For most people, the garage is the ideal space to stow their vehicle, but that’s not all. Many homeowners also rely on their garages for storing all sorts of items ranging from gardening tools to kids’ bicycles. Unfortunately, most garages are limited in space; consequently, it becomes extremely important to organize the garage so that it can fulfill your storage needs. A cluttered, disorganized garage won’t function well. Use these tips to help you transform your garage into a well-organized space.
Clean Out the Space
To make the most of your garage space, take some time to clean it out before you begin your organization project. Get rid of any items you no longer use. Also, you should also avoid storing certain items in your garage, including:
- Paper goods and cardboard boxes (they attract bugs and retain moisture, which can lead to mold)
- Paint (extreme temperatures can ruin the paint)
- Propane (storing propane in a garage is a safety risk. Store it outdoors, instead)
Once you’ve cleaned out the garage, you’ll have a clearer understanding of the items you do want to store there.
Create a Floor Plan
Once your garage is clean, you can evaluate the space and develop your organization plan. As you create your floor plan, think about which items you need to access most often. You’ll want these items to remain accessible, ideally near the garage door. Think about shopping for a garage organization system. You’ll need to measure the space before you make a purchase, though.
Because it’s not a good idea to store items on the floor where they might attract pests and dampness, you may want to invest in some heavy-duty shelving units and hard plastic storage totes. Be sure that you have your plan finalized before you purchase these storage items. You want to ensure they’ll fit with your plan.
Make Use of the Vertical Space
Assuming that most of the garage’s floor space will be reserved for your car(s), you’ll want to make optimum use of the vertical and overhead space as possible. To that end, consider open shelving units. Cabinets are also useful, but you’ll need to ensure that you have enough room for their doors to swing open when cars are parked inside the garage. Cabinets are also more costly. However, if you have old cabinets or shelving units, you can certainly make use of them in your garage’s organization plan.
Wire shelving units tend to be the cheapest type of storage unit. They’re also quite sturdy. You can use them to hold bins and totes for stowing seasonal sports gear, kids’ outdoor toys’, seasonal decorations, etc…Clear totes are ideal because you can see what’s inside, but you can also develop a storage system based on colored totes. You can also simply label your totes so you know what’s inside without having to look.
In addition to shelving, consider the use of walk hooks or even pegboards with hooks to hang a wide range of tools and garden implements. You can find these items at nearly any home improvement or hardware store. Hanging items like rakes and shovels is a great way to secure them so that they don’t fall down onto your vehicle when propped up in a corner or against a wall.
As for the overhead space, you’ll want to reserve that for items you don’t use very often such as ladders. Take care when hanging shelves from the ceiling so that they will not impede the opening/closing of your garage door. You also want to make doubly sure that the shelves are sturdy so nothing falls on top of your vehicle.
High Space Shelves
Think about installing shelving that spans three sides of your garage. A high shelf can hold numerous rubber totes that you can access with a ladder when you need them. This is an ideal option if you have limited storage space in your house. You can store a wide array of household items in your garage if you need to. Again, you’ll want to take care to label each tote so that you know what’s inside. Be sure that this type of shelving is expertly installed and is able to support the range of items you wish to store high up in the vertical space.
Create a Work Space
A garage is a great place for performing various tasks that may be related to auto maintenance or home maintenance. It’s helpful to have a workbench and convenient storage for commonly needed maintenance tools. Although you can purchase a workbench, you can also build your own model that you can customize for your needs and the space.
It’s a good idea to place your workbench near a window to make use of the natural light. You should also be sure it’s near an electrical outlet in case you need to perform work using power tools. It’ll be much easier to work near an outlet rather than to stretch extension cords across your garage.
If you recycle, consider creating a wall rack so that your recycling bins don’t take up floor space. You can even create a DIY bin mounting system using wall screws and scrap wood. Additionally, you can rely on wire shelving units to store your recycling bins as well.
When organizing your garage, you might also want to upgrade the space. Think about adding an epoxy floor to your garage. It makes cleaning up easy and makes for a more attractive space. If you spend a lot of time in your garage, a functional floor coated with epoxy is a good investment. Also, consider improving the lighting system in your garage. It will make working there much easier on your eyes.
Use these tips to get your garage into shape. A well-organized garage makes many household projects easier. You’ll be able to stow and retrieve the items you need without having to search high and low for them.
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