By Kathleen Krueger, September 5, 2015
You will seldom find a garage that serves only as a shelter for vehicles. Our garages often serve as storage areas for lawn care equipment, sports equipment, gardening supplies and any excess items that haven’t found a spot inside the home. In addition, your garage is often used as a work area and includes the various hand and power tools you use on your projects, whether vehicle related or not. Some of our garages have gotten so filled with other ‘stuff’ that we don’t even have room for our vehicles any more.
Do you need to get rid of the things filling your garage? Should you rent a storage unit to keep it in? Both of those suggestions may have some merit, depending on your particular situation. Before you go to either of those extremes, why not just try making better use of the garage space you have? Organizational experts like Angelica Holiday from Organize Rescue have found that often times the issue isn’t too much stuff. Many homeowners just need to learn how utilize their storage space better, to make it more efficient.
Develop Storage Zones
Holiday suggests by creating zones for storing related items. This helps to maintain an organizational system. Everyone can quickly learn that all the sporting equipment can be found in one area of the garage and that is the same area it should be returned to. Lawn and garden tools and supplies are kept in another area. Occasional use items like holiday decorations and that big roaster you only use for large family gatherings can be kept in another area.
Get It Off the Floor
You generally are limited on floor space in a garage. They are designed to fit vehicles and allow for space to open doors, but don’t always have a lot of extra floor space on either side. If you do have some extra floor space, it will generally be along the wall that is opposite the overhead door. The solution, of course, is to use wall space for your storage areas.
“Hooks and hangers are a plenty at hardware stores,” Holiday reminds us. “Overhead storage bins are a super place for things you don’t have to get to on a regular basis.”
Hang bikes and sporting items on the walls. Garden tools can be kept neat and easily accessible in the same way. Pegboard has been the go-to item for tool organization for decades. Everything has its place and is easy to find at the same time. Add labels or draw a silhouette around each tool to be sure that each item gets returned to its designated spot.
Shelves placed high up on the end wall will work perfect for bins filled with holiday decorations, craft supplies, the tent and sleeping bags. Anything that doesn’t need to be accessed frequently and isn’t too heavy. Label the outside of your bins with large lettering so it is easy to determine what is in each one without taking it down and opening it. Using clear bins can also help solve the problem of identification.
For those smaller things and items you might want locked away, narrow cabinets can be placed below the shelves with a work counter on top. Keep fasteners, paints and hand tools put away and out of site.
It just takes a little thoughtful planning, and you will find that you have a lot more storage space available in your garage than you realize. Plus, plenty of room to park your vehicles too.