11 Ways to Get Your Garage Organized
An organized garage is one of the most important aspects of an optimized home.
For many homeowners, the garage can be a touchy subject. Often it’s the case that a garage seems to have an abundance of space for storage, and then, before you know it, the space has all been used up.
You may even find that your cluttered garage is making it hard to find space for you to park your car inside it. Storing your vehicle in the garage can keep it much cleaner and help prevent damaging UV rays, falling debris, and other unexpected elements. When there’s garage space for your vehicle, you can also avoid getting into a boiling hot car in the summer or a freezing cold car in the winter months.
A well-organized garage should leave room for vehicles and plenty of stored items. It has been estimated that only around thirty percent of homeowners store their cars in their garages because of storage space issues. The key to optimizing the available space in your garage is setting out a methodical plan and sticking to it.
Getting your garage organized has additional benefits on top of just freeing up storage space. You’ll likely find that taking inventory of your possessions and donating unneeded items has a relaxing effect and gives you a clearer sense of what you have and what you need. There are also safety perks in making sure your items are stored correctly.
Of course, not everyone has a garage, and the advice in this article is adaptable to whether your main storage area is a shed, an attic, a crawlspace, a laundry room, a mudroom, or whatever else you have available. Even if your home is a condo or other compact living space, the storage principles you’ll find here are universal. Let’s take a look at how to get your storage space organized.
Draw Up Your Storage Plan
The first step in any large-scale organizational plan should be to list the necessary tasks and draw how it will look, particularly if you’re a visually-minded person. Write the dimensions of your garage, and make a note of the sizes of your large items. This will come in handy during trips to the hardware store when you consider what sizes of bins and shelves to buy.
Listing the items you’re planning to store in your garage is a great way to help find a way to store similar items together. For instance, things related to lawn maintenance should be found in the same general area, and so should tools, sporting equipment, and items related to car maintenance.
When drawing up a plan for organizing your garage, be sure to plan a space where your car will fit. Also, be sure to keep your most delicate and important items as far from the car as possible in case of unforeseen incidents.
You’ll want to consider having the items you use most frequently in the most accessible locations. While planning your garage storage layout with all these different factors in mind may sound complicated, you’ll likely find it satisfying to arrive at an ideal setup.
Remove Items That Shouldn’t Be in the Garage
While the garage is generally seen as a sufficient space to put items that there’s no room for in your living area, there are several items that organizing experts say shouldn’t be stored in the garage.
If your garage isn’t insulated, certain items you might not think of could be damaged by cold temperatures. For instance, if you have extra paint, it can be harmed by the cold and stored in a warmer area. You also should not store propane tanks in the garage, as sparks could ignite the tanks.
It’s generally considered not a good idea to store paper goods in the garage, as it can attract bugs. Instead, paper is better stored in pantry areas. The same goes for dog and cat food, which can attract unwanted animals to your garage. It can be a good idea to preventatively use safe, natural pesticides in your garage to prevent bug trouble.
Having a fridge in your garage is convenient for items there isn’t room for in your main fridge. However, there are pitfalls to maintaining a refrigerator in an uninsulated garage. It will likely have to work extra hard in warmer months, which can be a nightmare for energy consumption.
Utilize Overhead Space
One of the key contributors to disorganized storage spaces are long and bulky items that don’t fit naturally anywhere, taking up an unnecessary amount of room. Long items like yard tools, skis, snowboards, surfboards, patio umbrellas and other outdoor items can be stored out of sight in overhead storage spaces.
One simple DIY way to set up ceiling storage is connecting PVC pipes to your ceiling joists. These pipe roof racks are easy to set up and are a great, flexible way to get your large and long items off the ground and out of the way.
Implement Vertical Organizing
One popular garage organizational tool is pegboards. Pegboards are affordable storage solutions, and they offer unmatched flexibility. You can install them on any flat wall service and use as many pegs as you require to keep tools and materials out of the way and within easy reach.
Pegboards can be cut to fit the exact dimensions of your space and offer you the ability to paint them to create an aesthetically pleasing storage area. One downside of pegboards is that they generally aren’t strong enough to hang cumbersome objects.
