How to Maximize the Space in Your Garage

How to Maximize the Space in Your Garage

A garage is a place in your home where you do the least maintenance. You stack all the household items there, including lawn care, bins, power tools, sports care, hardware, etc. This is a space that needs the most organization but gets the least attention. Keep reading to learn about simple yet effective garage storage ideas that will save you from the giant mess in your garage.

To maintain your garage, you need to install cabinets and shelves so that your garage can look maintained, and you can find the things you have stored in there for years. Before you start building any cabinets or shelves, you first have to clean the garage. You should categorize all the goods available in your garage. You also need to separate the tools, from household stuff, from supplies to sports gear, and you have to throw out the useless things in your garage.

There is no need to store the items you don’t use; you can either give them to someone or throw them away if they have no more functionality. Now that you have separated everything from each other, you should measure the required shelf and cabinets’ size that you need to build up. Your garage must be dirty because of all the things stacking up in there. So, before you start making shelves, first get your garage walls and floors clean.

You might even encounter an extra leakage, some overly grown fungus, and even a piece of the long lost equipment. After cleaning the walls and floors, you are now ready to nail these tried and tested garage storage ideas.

5 Steps To Garage Storage & Organization 

Garages often seem to be the catchall location for stuff that needs to be stored. If your car stays outside because you have too many belongings hoarded in the garage, get it organized now by following a few simple steps.

Step 1: Purge Your Garage

In order to get organized, you need to move everything out of the garage. Decide what you need to purge and what you will keep. Toss broken items and sell anything of value that you no longer use. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a couple of years or more. Hold a garage or yard sale to make some money from the items you need to get rid of. Remember, you can take the sale proceeds to buy storage solutions for the stuff you keep.

Step 2: Clean Your Garage Floor

While your belongings are out of your garage, you can give the floor and other areas a good scrubbing. Use a wet/dry vacuum to eliminate cobwebs and other debris. Clean the insides of garbage bins and the areas around them with soap and water. Get an oil-enhanced sweeping compound from your local True Value to quickly sweep away dust from the floor.

You can get rid of grease and oil spots with cat litter and some cola. Pour the cola directly on the stain, then sprinkle with cat litter. The acid in the cola will break up the grease; the cat litter will absorb it. Sweep up with a broom and dustpan and dispose of it. You can also purchase concrete and asphalt cleaner at your local True Value.

To better remove oil and gas stains, apply a laundry pre-treating solution and let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Next, add a little laundry detergent and scrub with a stiff brush. Wipe up residue with paper towels. Next, mop the garage floor with a solution of hot water, bleach and powdered laundry detergent mixed in a bucket. When you’re done, rinse any residue down the drain with a garden hose fitted with a spray nozzle. For more intense cleaning, add trisodium phosphate (TSP) to a bucket of hot water and clean the entire floor with a mop.

Step 3: Start Organizing

Reorganize the things you want to keep into different groups. Sort similar items together. Put auto parts in one area, tools in one, and sports and camping gear in another. This will organize everything until it’s time to store them. It will also separate your garage into useable areas. Dividing your garage into sections will give you the option to set up a workshop and still have room for your vehicle and organized storage.

Step 4: Store in Cabinets, Bins, and Hangers

Garages have more wall space than floor space, so look for wall solutions — and even ceiling solutions. Utility cabinets provide great storage and are durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of a garage setting. They are ideal for storing paint cans, spray bottles, buckets, gardening supplies, oil and gas cans, car supplies and more. You can micro-organize inside utility cabinets as well. For example, use plastic bins to store smaller items and label them so that you can locate items when needed. Plastic storage containers are durable and highly adaptable for whatever purpose you need them. They’re also stackable and can have airtight lids so that things stay dry and dust-free for years.

If you have exposed rafters, purchase a sheet of plywood that fits the dimensions of the space and create a loft area to store camping gear, Christmas decorations or other items you need to keep but are too bulky or used to infrequently to store anywhere else. Hanging items from hooks is another good way to eliminate clutter. Shop your local True Value for a variety of hooks and hangers. Simply secure them to wall studs or ceiling rafters. You can hang items such as luggage, gardening tools, ladders, bicycles, toys, etc. Hooks are easier to install if you first drill a hole that’s slightly smaller than the hook’s screw. For example, when adding hooks to concrete walls, drill holes, insert plastic wall anchors then screw in the hooks.

Step 5: Buy or Build Shelves

Installing shelves on the walls of the garage is an excellent way to keep items out of the way but within easy reach when needed. There are a number of options available commercially, but you can also build a basic utility shelf. Remember, when buying wood, that the top and bottom sections and the two sides should be the same length. Therefore, each shelf should be 1-1/2″ shorter than the top and bottom pieces.

Mark the measurements on your boards with a pencil line. Using c-clamps, attach the board to sawhorses, a sturdy table or a workbench, positioning your pencil line just off the edge. Double-check your measurements. Carefully cut the wood using a handsaw or circular saw. Sand the rough-cut edges with sandpaper.

Glue the ends of the two side pieces to the inside edge of the bottom piece with wood glue. Once the glue dries, attach the top piece in the same way. After gluing the unit together, use wood screws to mount the top and bottom pieces to the sides. This will make your shelves sturdier. Mark a dot in each corner of the top and bottom pieces of wood about 1-1/2″ to 2″ from the top and bottom edges and about 3/8″ from the outside edges. Using a drill bit that’s a little smaller in diameter than your flathead wood screws, drill holes at each of the marks through the top and bottom pieces into the side pieces. Doing this before you install the screws should keep the wood from splitting. Put the screws in and tighten with a screwdriver.

Determine the placement of the shelves and, using a ruler, mark a line on each side of the unit. Screw-in L-brackets so that the top of the bracket is level to the line you just drew. Use two brackets per side. Now slide the shelves in so they rest on the brackets.

10 Smart Garage Storage Ideas

Is your garage a mess? Instead of letting it be a chaotic dumping ground for toys and tools, use garage organization systems to transform it into a functional room where everything you need is neatly corralled and easy to access.

When exploring garage storage ideas, start by looking at your space and stuff. Once you’ve identified what you want to keep, separate it into categories. For example, if you have many bins or boxes, you may want shelving to get them off the floor. If you have a lot of tools, you might want a track system. Then, use our list of essential garage storage ideas that you can combine to turn your garage into a temple of efficiency.

Install wall shelves.

Wall shelves are a smart way to add more storage without taking up precious floor space. Wall shelves in the garage are great for holding small to medium-sized bins. Pre-made shelving units come in a range of prices and durability.

Here are some different options for wall shelves that work well in a garage:

  • FLEXIMOUNTS 2-Pack 2x6ft 24-inch-by-72-inch Wall Shelf
  • SafeRacks Garage Wall Shelf Two-Pack 18″x48″
  • ClosetMaid 2845 ShelfTrack 4ft. Pantry Organizer Kit, White

Use a track system

A track system has a horizontal track that holds adjustable hooks or grips that can hang all sorts of items. These systems are great for hanging hedge trimmers, shovels, hedge clippers, or any other long tool with a handle. This makes it easy to access frequently used items while keeping them organized.

Here are a few different track systems worth considering to corral your yard tools:

  • Ultrawall Garage Storage System
  • CRAFTSMAN Versatrack Garage Storage System
  • Wallmaster Tool Organizer

Pick standalone hooks for bulky items.

Standalone wall hooks can be used in several ways to make more efficient use of vertical space in your garage. First, heavy-duty hooks are a convenient and affordable way to organize large bulky items, from bicycles to ladders to hoses.

Below are some options for heavy-duty hooks to put in your garage:

  • YYT Heavy Duty Garage Hooks
  • Shepard Hardware Garage Hooks
  • Sandel Garage Storage Utility Hooks

One of the most tried-and-true garage tool storage ideas, a pegboard, is a simple way to organize small hand tools and other frequently used items. Hang one above your workbench and hook your stuff in. Pegboard systems are endlessly customizable to create a spot for every brush or wrench. Combine wallboard with a set of pegboard hooks to get started.

Check out some of these pegboard systems you can use to free up space in your garage today:

  • WallControl Galvanized Steel Peg Board
  • WallPeg Black Plastic Pegboard Panels
  • Pegboard Hook Assortment

Make use of standalone shelving units.

If you don’t want to install shelves directly onto your walls, standalone shelving units are just as good at getting your tools and boxes up off the floor. Sturdy and durable options may cost a bit upfront but should last years.

These are some standalone shelving units you might want to consider:

  • Metro Super Erecta Industrial Wire Shelving
  • Giantext Storage Shelving
  • SafeRacks Garage Shelving

Utilize overhead storage space.

Organized garage with a lot of storage, bikes stored overhead

Don Mason / Getty Images

If you’ve occupied every wall and still have things to store, look up! Overhead storage racks are a great place to stash bulky, occasional-use items that aren’t excessively heavy, like camping gear or sports equipment.

These are some popular overhead storage racks to look into:

  • FLEXIMOUNTS 4×8 Overhead Garage Rack
  • MonsterRax 4×8 Overhead Rack
  • SafeRacks 4×8 Overhead Storage Rack

Are you looking to get into some true garage organization DIY? There are plenty of ways to build your own garage storage systems. First, create an overhead rack that holds plastic totes. For each rack, screw two pieces of 2×4 to the ceiling with 3.5-inch screws spaced every two feet. Make sure to screw the pieces into the ceiling joists. Next, space the 2x4s apart exactly the width of the top of your storage bins. Next, centre and screw the two 1x4s into the 2x4s with 2-inch screws. This will create a lip that you can slide your bins into to keep them off the floor.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • Two 2x4s
  • Two 1x5s
  • Rubbermaid Roughneck Storage Totes
  • Cordless drill
  • 3.5-inch screws
  • 2-inch screws

Use PVC pipes to hold odds and ends.

White PVC pipes aren’t just for plumbing. PVC is easy to cut and screw or mount to garage walls to holster everything from screwdrivers and pencils to rake handles and fishing poles. Choose the desired diameter and cut the pipes to the appropriate length to hold the specific items. Mount pipes parallel to your walls or at a 45-degree angle using a long wood screw. Create an assorted item organizer using a trash can filled with PVC pipes cut to length and placed inside to fill the can.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • PVC pipe
  • PVC pipe saw or cutter
  • 2-inch screws

Build shipping pallet storage racks.

Wooden pallets are brilliant for DIY garage organization. Long-handled tools like brooms and rakes can slip easily in between boards mounted against a wall. Use the slats for additional storage by hanging small baskets from them. You can often find free pallets in nearby warehouses or industrial parks. Spray paint them to match your room or a fun colour to add some personality.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • Shipping pallets
  • Storage baskets
  • Spray paint
  • 3.5-inch screws

Stash your nails and screws in Mason jars.

Here’s one last space-saving hack for miscellaneous small items. You can create this simple DIY storage rack if you have a wooden shelf with some space underneath. First, use screws or epoxy to affix the mason jar lids in a row on the bottom of your wood shelf. Then fill the jars with things like nails, screws, and staples. Finally, screw the jars into their lids, and you have yourself a handy Mason jar storage rack.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • Wide mouth jars with lids
  • 1-inch screws
  • Epoxy adhesive
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