The main purpose of a garage used to be to shield your car. Nowadays, garages have become a dumping ground and personal storage space for everyone in the family. If your garage has become overrun with tools, outdoor gear, and everything else in between, it’s time to corral the clutter and turn your garage into a more manageable space. Here are some ideas on how to get your garage in tip-top storage shape.
Sort It Out
A lot of the clutter taking up valuable space in your garage are items that are broken, old, or expired – such as household chemicals. Start with a clean slate by clearing everything out of your garage and into the driveway. Sort everything into piles: things to donate, things to toss, things to recycle and things to keep. Donate reusable items (such as outgrown toys or books) or properly recycle or discard anything broken beyond repair.
Sort items you”ll be keeping into categories such as: car maintenance, pool toys, etc. Place items in stackable clear-plastic bins. If you’re using cardboard boxes, be sure to label them so you know exactly where everything is.
Designate An Area
Map out your garage space as you would any other room in your house. Separate the garage into zones and place similar items together in each area. For example, sports equipment, lawn care and gardening supplies and seasonal items should be grouped together in their own space.
Make the most of your vertical space by installing shelves. Shelving comes in many options – from floating shelves to wire shelving units that are set on wheels so you can easily move them to different areas of the garage. Adjustable shelves make it easy to make room for different-size objects as your storage needs change. Pegboards or wall boards are another perfect way to hang your most-used tools. Hooks keep frequently used tools such as screwdrivers and hammers within reach. Shelves will not only make your space look neater, they’ll also keep your valuables safe from any dampness on the floor.
To get large items out of the way and off the floor, such as ladders, shovels and rakes, use heavy-duty hooks. Wall racks are another great way to make use of every inch of wall space. Bike racks mounted to the walls safely store all your bicycles out of the way.
Use as much ceiling space as possible. Ceiling-mounted storage gives you loads of extra space to store items you don’t use often such as holiday decorations, luggage, coolers and other bulky items.
Cover It Up
If you’d rather not look at items on open shelves, consider installing built-in cabinetry or standing cabinets where you can tuck items behind doors away from view. Another inexpensive option is to hang curtain rods and curtain panels to hide storage bins and equipment at a moment’s notice.
Other Handy Tips
Repurpose a mesh laundry bag to corral wayward soccer balls, basketballs, and other sports gear. Children’s toys should be stored within their reach. The easier it is to put something away, the more likely it is to get done.
Designate a safe space for hazardous materials like fertilizers, pesticides and paint, so kids can’t get into them. Ideally, hazardous chemicals as well as sharp tools should be stored in locked cabinets.
Place your recycling bins next to the door leading into the house to make it easy to toss items into them.