Does getting something out of the garage involve a lot of sorting through piles? Is it even possible for you to get something out of the garage when you need it? You’re not the only one — your garage can quickly get cluttered and chaotic without a real storage system and some kind of plan for using it effectively. Never fear — you don’t need to be a seasoned handyman to effectively organize your garage. Building garage storage is fairly easy, but you can also buy shelves and cabinets for your garage.
Take advantage of vertical and overhead space, and store things with a mind for how easily and how often you need to be able to get them out again.
1) Make a Plan for Storing Your Stuff
Before you reorganize your garage, you need some kind of plan for how you’re going to store your stuff. Usually, people plan to store stuff that they don’t need to use often in the hardest-to-reach places. For example, Christmas ornaments and Halloween decorations can go in overhead storage, loft storage accessible only by ladder, or at least on the top shelf. Stuff you need to get out more often, like your lawn mower or your children’s sports equipment, should be more accessible. Think about how often you get things out over the course of the year before deciding how to store. Only use something for part of the year? If you use it regularly during its season, like you do with your lawn mower, you’ll want to leave it in a more accessible spot all year round, rather than rearrange your garage two or three times a year.
2) Install a Vertical Storage System
Much of the floor space in your garage will be taken up with parking cars, ideally, so you’ll be left with just the edges of the room to work with. Use your vertical space and install storage systems that hang on the wall. A pegboard with hooks is a great solution for storing tools — you can arrange and rearrange the hooks and pegs as much as you want, and there are several different types of hooks, pegs, and even small bins you can hang to hold hammers, wrenches, and power tools or power tool kits like the ones in the Milwaukee M12 series, that come in a bag.
3) Use Ceiling Storage
Overhead storage is a good option for stashing the stuff you use least often, like holiday decorations, or even stuff that you don’t use at all, like family heirlooms or mementos you’re saving for the kids. You can buy metal overhead racks that bolt to the ceiling of your garage, or, if you’re handy, you can build your own. If you don’t feel like building overhead shelves in your garage, try a simple sliding storage system instead.
4) Add Shelves
Shelves are a great way to add storage to your garage, and it’s relatively easy for even a novice carpenter to install wooden shelves in a finished or unfinished garage. Wire rack shelves are also a good option. Corner shelves are a great way to take full advantage of the space you have available to you — build them starting halfway up the wall so you have room to park your lawn mower underneath, and then you can store your lawn mower motor oil, fuel stabilizer, gas can, and other lawn accessories right there where you need them.
5) Invest in Storage Cabinets
Pre-made storage cabinets are a lifesaver if you can’t or don’t want to build your own garage storage. You can buy plastic cupboards for lawn and garden tools, metal utility shelves for heavy duty stuff, and a range of metal tools cabinets and storage lockers. If you have kids, and you don’t want your hard work at organizing the garage going to waste, you should invest in storage lockers for each kid. Deck them out like lockers at school, and insist that they store their sports equipment, uniforms, shoes, and other personal items in their own garage lockers. When facing the task of organizing your garage, remember — it’s a clean slate. You can organize your garage however you want, in whatever configuration works best for you and your family. So brainstorm some ideas, and get cracking — your perfect garage storage system awaits.