A garage is a terrific place for storage, but a lot of us fall into the trap of just putting stuff in there whenever we need to without a plan. Inevitably, we wind up with a monstrous pile of things that soon gets out of hand. If you want to use your garage for something besides a junk heap, you’ll need some smart and efficient garage storage products and ideas.
Tips for Garage Organization
You want a neat and organized garage that holds everything you need it to and, more importantly, is easy to access. Here are five ways you can make the most out of your garage and put it to work for you.
Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need
First, the hard part. It’s time to finally get rid of all those things that never see use anymore. It may seem like a no-brainer, but not being able to let go (or admit that we probably won’t use that thing we bought on impulse anymore) is usually why our garages become cluttered in the first place. Before you can get down to the business of organizing the stuff you need, you have to remove the things you don’t.
Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done, but here are a few questions you can ask yourself when deciding whether something needs to go.
- When was the last time I used this? If the answer is more than a year, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Does it have sentimental value? If so, how much? Enough to let it clutter my garage
- Do I actually need this? Redundant tools, equipment you use so little you could rent or borrow or just things that don’t contribute enough to your life to warrant the space are prime candidates for removal.
Make sure you and your family agree on what needs to go and what doesn’t. If there is disagreement, try giving each member an equally sized container and letting them keep everything they can fit inside it; everything else must go.
After you’ve got all the things you’re ready to evict from your garage, it’s time to decide what to do with them. Here are a few options:
- Have a garage sale.
- Donate them to charity.
- Recycle or repurpose them.
- Offer them to friends or family.
Once you’ve settled on a plan, stick to it and get rid of those useless items once and for all!
Use All of Your Garage, Get Some Shelves
We often forget that our garage is one of the biggest rooms in the house, and a lot of it goes unused. Not only does the garage have a lot of floor space, but it also has a lot of “airspace” as well. Many of the best garage storage ideas to utilize this space involve your walls.
First, shelving is your friend. Get a hold of some sturdy shelving, or just make some from a few pieces of wood; there are many guides on the internet that will teach you. Free standing shelving is larger and more difficult to make but has a higher load capacity than shelving attached to the wall. Stacking smarter with shelves can make your things more visible and accessible. Also, get shelves for the entirety of your walls up to the ceiling, and don’t waste any space. Then invest in a small ladder if you need assistance reaching. You simply can’t afford to ignore half of the space in your garage.
Cabinets with shelves are an option as well, but make sure of how much space you need before installing them. They make your garage look better by making it appear less cluttered but take up room on their own.
If It Doesn’t Stack, Hang it
For items like garden tools or sports equipment, consider wall hooks or racks. Not everything can fit nicely on a shelf, but most things we store in our garage are hardy enough to hang from the wall for easy access. Bikes, lawn mowers or other wheeled items are prime examples of things that take up space on your floor that could hang nice and flat on your wall.
For smaller metal tools (such as scissors or screwdrivers), try installing a magnet along your wall. Using glue or double-sided adhesive tape, attach a long and thin magnet (which you can get at a hardware store) above or even on the edge of a workbench. Your small hand tools will be out of the way but within reach.
Separate and Organize With Plastic Bins
Instead of wasting time sifting through all of your things to get the one item you are looking for in your garage, take the time to organize to make searching easier. Using sturdy plastic bins with lids (sometimes called tote bins), you can categorize your belongings by function, associated activity, time of the year used or however you want.
These totes are relatively inexpensive, and if you get strong ones with lids, they can also stack on each other without the need for shelves. If you are putting these bins on shelves, try getting some transparent ones so you can easily see what is inside. Don’t forget to label them with a permanent marker.
Don’t Forget About the Ceiling
With your floor and walls covered, you can turn to the last unused surface: the ceiling of your garage. Use that ladder to install hooks or racks similar to the ones used on the walls. And, of course, try to avoid high traffic areas so nobody bangs their head.
You can also put some of those plastic tubs up there. One of the most often overlooked spaces in the garage is between the ceiling and the garage door when it comes in. After installing a heavy-duty shelf up there, you can fit several bins. You could even attach two I-beams parallel to one another, spaced just far enough apart so you can slide a plastic tote bin in there to hang from its lip.
Before installing anything on the ceiling, make sure you get an expert opinion. Not all ceilings can handle the strain. Find out if and where it is possible to drill into your ceiling. A little forethought can prevent serious injury or damage to your home.
Contact Harkraft for Additional Garage Storage Ideas
Be sure to call or message us today if you’re interested in learning more about Harkraft’s exceptional storage services or want more advice on how to develop a smart and efficient storage system for your garage. We’re always here to help.