Gone are the days where we think “a garage is a garage is a garage”. A garage can easily become a disaster that is pushed down to the bottom of the list and forgotten about. However, from an organizational standpoint, why would we only keep a portion of our home organized but not all of it? Here are some tips and tricks to elevate your garage space and allow for more areas to properly and safely store additional items.
Most of the time, the garage is the last area we think of when we begin to plan “house projects”. A garage is typically used as an area to park our cars, a spot for our outdoor tools to pile up, and where dirty shoes are left. We’re used to seeing open walls and the entry-level grade cement flooring. This creates a sense of an “unfinished space”. By drywalling your garage and adding a layer of white paint, you not only create a completed space, you are also setting the groundwork to be able to install systems to allow for an organized space. Since we are attempting to curate a useful and practical area, sealing the cement with an epoxy, concrete seal, concrete polish or polyaspartic flooring will allow for a clean floor and will also add to the completed result. This will also protect the cement floor of your garage and avoid premature cracking down the road. Adding some standard carpet mats to the areas that you may be visiting frequently in your garage will also prevent unnecessary dirt buildup on the floor.
Now that your garage is finished and ready to be transformed into an additional organized storage space, this is the time to think about what you are wanting to keep in the garage. Think: holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, shoes, lawn tools, workbench/power tools, camping supplies, etc. Once you have the items you are looking to store in your garage planned out, think about the best ways to store them in a manner that is out of the way, able to be kept organized easily and efficiently set up. For some of those seasonal items, waterproof 27 gallon totes are a great option to keep your decorations and personal clothes safe, protected and in one easy to find area. But stacking them on top of eachother can create an issue down the road. It takes time to figure out which tote has the specific items you are looking for and to unstack the totes in order to get the exact tote you need. A label maker can make this process easier – label each tote with the contents inside so you do not have to open each lid in order to find what you are looking for. Also, with a few 2”x4”s and 1”x1”s, you can build a shelving unit that can hold all of the totes so that you can pull out any tote at any time without having to move any other tote in the process. Another option for seasonal clothes or jackets would be garage wardrobes that prevent dust build up.
For lawn tools, an organizer wall mount will allow for those tools to be hung on the wall allowing for more space on the ground. A wall peg board and pegs is a great way to keep your tools organized and easy to find, again, keeping open space on the ground. Place a shoe rack on a mat near the door into the house so that your shoes always have a home which results in dramatically reducing mud and dirt build up on your garage floor.
For any other larger items that may not fit into a tote or in a wardrobe, building shelving units along an empty wall will allow spaces to store those things. Think: flower pots, children’s toys, camping supplies or lawn chairs. For kayaks, bikes or paddle boards, you can hang hooks from the ceiling to bring those items up off the floor without taking up prime real estate on those freshly built shelves.
Whether you are preparing to sell your home or you are brainstorming alternative ideas for storage on your property, giving your garage an upgrade is always a good idea.