The garage is one of those areas in your home that’s easy to take for granted. It’s where you park your car for safekeeping. It’s where you store your half-finished project. It’s the place the lawn mower, snow blower, and an army of lawn tools call home. It might even be where you store your holiday decorations and other ad hoc items.
When you stop to think about it, the average home garage can literally be packed to the rafters with stuff!
Then one day you walk in there, probably stubbing your foot on something, you look around and you realize that enough is too much! It’s time for a change, and spring is the season of change.
If you’ve decided to transform your garage this spring, you might want to tackle some of the following organization projects.
Declutter & Prioritize
Before you can start any garage organization projects you’ve got to clear enough space to work. This is also the perfect time to declutter and set some priorities on what needs to stay and what should go. It’s also an opportunity to figure out what spaces you can optimize in the garage and elsewhere.
Start by assigning priorities on what has to remain in the garage, and what can be reassigned somewhere else in the house. Sure, you’re not going to stash the dirty old lawn mower in the linen closet. Though that old box of your kid’s preschool art projects can probably be stashed in a stackable tote in the attic or basement.
Once you’ve got your priorities set, things are organized, and you’ve got room to work, you can start to envision your new storage options.
Peg Board & Wall Storage
Pegboard and slat wall storage systems have come a long way since the days when your grandfather used them to hang up grease guns and flathead screwdrivers.
Today there are all sorts of hangers, clips, and holders to let you suspend just about anything from the wall. This is a great way to tastefully store and organize a ton of tools.
A lot of garages are blessed with overhead space aplenty. In an unfinished garage, you might be looking at rafters that are mostly hidden when you open the overhead garage door. In a finished garage you might have a sheet rocked ceiling with a large panel door into the garage attic.
With the addition of plywood sheeting, you can transform those garage rafters into stringers for a new overhead storeroom floor. Insulation and sheetrock can then insulate the garage attic to store things without having to worry about rampaging summer heat or ravaging winter cold affecting your stored items.
Even if the overhead space in your garage isn’t feasible for making a walk-around attic storage space, you can still make the most out of the area under the peak. There are a lot of great heavy-duty spring-loaded storage shelves that you can install into the ceiling.
With a gentle tug or a cranking mechanism, you can raise and lower the shelf to access things or stow them. This is a great way to pack holiday decorations away for the remaining 10 months of the year.
Heavy Duty Garage Shelving Systems
Shelving systems have been reinvented and reinvigorated to have some pretty impressive load capacity. This is a great way to gain a lot of storage space with a very small footprint on the garage floor.
Freestanding garage shelves give you the ability to place them anywhere you want. You’re not limited by the available wall structure. They’re often a great compliment to peg hook or slat wall storage systems.
Wall shelves offer you a little more versatility. Most can be installed with heavy-duty adjustable track systems. This lets you adjust the vertical space between shelves or even take shelves out if your storage needs change in the future.
A lot of people use their garage as a project or hobby space. It’s where your kid does their school science projects, it’s where you tune up your lawn mower and replace shovel handles.
All these different purposes can also make the garage workbench a perennial magnet for clutter. Creating a custom workbench to meet your needs or modifying an existing workstation might be the perfect way to give all those essential tools and gadgets their own dedicated space.
Drawers with dividers help keep tools, hardware, and other loose items organized. They’re a great way to keep your garage workbench from turning into a dangerous junk drawer.
You can also incorporate your garage workbench with a slat wall or peg board system to help you hang tools conveniently near the workbench without having to take up actual drawer space.
Conveniently Placed Tool Cabinets
The next evolution up from a thoughtfully organized workbench is to install tool cabinets in your garage. These are the sort of things you see professional mechanics using. They are made from robust steel and have reinforced shelves that can hold a lot of weight.
Best of all, they give all your tools and garden gear a dedicated place to be. This encourages everyone in the family to put a tool back where it belongs when they’re done with it, which goes a long way toward maintaining a neatly organized garage in the future.
Garage tool cabinets also have doors and drawers with locks. This lets you secure away high-value tools for safekeeping. If you have little ones around the house, being able to lock up potentially dangerous tools is also next-level child safety.
Upgrade Your Lighting
A lot of modern-day garages have poor lighting. Usually, there’s a light fixture in the overhead garage door motor, and perhaps one or two little lightbulbs jammed away in a corner. This is often just a matter of the limitations of garage electrical wiring.
Thankfully, there are a lot of simple lighting solutions you can use to brighten up your garage and make it easy to find what you need without having to stick a flashlight in your mouth.
Fluorescent workshop lights can be plugged into extension cords without having to worry about power fade over distance. They are also light enough to hang just about anywhere.
Battery-powered LED lights are very energy efficient and light enough to be suspended by simple Velcro tabs. This is a perfect way to give you easy access to light in cramped or crowded storage spaces.