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Organize your Garage the Marie Kondo Way | Konmari Method [UPDATED 2021]

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Organize your garage and shed by following Marie Kondo’s time-tested Konmari method. Learn how to organize both big and small spaces for better storage efficiency, more effective use of space, and easier maintenance.

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garage wall organization

How to organize your garage/shed with the Konmari Method

We should dig into a little bit about what the Konmari method actually is before we get too far into emptying out the garage! The Konmari Method is the art of decluttering and sparking joy, made popular by Japanese author and Netflix host Marie Kondo.

The entire idea behind this method is that you only keep that which sparks joy for you.

Essentially, it’s a framework designed to help you quickly and easily declutter all areas of your home.

We have already tackled our kitchen and we’ve done a number of smaller areas such as my craft supplies and my jewelry organization.

The Konmari method takes the guesswork out of what to keep and what to toss away and is supposed to result in you having a totally new and organized living space.

And I know, when we are thinking about the items we keep in our garage, it’s hard to associate them with joy! Unless you are a tool and shed or car enthusiast, it will be challenging to apply this method to organizing the garage.

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But the thing to remember is that organizing and living a clutter free life is a discipline. And, in my experience, you need more discipline to keep spaces like garages organized, because it’s so easy to hide clutter in there and forget about it.

Update! We first did the Konmari method to clean out our storage space and organize our shed. This was five years ago! We have since updated our decluttering and organizing and I can say that this method absolutely works, but it is a long haul approach. So many people feel they will declutter once and that will be the end of it.

konmari method, How to use Konmari in the Garage or Shed
Organize your Garage the Marie Kondo Way

Step 1: Sorting the Garage with the Konmari Method

When it comes to organizing our homes, it’s probably safe to say we all have at least one space that is always total chaos, right? Well, before we even tackled our shed space, we had to tackle the mess of things INSIDE the house that belonged in the shed.

This is why Marie Kondo suggests you put EVERYTHING on the floor before you start to declutter or organize a room. This way, you can see what belongs and what doesn’t right away.

When I tackled my old crafting room and the adjacent laundry room, I learned that SO much of what was being stored in that space really belonged in either the shed or in the garage!

Today, as we continue to examine how to use the Konmari Method to declutter all areas of the home – we are going to take a hard look at Garage and Shed Organization Ideas to see how they can benefit us all in the long term.

Step 2: Organizing and Decluttering the tools

It really depends on what you are storing in your garage, but for most people there will be some tools and larger, heavier items that you need to keep accessible, but that don’t need to be out on display all the time.

Check further garage declutter and organization tools:

 

3. Declutter the Garage or Shed with the KonMari Method

Since we moved into this house two and a half years ago (now eight years ago!), this area of our home, which we affectionately call ‘the studio’ has become a safe haven for the rarely used, barely useful, used up and once-useful-but-now-forgotten CRAP. (Update! This space was completely renovated and now houses my home office. You can see how we turned the outside covered porch into a liveable room here.)

However, knowing about the unexpected, joyful benefits of the KonMari Method, I knew that I had to declutter the garage.

We’ve brought in Konmari storage ‘solutions’ (something that Kondo talks about as being the foil to anyone’s attempt to truly declutter) and as Kondo predicted, it resulted in nothing good.

When we started to KonMari our studio of tools and the like – it looked like this.

Decluttering Tools the mess before, Declutter the Garage or Shed with the KonMari Method

If you’re following Kondo’s method to the tee, you have to be ready for an embarrassing state.

Indeed, the Konmari organization method suggests that you must empty the entire contents of the space into another space.

In our case, that was the lawn. It was pretty bad. Once you’ve done that, the next step is to sort all the items into distinct categories.

Categories for organizing the garage or shed

  • Seasonal items required for the maintenance of your property: lawn mowers, hedge trimmers etc.
  • Broken items or things that are totally worn out -place these in the trash
  • Redundant items – I had three drills at this point. Any duplicates can be donated
  • Miscellany – this was the largest category for us, but it was full of left over pieces from furniture, random tools and wall hangings, empty picture frames, ends of wrapping paper, outdoor tables we hadn’t used in two years, sweeping pads for a mop we no longer owned.
Decluttering Tools KonMari, garage and shed organization

You may even want to break it down in to smaller categories once you get right into it. (I enjoy this part of the sorting process!)

Sub-categories for sorting garage and tools

Tools you’ll want to sort through and organize (for example)

  • drill bits
  • power tools and the various battery packs
  • Screw drivers and wrench sets
  • hammers
  • garden tools and rakes
  • automotive tools

Then you will also want to organize and declutter the extra garage and shed items like :

  • partial bottles of washer fluid
  • road or driveway salt
  • partial bags of soil or mulch

All the things that just accumulate in your garage over time that will need to either be declutter, sorted, stored, or donated.

Step 3. Invest in a garage or shed organization systems

Now that you have a handle on the sorting and organization, the next thing is to consider how you will store what is remaining. I’m not going to lie, this is the real challenge.

We have a large outdoor building where we can put lawn and garden supplies and some tools – but it’s not insulated. So that limits what we can store in there and how we can use the wall space.

Here are some recommendations for places to start if you want to get a good, flexible and adaptable system for either your garage organization or to use to organize your shed (like we did).

Decluttering Tools The Throw Away Pile, garage organization

You get the picture, right. The sorting is what will take the longest.

The only pile you will be keeping and need to organize in your garage or shed should be the seasonal and functional items that you have used in the last twelve months.

Everything else can be either donated or thrown out. Yes, during your garage and shed organization, you need to say goodbye to non-essential things!

