Tips and Tricks for Organizing your Garage
As anyone with a garage knows, a garage is often the place where something goes if you don’t know what else to do with it. Consequently, garages can become cluttered easily. Yet, a few simple tips for organizing your garage can help reduce the clutter and create an orderly, organized space. Your garage will not only look neater, but you’ll also be able to find things quickly.
Additionally, you have likely invested a significant amount of money in your automobile, you should be keeping it in your garage if possible. If your car remains outdoors, it can be damaged by several things, including pollen, tree sap, droppings from birds and even ultraviolet rays. If you store your vehicle in the garage, you can prolong its life and keep it better shape by avoiding any acts of vandalism or weather-related accidents, such as tree limbs falling on it.
The first step you should take when considering how to organize your garage is to sort the items into groups. Go through everything, including those wedding presents you may have never gotten around to using.
You should also definitely make the decision that you are willing to get rid of some things. After all, if they have been sitting unused in your garage for years, chances are good you either forgot about them or truly have no use for them. One of the best organizing garage tips is to make sure you get rid of plenty of things, such as toys your children have outgrown, broken items you do not have time to fix and anything that may have expired.
After you have gotten rid of what you don’t want, you need to start organizing the remaining items. One of the best ways to organize your garage is to put the remaining non-trash items into two groups: one to keep and the other to donate or sell.
Once you’ve decided which items you are keeping, you’ll need to think about where you want to store the various items in the garage. This should be dependent upon what the items are used for. Items that you use frequently inside the home should be stored close to the door leading from the home to the garage.
There are also items that should not be stored in the garage, as this is a place that’s generally subjected to extreme heat or cold. Paint is an item that should be stored in a more temperate area, such as a mud room or even a basement if it’s insulated. And even though some people like to keep an extra refrigerator in an uninsulated garage, you may find that your energy costs skyrocket. Especially during the summer when the refrigerator is working on overtime in a hot garage.
Propane is another item that should be stored somewhere else besides a garage. It would be better to store propane outdoors, somewhere it will not be close to a spark that might ignite it. Paper products and pet food are also items that some people choose to store in their garages. This is not a good idea, as bugs and animals have easier access to the garage area.
Outdoor tools can be placed together near the door leading from the garage to the outdoors so that you have easy access when working in the yard. Sawing off pieces of PVC pipe and screwing them into the wall is a great way to create holders for your gardening tools.
Children’s toys should be stored somewhere in the garage where the children will be able to reach them easily. Wire wall baskets are great for storing all those types of toys, which otherwise inevitably end up under your car or in the way. If you have young children, you will want to ensure that any chemicals that could be hazardous to them are stored well away from their reach.
Holiday and seasonal items can be stored in an area that will not need to be accessed every day. Labeled containers will help keep these in one place and easy to find.
Choices for Storage Units
One of the best pieces of advice when considering how to organize a garage on a budget is to first make sure that you keep everything off the floor whenever you can. You can do this economically by purchasing clear, stackable, plastic bins with lids. Or, you could buy clear jars, which are the perfect places to store small items.
Another method of storage in your garage is to consider using the ceiling of your garage to hang items — especially items that are both long and flat, such as fishing poles. Just be sure that you hang them in such a way that they do not interfere with the opening and closing of the garage door and will not hit the top of your car when you pull it into the garage.
Using shelving to get everything off the floor may be the best way to organize your garage space. Shelves are less expensive than cabinets and may make it easier to stay organized.
If you have a three-car garage, you are lucky enough to have a bit more room for storage space. One of our favorite 3-car garage organization ideas is to add a bike rack in the garage where you can have your children park their scooters and bicycles so they stay organized and out of the driveway.
Another option to store items in your garage is through the use of cabinets. You can customize the cabinets in a way that allows easy access to items that you use frequently, and higher or less accessible cabinets for items you don’t use very much, such as holiday decorations. Cabinets that lock are also great places for storing chemicals to keep them safely away from your children.
You may also want to look at a comprehensive system that you can purchase to organize your garage. If you are purchasing a system for storage and have extra money to spend, you might consider a type of panel system. Each wall has panels that are constructed of plastic and are made to accommodate a variety of storage options, including cabinets, shelving and hooks. It’s recommended to have this type of system installed by a professional.
Enhancing Your Storage With a Workbench
If you have cleaned out your garage to the point where you have a little extra wall space, consider purchasing or building a workbench. To save space, you may want to purchase a workbench that mounts on the wall and folds down.
With this you will have a sturdy worktable for your projects, but when folded it will give you additional space in your garage. If you’re installing a workbench in your garage, don’t forget to leave space to store screws, nails and other small items for easy access.
Fun Garage Storage Ideas
One of our favorite fun garage storage options would be to repurpose old school lockers if you can find them. Each school locker can be assigned to a family member so everyone has their own space for shoes, toys, tools and more!
To tackle a large amount of shoes laying around, consider buying a very large rack and putting it in the garage, where everyone has access and can put all of their shoes. If you don’t want to store your shoes in a conventional shoe rack, consider repurposing old crates. They’re perfect for storing your shoes and boots and will add character and style to your garage.
While you have decided to store your shoes in your garage, you may also want to think about making a section of the garage into the mudroom. Add some steps and a welcome mat to go from the garage into the house, along with some hooks on the wall to hang coats or wet clothes.
After organizing your garage, you may notice that the old concrete looks kind of dull compared to the new storage areas you have developed to clear your clutter. Consider coating your garage floor with a type of epoxy that will make the floor resistant to skids and will wipe off easily.
You may also want to consider upgrading the lighting in your garage, especially if your lighting is just a single bulb over each bay. Lighting upgrades can make a big difference to brightening up this space!
If an old or broken garage door is taking away from your newly maintained garage space, consider replacing it for a newer model. Newer garage doors open smoothly and much more quietly than older models, adding to the overall improvement of your garage area, and making it easier to get in and out of the garage.
For garage storage enthusiasts in the West Central Florida area, contact Banko Overhead Doors, Inc. For over thirty years, we have been the top installer of garages and garage door openers in the Tampa Bay area. Our professionalism and commitment to customer service means we’ll be able to help you find the best garage door for your needs at the right price. Plus, we love a well-organized garage!