Garages are the most hardworking spaces in your home. Investing a few hundred dollars in garage organization tools during one weekend will pay off in savings of both time and money.
A clean and organized garage saves you time by keeping essentials in clear view, so you can find what you need without tripping over items or causing an avalanche whenever you pull something from the bottom of a pile.
You'll also save money because your sporting goods and tools will last longer when they’re stored safely from moisture, heavy weights and dust. Even your car will be protected from falling skis.
Step 1: Aim for spotlessly clean and clutter free
Start by cleaning out the junk. Release the clutter of your garage by selling or throwing away the things you never use. Getting rid of unneeded possessions makes more space for the ones you do need and use. Once that clutter is dwindled down to the necessities, organize it by category: athletic supplies, lawn and garden tools, carpentry tools, etc.
Step 2: Use suitable storage units
Take a look at what’s left and decide what storage elements would work best for you.
The essentials include:
- Closed storage: Make sure to include at least one closed-door, lockable unit. It's essential for keeping poisons like antifreeze, plant food or pest control products and sharp tools behind a locked door.
- Open shelving: Shelves are best for frequently used items which you need readily available and within reach. Vented metal styles, wood slats, or vented plastic minimize the volume of dust that can collect.
- Hooks, clamps, and holders: These allow you to make use of vertical space, getting big items like bikes, trikes and paddles, rakes and brooms off the ground and out of your way.
- Bags: Most wall-mounted garage organization systems include clamp-on mesh bags that make it easy to store soccer balls, basketballs, tennis balls, etc.
- Boxes and bins: Group irregular items and place them in big bins so you can put them under a shelving unit or work table. Group them accordingly so items are easy to find: bags of soil, grass seeds, etc. Boxes and baskets can also hold smaller items neatly on shelves.
Step 3: Paint and stain.
The floor can be transformed with acid stain for concrete or a heavy-duty floor paint. If you plan to park your car on your newly painted floor, lay a sheet of cardboard down to catch drips of oil. The garage walls can be painted as well, especially if they still look like they are part of a construction site. Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to the traditional white walls. Get creative!
Step 4: Make it your second home
Another major decision to be made prior to purchase is what kind of work areas you will need, and what kind of counter tops are appropriate for those areas. For instance, if you want to use garage space as a hobby area, you might want a sink area or solid surface counters. If you enjoy woodworking, you might need a wooden counter top. Figure out where these areas will be located and roughly sketch out how the area should look. Imagine yourself standing at the work area and think about the placement of things you will use. Thinking through this process will certainly make the space more user-friendly.
Ready to get your garage in order? Following those tips will help you find a place for everything and allow you to transform that dusty garage into something spotless in a short time.