How to Organize Your Garage
While it may not be intentional, most people have their garage as a dumping ground for everything. Besides providing ample storage for your motor vehicle, the garage houses a plethora of home and gardening essentials, ranging from lawn equipment, outdoor toys, tools, and more. Factually, most people dispose of their worn-out items, including mattresses, after purchasing new mattresses in the garage. That said, organizing your garage presents some challenges, especially when you have to place your cars, sporting equipment, cleaning supplies, and beach chairs in one space.
That said, consider the following tips for organizing your garage effectively.
- Clean and Organize the Garage into Zones
Begin organizing your garage by cleaning and categorizing it into zones. Depending on the items that you have in the garage, you can have more than seven zones in the garage. Like most homeowners, you can have a car supplies zone, sports equipment zone, tools zone, exercising area, laundry zone, and much more. Creating zones in your garage, like in any other department store, makes it easy to locate every item.
Once you have the zones, you can assess the needed space for each zone and plan accordingly. For instance, if you have more items for car supplies, leave a considerably bigger space for this zone. As you pack the zones, sort the items as either for keeps, to be donated, to sell, or to toss. You should consider letting go of items such as outgrown toys, those beyond repair, expired chemicals, and anything that you haven’t used in a long time.
As you sort the items in your garage, below are some items you shouldn’t store in the garage.
- Paint – extreme heat or cold can ruin the paint. As such, always keep them in temperate areas out of your garage.
- Propane – a slight spark in the garage can ignite these fumes. Therefore, keep propane tanks outdoors and not in the garage as many people do.
- Paper goods – paper items are a magnet for bugs and roaches. Such bugs are unpleasant visitors in your garage. Move paper items to the pantry.
- Refrigerator – keeping refrigerator in the garage drain a lot of energy and space.
- Pet food – pet food will attract possums and other animals into the garage. Always keep them sealed containers and observe safe pet food storage measures.
- Plan Garage Storage
While most people prefer buying an organizing system in their garage, it is prudent to take a conservative approach to your garage storage. Start with the basic garage organizers, such as shelving and expand slowly. When planning storage, prefer using shelves to closed cabinets. Shelves are easily accessible and less expensive. You can also easily scan the contents.
Cabinets are not a good choice, as the included doors will give you an excuse to keep items disorganized. The doors can hide evidence of disorganization, quickly becoming messy. That aside, take advantage of vertical, overhead spaces, and other garage storage systems.
- Vertical Organizing Systems
Vertical organizing systems that can be used in the garage include pegboards, track-based systems, and panels. Pegboards are widely available and easy to install compared to other systems. They can be trimmed to different sizes or painted for a customized appearance. Pegboards, however, are not sturdy enough and can only handle lightweight tools. You cannot use them to hang heavy items, such as bicycles.
Track-based systems, as the name suggests, hang from a single track fixed to the walls. As such, they are comparably sturdy and can bear heavy weight. The only issue with tracks is that you should be leveled to maintain the standard hangs straight. They are also excellent for finished and plumbed garage walls.
Another way to use the vertical space in your garage is by installing panels. For this, the finished garage wall is slotted plastic panels that can hold shelves, hooks, and cabinets. Panelized systems put to use every inch of the garage wall. The only drawback is that professionals should install them, which can be costly.
- Overhead Spaces
You can leverage the garage ceilings for various items. You can keep flat items, such as seasonal fishing gear and ladders, which are not used daily. You should only ensure that shelves hanging from the ceilings do not interfere with the garage door’s normal operations. Your overhead storage should also provide enough clearance from other working spaces.
- Install a Workbench
For occasional DIYers, installing a workbench is an excellent addition to their garage. The best way to have this while keeping your garage organized is by installing a wall-mount fold-down model. They offer sturdy working surfaces and can be tucked away when not in use. Such benches also have built-in drawers that make it easy to store your items.
Evidently, organizing your garage is not a simple task. However, once you are done, you will make it appealing and feel a sense of accomplishment. The biggest challenge thereafter is maintaining the garage organized. Consider doing a regular quick sweep, either weekly or monthly, to maintain its appearance. Since garages are high traffic areas, you will take less time by organizing them often.