Garages can turn into the family museum. Those start and stop DIY projects end up there as does the lawn equipment, old chairs and, if there’s room, the cars.
Organizing the car space or turning it into a workout room or workshop can seem like a daunting task. Not only do you have to decide what to keep, but also figure out how to make room for everything. Decide what you want to use the space for and stick to the plan. The more you use it for extraneous storage, the tougher it will be to make it anything but a landfill.
Here are seven tips to get your garage in shape.
1. Clean Out the Garage Completely
Having a clean slate will help you consider how the space is organized. If there are leftover items from the previous owners or your forgotten toys that have been sitting around for years, now is the time to toss them.
2. Sort Your Items
Organize what you have in likeminded collections. Divide the gardening, woodworking, automotive and other connected tools and objects into piles. It will give you a better sense of how to split up the storage. Now is a good time to decide what you’re going to keep and trash. If you need a maybe pile (most people do) sort some things there as well.
3. Make a Floor Plan
Don’t just start throwing items back where you think they should go. Sit down with a piece of paper or an iPad and think through where everything will go. If you have a measuring tape, you can be even more accurate about what will be able to fit in the corners, on the walls and above the workbench.
You can figure out what belongs on a peg board or in the garden shed or elsewhere.
Don’t forget about clearance, not only for your car, but also to walk around the storage and through the garage. Are you going to have a workbench? You’ll probably need a few feet around it to get anything done. You need to decide out how much space you need above your head for a car to fit and how much room you’ll need to wiggle around anything you’ve parked.
4. Plan Out Your Storage Space
This may seem obvious: Don’t get storage before you’ve figured what you need. Plenty of people putter around their hardware store, see shelving and buy it, a lot of it, before realizing what they do and don’t need.
Once you know which items you want easily accessible and the others you hidden view, you can figure out your storage space. Of course there are a wide variety of options for storage — from leftover bedroom furniture to the range of shelving you can find at the big box hardware store.
Homeowners who want the garage to feel like an extension of their home can consider custom-made cabinets. At a site like garagestoragecabinets.com
, you can find ideas for cabinets that can store tools of all shapes as well as wall-mounted shelving, and overhead storage racks. Make sure to consider the amount of weight the shelves need to hold and the size of items you plan to store on them.
Don’t be afraid to look for those clever solutions, like hanging a wheelbarrow, shovel or seeder on the wall. Look up videos and posts for that specific item you need to store. A hook, bag or bin may exist that will make things easier.
5. Use Vertical Space
You don’t just have the floors for storage. Some bikes, tools and tires can be hung on the wall. Certain cabinets are designed hang from the ceiling. You can also hang a ladder horizontally above your head.
If you have a lot of tools that need to be stored, a pegboard can be a great solution. It will free up space in your toolbox and make finding regularly used tools easy.
6. A Parking Guide Helps
Several types of guides can ensure your parked car allows for an appropriate amount of access to all parts of the garage. Some people hang a tennis ball from the ceiling to guide the driver into a car port. Other homeowners place a heavy plank of wood to stop the vehicle from going forward beyond a certain point. You can even stick a yellow piece of tape on the floor and use the car’s rear view camera to make sure the back bumper aligns well with the garage door.
7. Add Cushioning
If you have storage cabinets, try to make sure they won’t open onto your car or workout area. If your car door might bump up against a shelf or or cabinet, consider adding foam cushions to the edges to safeguard against dents and scratches. Pool noodles can be cut open and used to cover corners.
Finally, if you want to be happy with your garage makeover, don’t rush to get it done. The revamp may take several days spaced out over weekends. The more you plan, the more satisfied you’ll be with the results.