Another popular customizable style of wall storage is track-based systems, which allow you to easily relocate items along the wall without lifting their full weight. A track system can also bear more weight than a pegboard, but it may be more challenging to set up, as you have to ensure the track is very level for it to run correctly.
Another flexible and customizable option for wall storage is panel solutions. They offer great strength and durability, in addition to a fresh look. A panel wall storage solution can be installed in a small wall segment or across an entire wall. One of the only downsides to wall panel storage is that it can be more expensive than other options.
Bins, Bins, Bins
There may be no more effective tool than stackable bins for practical storage in your garage. Stackable bins are affordable and versatile. Buying clear containers is generally a smart move, as they allow you to easily see what is inside them without having to open each bin and search through.
To maximize your space, you’ll want to stack bins as high as you can while ensuring that the top containers remain safely and easily accessible to you. If you’re finding it annoying to access the bins at the bottom of your stack, consider a storage tower with shelves between each bin to allow independent access.
If your garage ceiling is solid, storage bins can also be easily hung from the ceiling using a ceiling storage system built with a lip that the bin lids can slide right into.
Create Themed Shelves
There’s nothing more annoying than having to search through your storage area for tools and supplies before you can begin a project, particularly when you’re short on time. By creating themed shelving areas, you’ll always know the right general area to be searching for what you need.
For instance, set up separate shelving areas for car care products, gardening and yard care items, tools, and camping items. The great thing about organizing your storage space based on the activities the items involve is that it makes it easier for your garage to stay organized, which is always the hardest part. After all, you’ll always know where things go just by putting items near other related products.
Add Storage Cabinets
Many organizing experts recommend open shelves instead of cabinets because they’re easier to set up, generally cheaper, less space-intensive, and they allow you to quickly scan to find what you need without having to open any drawers.
However, you also likely have some objects you’d like to protect from any dust or dirt that makes its way into your garage. Installing cabinets up high, near the ceiling, can be a great way to ensure your cabinets are space-effective. If you have young children, lock cabinets are good for storing dangerous products and delicate items.
Set Up a Fold-Down Work Bench
If you’re the kind of person who likes to take on projects of any size, a workbench in your garage is essential. But if your garage area is small or monopolized by storage, you may find it hard to justify having a bulky desk taking up room.
A fold-down workbench can be taken on as a DIY project and involves only the wood for your bench, hinges, and wall mounting brackets. The great thing about a fold-down workbench is that it takes up almost no space at all when folded up but can extend to a full-size work area.
Consider an Epoxy Floor Coating
While putting an epoxy coating on your floor won’t help organize your garage’s clutter, it can help maximize the space available to you. That’s because, with an epoxy coating on your floor, spills can be wiped up quickly, making the surface akin to a countertop, opening up a range of projects that wouldn’t be feasible on a concrete floor.
There are benefits to the aesthetic improvements of a new anti-skid floor coating. You’ll find that your garage area will look fresher and more organized by covering the floor’s surface and removing its imperfections, making it feel more satisfying to keep the rest of the space tidy.
Use Corner Shelves
Shelves have been a significant theme of this article, and for a good reason. Whenever you find yourself running into storage space constraints, there are likely underutilized areas that could be put to use with the installation of a single shelf.
Corner shelves are a simple and affordable addition to any garage. Corner shelves can be built around existing wall studs, making them impressively strong and secure. Creating your custom shelf can cost you almost nothing as a DIY project, as all you’ll need is thin wood to serve as the shelf itself and thicker wood to use as a cleat to support it.
Try the Ceiling Tennis Ball Trick
You may have seen a tennis ball hanging from a string in someone’s garage before and wondered what it was for. The ceiling tennis ball trick involves parking your car in the ideal spot in your garage and then hanging a tennis ball from the ceiling so that it sits directly on the driver’s side of the windshield.
Once the tennis ball is hanging in the right spot, you can use it as a target when you’re pulling into your driveway. You’ll no longer have to worry about hitting anything or have to check whether you’ve pulled far enough into your garage. Since your car will always be parked in the same location, you can safely plan your garage storage around it. It’s a small detail that can go a long way in helping you keep your garage organized.
Great post, I find it really useful to know how to get .... . Thanks for sharing!
I'll definitely keep in mind all the tips..and will try to inculcate
most of them in my day-to-day life... they are really so appropriate
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