The dictionary’s definition of “garage” is, “a building where motor vehicles are stored.” In a perfect world, the garage would be just that—and only that. The reality is, most of us are faced with a lack of enough closet space and are forced to use our garage as a catchall for just about anything. Basically, if it doesn’t fit in the house, it is delegated to the garage. This can lead to a lot of disorganization, unless you conquer the chaos by creating ways for it to be functional for storage. Tackling this may seem overwhelming, but these practical tips will turn your garage space into the envy of the neighborhood.
Call for the Walls
Thanks to vehicles and large items like lawnmowers, snow blowers, and trash bins you probably don’t have much available floor space in your garage. What you do have is wall space, so think vertically! The tools to do this don’t have to be expensive, and can include:
- Shelving and Racks: Consider open shelving, instead of cabinets, to help you easily find what you’re looking for. Mount them to the wall or use multi-tiered shelving racks.
- Bins: Perfect for smaller items that all go together such as garden gloves, car washing supplies and small tools. Aim to use clear plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes—they easily let you see what’s stored inside and they stack better. Wire bins are great for quickly stashing frequently needed small items.
- Wall Slat Boards: Super handy for tiny items—screwdrivers, wrenches, tape, you name it.
- Hooks: Hooks are ideal for larger, bulkier items, like bikes, that you want to get off the floor but won’t fit easily onto shelves or into containers.
Rather than mixing up the items in your garage and just tucking them wherever they fit, try planning your garage organization with definite categories in mind. There’s no reason to have the all the sports equipment (golf, baseball, skiing, etc.) scattered in different places, and no reason why the lawn care items can’t all be consolidated. You can structure your space in a way that makes sense with a floor and wall plan. Household items should be closer to your home’s doorway; items that are frequently used outdoors should be easily accessed from the outside. Things you seldom use or only use seasonally, like holiday decorations, can be placed in out-of-the-way spots where they won’t take up prime real estate.
Consider obtaining a tool cart or several large toolboxes and designating them for all the tools associated with specific jobs like woodworking, electrical and sanding. Simply label, stack and store, and keep your items neatly contained.
Round up the family and perform an official sort-through of loose garage items that aren’t needed any longer. Consider making piles for “trash”, “give away” and “keep.” Any unwanted items you can get rid of will make the organizational process easier.