displaying tools, and overhead systems are great for bulky camping gear or holiday decor.

garage storage

Invest in a good garage storage system that includes the shelving you need and utilizes the vertical space in your garage, which is usually ignored and wasted. For example, Garage Smart’s platform lifter is a motorized storage platform that gets bigger, bulkier gear out of the way when it’s not being used. 

4. Prioritize Premium Space

Some items, such as tools, bikes and kid toys, cleaning supplies, and cans of pantry staples like beans or tomatoes may need to be accessed regularly. When you’re organizing your things, take note of what items need premium space in your garage for easy access. Keep these in easy-to-reach shelving, and put them right back when you’re done. And remember, a place for everything, and everything in its place! Make sure there’s a space designated for everything and stick to your system, especially for items you use regularly. Tossing your weed wacker in any open corner after each use will make your garage feel cluttered and make it hard to find what you need.

Items that aren’t used as often or only seasonally should be kept higher up—perhaps on an upper shelf or lifted platform—to keep them safe and neatly stored while giving priority to oft-used items.

Creating a minimalist garage may sound like a challenge, but with the right strategy and storage solutions, it is well within reach. To get your minimalist garage going, learn more about our garage overhead products.