No room for your car in the garage? It’s time to get organized! Here are some tips and tools to make it happen.
The garage may be one of the most under-utilized spaces in the house. It’s more than just a place to park our cars and to dump all kinds of stuff. Our garages are often the first place you enter in your home and therefore can have a tremendous impact on your mood coming home after a long day at work. Tripping over hockey sticks on your way to the door is no fun so spend a little time to organize that space.
1. Declutter the Garage
Before you can actually store something or even organize anything in your garage, you have to sort out what you’re planning to store, pare it down to the essentials and learn to let go of what needs to be thrown away already. Do a basic cleaning and give the floor a good once over with a broom. Ideally, you have to pull everything out of the space and sort them according to the following: Toss, Keep, Donate, Trash.
2. Custom Design Your Garage Layout
You want a garage layout where its storage potential can be maximized for the whole family. Plan organizing zones so you can have it running smoothly the way you intend it to be. When everything is in its proper place, you’ll be able to appreciate your hard work and use your garage with complete satisfaction.
3. What The Garage Is Not For
- Contrary to common practice, gas grills with their propane tanks should be stored at least 10 feet away from your house, NOT in the garage. Propane is highly combustible. You’ll never know when it’s leaking already and just hovering over the garage floor. Even the flick of a light switch or one spark of static electricity could trigger an explosion.
- Your stockpile of canned goods will have a much shorter shelf life if stored in the garage where it’s easy to get hotter than 70 degrees. Food spoils quickly when temperatures reach 95 degrees and above. Besides, it will only attract rodents.
- Though the fridge controls your food temperature, storing it in the garage is not advisable. In the burning heat, it will have to work harder to keep your food cool and unspoiled – and that would also burn a hole in your checkbook.
4. Proper Storage
- Always store hazardous stuff such as chemicals, pesticides, paint cans and auto fluids in their original containers on either a locked cabinet or on a high shelf where it is out of reach of children. Some people store these in old food containers and leave it lying around the garage, which can leak and cause fire hazards and respiratory problems. In case of any spill, wipe or clean it immediately.
- Use bins for kids’ toys and balls, kept well away from all the hazardous stuff. They should be off the floor but not too high so kids won’t try standing on wobbly boxes just to reach them.
5. Shelves and Racks
- Put up wall shelves to put on your tools and stuff. It might be empty for a while but you’ll be surprised how quickly it would fill up. No worries, it’s pretty simple to install them. Just screw several shelf brackets into your wall studs and then place 8-foot-long 1x12 boards on top of them.
- Don’t let your tools just sitting in the corner of your garage. Mount a rack to your garage wall for your brooms, hoes, rakes, shovels, and the like. Add hanging attachments and it would just be a breeze getting the tool you want when they’re not all bundled up on the floor.
- Create little cubbyhole shelves to clear your garage or your workbench of valuable space while having a neat place for your large collection of loose parts and doodads.
- Hang wooden ceiling racks. They’re great for storing stuff like skis, scrap wood, storage tubs, etc. If you have bikes, you can put them up on the adjacent hooks on the racks.
6. Frequently Used Items
For easy access, put all those stuff you always need on a regular basis by the garage door. Whether it is bird feed, brooms or golf clubs, make sure it’s in an area where you can quickly grab them for your yard chores or some outdoor fun.
If the garage is the place where all your brilliant ideas are put into reality, allot adequate space for the tasks you have to do, even when your cars are parked inside. Opt for durable surfaces and easy-to-clean workbench. Install appropriate lighting and run extra outlets on every wall near the tools or areas you'll be working most. By creating functionality in your workspace, you can turn your garage into a storage powerhouse of your dream.