Nearly 1 in 4 Americans say that their garage is too cluttered to keep a car inside. The garage is one of the places in the house where you probably dump all sorts of things. Decluttering it is a great idea to make use of valuable space so that you can build a garage that is functional. Whether you plan on using it to house a vehicle, as a workshop, an extension of your pantry or as a regular storage space, it is important to keep it neatly arranged so you can find things back, improve its aesthetic appearance, maximize space, and avoid accidents.
1. Install Ceiling to Floor Shelves
It’s still possible to create a custom garage that fits your needs in spite of the mess around you. If you are just dumping stuff on the floor or in boxes, think of building ceiling to floor shelves to make use of every space. You can ask a carpenter to construct one for you with adjustable shelves so that you can store objects of all sorts of sizes and shapes. A built-in/sliding ladder is also useful to reach for stuff that are placed on higher places. If this is not possible, ensure that there is a folding ladder nearby that you can use.
Another option is to head to a home improvement store and buy a ready-to-assemble shelf. You can pay someone to put it together for you if you are not the DIY type instead of damaging the furniture. Add pull out drawers or boxes to stow little things that can easily get lost or those that need protection.
2. Store Power Tools and Lock Up Chemicals in a Cabinet
Get a cabinet that you can lock with adequate space to store power tools and chemicals. Battery-operated or electric tools are not going to be used everyday, but they do get in the way and add to the clutter. Whether you have corded drills, grinders or circular saws, organizing them is a great idea. Keep the cords tied with zip ties. Put tools that are used infrequently at the back of the cabinet.
Chemical products should also be stored properly because they can quickly become the source of household accidents. Gather every product that you have from household cleaners and paint cans to solvents, aerosol sprays, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, among others. