If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, we recommend taking full advantage of the extra storage space. Given that many homeowners are now spending the majority of their time at home (thanks to the novel Coronavirus), it’s more important than ever to maximize the utility of the garage. After all, a garage can be used in a number of ways. From home gyms and craft workshops to storage sheds and makeshift playrooms, the way in which you choose to use a garage will depend on your family’s unique needs.
First thing’s first: how do you plan to use the garage? Unfortunately, the garage tends to be the place in the house where junk accumulates the fastest. From recycled goods and random boxes to miscellaneous items and large sports equipment, most people have an assortment of unorganized belongings taking up space in their garage. Before you begin to declutter and organize, determine how exactly you want to use the space. Do you simply need more storage? Do you need a workshop or toolshed? Do you need a space for large vehicles or large equipment? What about a home gym or a space for the kids to hang? If you plan to use the garage as extra space for storage (as most people do), you’ll need to start brainstorming ways to do that. If you plan to use the garage as an extra room (think: home gym or playroom), then you’ll need to think about ways to clear the clutter and heat and cool the space.
After you’ve determined how to use the garage, it’s time to start purging all of those unused and unnecessary belongings. We recommend first ditching anything that is considered trash. Bring unused cardboard boxes to your local recycling center and unused paint or other hazardous materials to your local hazardous waste facility drop-off. Once you’ve eliminated the trash, decide which gently-used items you wish to donate or sell. Many charities, such as Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill, will even come pick up your items for you
Now that the garage is decluttered, the next step is to decide on a layout that works best for your needs. For instance, if you need space for a workshop and table, then it might be best to plan the rest of the garage layout around that. If you need space for two cars, then you’ll need to figure out the best layout for storage solutions around the cars. Typically, this mean vertical storage with either cabinets, shelving or a combination of the two.
Speaking of cabinets and shelving, it’s now time to determine what storage essentials are needed. Start by measuring the widths and lengths of the areas you wish to cover in storage systems. This will allow you to better visualize the space to choose the correct storage essentials. For hidden storage, we recommend installing cabinets along the walls. Many homeowners opt for free-standing cabinets, which can be moved around as needed. For a more permanent option, choose wall-mounted cabinets. If you’d like to be able to see all of your stored items at once, we recommend opting for open shelving. Homeowners have a wide range of shelving options to choose from, including wire shelving, wood shelving, plastic shelving and steel shelving. To keep items neatly organized in the garage, we recommend purchasing bins and baskets that fit on shelves and inside cabinets.
Tips For Organizing Your Garage
The following tips for efficiently organizing garage space range from simple filing methods to creative uses of overhead space. Also included are tips for cleaning garage floors and painting or decorating the walls to make the space more attractive.
Whether your garage is large or small, you can maximize that space with one or more of the following cool organization tricks for garage areas.
Sort The Items
Organize the items in your garage by category. Chances are good there are some items that you pull from your garage periodically and other items that you no longer use but still wish to keep. You probably have a number of items that could either be donated or discarded, too. In terms of purpose and necessity, the items in your garage could be sorted as follows:
- Regular: Tools, sporting equipment
- Seasonal: Christmas decorations, fans, wine coolers
- Sentimental: Old photo albums, memorabilia, family heirlooms
- Outdated: Outgrown clothing, old appliances
Once you determine which category each item in your garage falls into, make shelves or reserve cabinets for items in the first three categories. Set aside the outdated items and donate them to the nearest Salvation Army drop-off location.
Paint The Garage Walls
Do something to make the interior walls of your garage more visually appealing. For example, if you paint the walls a striking colour or adorn them with eye-fetching wallpaper, you will be less inclined to allow items to pile up going forward. At the same time, you will be more likely to notice the walls each time you enter the garage, and this will make any future pileups seem like more of an aberration.
For example, a pink or silver garage wall would be hard to ignore. The stark contrast of stacked boxes against such a wall would likely impel you to keep items picked up on a more proactive basis. A wall bedecked with checker-print wallpaper could have a similar positive effect.
In essence, the space inside a garage is unlikely to be treated as an afterthought when space itself holds its own allure.
Add And Optimize Storage Options
Once you divide items by categories of need, place each grouping closest to where the items in question need to be at the time that you use them. For example, outdoor items such as your hose, rake and lawnmower should be located near the garage door. Holiday decorations, on the other hand, should be boxed together on a shelf or in a cabinet near the interior door to your living quarters.
Granted, you do not want to line your garage walls with too many shelves or cabinets, as doing so would limit space for vehicles. Ultimately, the best way to maintain a tidy garage is to organize the things that you do need into specific storage spaces and let go of items you no longer need.
GET COMBINATION STORAGE
One of the easier ways to organize the items you store in your garage is to buy a multi-purpose storage unit with horizontal as well as vertical storage options. A storage unit equipped with sliding doors could help you optimize space, even in a one-car garage.
In the horizontal half, you could store toolboxes on the bottom shelf, memorabilia boxes on the second shelf and seasonal decorations on the top shelf. Meanwhile, the vertical half could be used to store standing equipment like skis, golf clubs, a rake and a shovel.
Optimize Overhead Space
In garages as well as living quarters, an often-overlooked space-saving option is a space above your head. If your garage has a high ceiling, there is plenty of storage potential that could be harnessed with the addition of overhead storage units.
Along the wall, you could stack a tall column of shelves or cabinets and keep a ladder close by for when you need to access the top shelves. On the upper back wall of your garage, you could even attach a set of cabinets along with the space between the interior door and ceiling.
Use Sporting Items As Wall Hangings
Some of the items stored in your garage could likely be used to liven up the walls. For example, sporting items can serve as visual props and reminders of your favourite sport. Surfboards are a classic example of a sporting item that has visual as well as functional appeal. On the days and months when you’re not out surfing, store the boards vertically with fasteners against the wall for all to see.
Turn Discarded Furnishings Into Storage
If you have an old, long-disused drawer set under those boxes of old magazines and trophies in your garage, those drawers could perhaps be used to empty out those boxes. Instead of having boxes of old miscellanea stacked upon one another, each box could be unloaded into a separate drawer. On top of the drawers, you could place a set of shelves to organize the items you use more regularly, such as tools and bicycle helmets.
Liven Up The Garage Floor
There are many ways to optimize the storage space and revitalize the walls in your garage, but have you considered the garage floor? Truth be told, most people pay little mind to the garage floor, and understandably so. Most garage floors are made of grey concrete and are often tracked with dirt and stained with drops of oil. The thing is, a garage floor does not have to be so bland.
There are several things you can do to make a garage floor more aesthetically pleasing. The two most popular options are tiles and polymer coating, which make garages livelier and dirt less noticeable. The presence of tiles or a shiny coat of polymer also serves as reminders to take the mop out for a stroll on your garage floor from time to time.
Choose Fancy Cabinets
The cabinets that you place in your garage for storage purposes do not need to be bland-looking and strictly functional. Storage cabinets can actually be classy and visually striking. Instead of generic particleboard cabinets, go for something made from nice finished wood. For added safety, have the cabinets treated with a fire-resistant polymer
Make Better Use Of Space
Whether or not you opt to use overhead space for storage, the organization of your garage could be a whole lot neater with off-ground storage units. Attach a set of cabinets to your garage wall with a foot or two of clearance space underneath. This will make the task of floor cleaning a whole lot easier and also leave space clear for items that must be stored separately, such as oil cans and gas tanks.
5 Tricks For An Organized Garage
Your garage does not have to serve as a simple storage area for occasional-use belongings and your vehicles. On the contrary: a garage could serve as an additional part of your living quarters. After all, when you need to park your vehicle, there’s always the driveway.
Before we continue with some ideas about how to turn your garage into a comfortable and capable part of your larger home, it’s worth noting that insulated garage doors are definitely your friend if you want the best room-upgrade experience possible. When compared with retrofitted DIY-insulation solutions or drafty old doors that probably needed maintenance a decade ago, new insulated garage doors deliver truly outstanding energy savings and aesthetic appeal. New doors can upgrade your garage space to make this the most welcoming room possible.
With that in mind, the following five ideas represent just a fraction of how your garage could be transformed into a dream space.
A garage could provide optimal space in which to get your work done — and the work in question is not limited to the kind you perform on your car. With your driveway as the new designated parking space, the garage could become your home office.
If you work from home, the garage could provide just enough indoor amenities for a workspace but without the distracting comforts of your living room. With a tiled or polymer-coated floor and painted, subtly decorated walls, a desk and a set of cabinets, your garage could have the atmosphere of office space — one that you can arrive at within seconds of your morning coffee.
Homeowners generally see the garage as separate from a living space, which can be one of the greatest psychological advantages of using your garage as a home office. Effectively, the workday begins and ends the moment you pass through that door between your garage and living quarters. After all, it’s not as if you would be inclined to slack off inside your garage for eight straight hours.
A garage could provide ample space to conduct band rehearsals or musical recordings. Perhaps you head a local rock or jazz combo? Or perhaps you have a teenage son or daughter who plays electrified musical instruments? The garage can serve as the perfect setting for such activities. Space can even be sound-insulated to stop noise from travelling to your living quarters or to neighbouring households.
One of the most effective ways to keep the noise of amplified instruments contained in a rehearsal space is to build a “room within a room.” In your garage, this would entail the construction of an inner four-wall structure.
If the painting has long been your hobby, a larger workspace could allow you to take the pastime more seriously. The garage could offer ample space for canvases, painting supplies, a chair and an easel. Furthermore, the walls in your garage could be used to showcase your finished works.
To make this transformation, paint the garage walls a neutral colour, tile the floor and organize your supplies in a neat filing cabinet. Once you feel confident enough in your body of work, you could invite local art enthusiasts to see the work exhibited in your garage-turned-art studio.
If you host parties at your residence, the garage is a good place to keep the attendees entertained. You could set up a cocktail booth in one corner, a set of DJ turntables in another corner and bedeck the walls and ceiling with party lights. Best of all, any mess your guests make will be confined to the garage area. No more dirty glasses or strewn confetti throughout your living room after you host the next big event!
If properly transformed, the garage area could be the perfect space for children to play. Of course, you would need the area clear of tools, flammable materials or any supplies typically stored in a garage — all should be replaced with building blocks, stuffed animals and other toys and props for children.
The floors should be covered over with a soft material such as foam mats or thick carpets. The walls should be painted in bright colours, perhaps with cartoon characters or depictions of Disney-like castles, fairies and giant mushrooms. The main attraction could be a mini playground set.