Every time I walk out of my home through my garage, I cringe at the number of bins and boxes piled high along the sides. There are storage units that look more organized. I think I would be less annoyed if I hadn't actually invested in organizational products that were supposed to prevent this exact type of thing. But life happens, and with it comes enough clutter to fill, well, a garage.
Some of the cleanup is simple - getting rid of things that are no longer really used, for example. But there's also a need to rethink how you're storing everything. I spoke with a representative from a professional organizational company not too long ago for a story, and one of his best quotes was that "storage is about retrieval. People forget that and just put stuff on shelves." Although the organization of my garage follows that mantra somewhat - all of our day-to-day storage, such as light bulbs, paper towels, soda, etc., is stored right next to the door for easy access - I'm pretty sure the Christmas ornaments don't need to be quite so front and center.
Three other tips I took away from that conversation (some of which are intuitive but often forgotten):
1. You don't have to store everything by size; store things by purpose instead. Although it may seem easier to store all the small boxes or all the large boxes together, by grouping similarly used items together, you're not having to dig to the back of different shelves to get everything - it's all in the same space.
2. As you put things away, think about when you will have to retrieve it next and make it easy to find (e.g., strategically angle it or place the labels in spots where you can actually read what's in the box).
3. Baskets and pullouts are the perfect catchalls for miscellaneous items, but place them high enough to make it easy to sort through them. (Chest height is recommended.)
Photo courtesy of Tailored Living