Between spring cleaning rituals and the Marie Kondo craze that’s sweeping the globe, it’s clear that many of us really, really want to get organized. 

But sometimes we tidy the more prominent areas of your home and end up shoving the excess into a storage room or garage. Out of sight can mean out of mind — for years or even decades. Isn’t it time to tackle that unruly space so that you actually know where everything is and can access it? Here are some ideas for applying the “life-changing magic of tidying up” to transform your storage space into an area that sparks joy. 

Quick containment

Don’t you wish a magical tidying-up fairy would swoop up all those Legos your kids leave on the floor so you don’t impale yourself on them in the middle of the night? Enter Swoop Bags ($30–$52 at Made in Seattle, the sturdy, cinch-top bags do double-duty as toy storage and a play mat — and allow you to tidy up in an instant. Made from cotton canvas, nylon or see-through mesh in sizes mini to super, they make toy storage so much easier.

See inside

Still have cardboard boxes from your last move sitting in your basement, with no idea what’s inside? You can see clearly now with The Container Store’s Like-it Bricks System ($18–$35), modular drawers and bins made of translucent polypropylene. They keep everything visible, as Kondo recommends, so you can find what you need. Three widths and two heights fit together vertically or horizontally and are attractive enough for use in an office or child’s room. 

Provide a home

Get a lot of storage bang for your buck with Ikea Hyllis Shelf Units ($10–$46), open, galvanized-steel shelves that can be customized to fit your space. Perfect for outdoor use (or in damp basements and garages), they can be outfitted with transparent polyethylene covers that zip on to keep everything clean and dry — and in its place.

Go vertical

With vertical storage, the sky — er, ceiling — is the limit. The steel SafeRacks Overhead Garage Storage Racks ($130–$300 at make every inch count, giving you up to 128 cubic feet of extra room per rack. Each holds 600 pounds, is adjustable and includes hooks and rails. Maybe now the car will finally fit in the garage. 


Spark joy

If the garage or workroom is your palace, the sleek New Age Bold 3.0 Series Cabinet Set (starting at $1,485 at The Home Depot) will make you feel like royalty. Heavy-duty, 24-gauge steel cabinets feature a powder-coated industrial finish that withstands scratches, stains and rust. Custom cabinet configurations keep everything under wraps behind closed doors, which lock to secure your power tools. You’ll be more joyful just looking at it.