Decluttering Tools Almost Finished!, marie kondo garage organizing

4. Alternative Garage or Shed Organization Ideas

Now is the absolute fun part! You only have what you need, now the trick is to make space for it.

We won’t be tackling our shed walls until next spring (when it’s warmer and we’re able to work more outside), but these are some of the best ways to use the space you have to organize all your outdoor and indoor tools in the garage.

Organizing Power Tools

power tool organization

I love this simple hanging power tool solution from The Heathered Nest.

Eventually, I’d like to get to a place where this is the reality in my space. We are almost there!

Check prices here

Organizing Hand Tools

organizing drill bits, Organizing Hand Tools

I adore using magnets to organize things and this is a genius way to store hand tools so they are visible and always in reach. – Check prices here

I especially like it as a solution for storing drill bits (which I always seem to lose!) 

This is basically genius! I’ve also used magnets to hang extra shelves in my metal storage lockers.

They really do work quite well. The cute addition of the vintage-looking tin cans on this one is a nice touch of design too. They’re so handy when working on your garage and shed organization.

Check prices here

organize hand tools

Organizing Garden Equipment

garage wall organization, Organizing Garden Equipment

Love and Renovations has a great set up using large storage totes and a huge DIY work bench running along the garage wall.

This would work really well for outdoor seasonal decor, Christmas decorations and lawn care items. 

This homeowner uses PVC pipe, much like the power tool organization, but on a larger scale to be able to hang garden tools on the wall.

This is such a simple and effective way to use all the space in your shed!

garden tool organization

Step 4. Repeating the process of organizing the garage

Update! I mentioned we had done this again after some time had passed and let me explain why we redid our garage organizing. (In fact, I talk about having to revisit the Konmari Method in this post I did about how to organize and store belts using the Marie Kondo practice too!)

We had to revisit our shed organization when we got a new car and got rid of a set of snow tires (these took up a lot of space). We also renovated inside th e house, which changed the storage situation in the laundry room and inside storage room. We had to remove bulk and clutter from the shed.

But we employed the exact same method!

We emptied the entire shed.

declutter the garage

We sorted everything on the lawn.

We donated and sold what didn’t make sense to keep.

using marie kondo garage

We moved new, streamlined storage into the back of the shed.

We cleared more floor space and invested in hanger for the ceiling (for things like our kayak and bikes)You get the picture, right. The sorting is what will take the longest.

shed storage ideas

The only pile you will be keeping and need to organize in your garage or shed should be the seasonal and functional items that you have used in the last twelve months.

Everything else can be either donated or thrown out. Yes, during your garage and shed organization, you need to say goodbye to non-essential things!

5. Step by Step Garage Organization (at a glance)

New Shed 5

Organizing a garage is a hefty task unless you follow proper rules to organize things. You need to take out some time, either a full day or a weekend to get your garage cleaned.

The job can be easier if you involve your friends and family.

However, the basic aspect is to follow the fundamental categories of organizing a garage.

Figuring out different garage categories for organizing the stuff can be convenient. So here are different categories using which you can get started with organizing the garage.

1. Draft a floor plan

Many retailers of garage-storage systems provide free floor planning. You can use these services to figure out how to store all your stuff. Before purchasing anything, note down the dimension of your garage.

After you take down the dimensions, sort items from similar categories close to each other.

It would be helpful to keep heavy equipment in the corners so that they do not bump with any other thing. Also, keep regularly used things close to the door like bikes.

2. Take things off the garage floor

Try not keeping things on the garage floor whenever possible. You can purchase readymade cabinets that have raised-on legs and put everything on it. It is a garage organisation DIY idea that will work for you.

3. Purchase must-have storage products for garage

Certain things are essential for garage organization. The garage organization tips and tricks include storage products like bins, clear jars, and a lockable cabinet

6. My favorite Marie Kondo Storage Ideas for Garage

old-metal-lockers-refurbished-with-wood-and-paint-how-to

It is no doubt that Marie Kondo is transforming the way people live and view things in their homes. With her transformational organizational methods, her room to room method is becoming popular including the garage.

The garage can sometimes be a storage space of the home. It can be intimidating if not done properly. Here are some Marie Kondo garage organizing ideas you can follow.

  1. Take everything out and tidy it up. First of all, you need to start with determining what you have in your garage. Unbox all the cartoons and pull everything out of the bins, shelves, boxes, and corners.
  2. Begin piling all the things. Marie Kondo garage organizing tips recommend that piling up all things according to a category is helpful.
  3. For example, keep tools in one, decor items in another, and so on. Before starting to sort everything, it is important to know what you have in the garage.
  4. Eliminate unnecessary things It is a crucial step after pulling out everything. When you have everything in piles, it is time to look at every pile and decide whether it is necessary for you or not.
  5. Start sorting through all the piles and keep each item only is “sparks joy” for you, according to Mari Kondo garage organization rules.
  6. If it does not “spark joy”, eliminate it.
  7. Box it up vertically Place all the sorted piles vertically. And then properly place all the boxes utilizing the space that works best for you.

Short FAQ about Garage and Shed Organization

How to a “do it yourself” garage organization?

It is very easy to organize your garage in a DIY way. My favorite “do it yourself” garage organization is the KonMari method.

How much does a garage organization cost?

A garage organization can cost as low as $5. Of course you can increase the budget to your needs.

What is the best garage organization system?

In my opinion, the best garage organization system is the KonMari method.

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Jamie | anderson + grant

Wednesday 14th of October 2015

Don't you feel such a sense of accomplishment being able to look at before and after pictures like that?!?! Amazing job!

Kristi

Sunday 11th of October 2015

Awwww, this made me so, so happy to read! Just look at that progress! Feels amazing, doesn't it?!

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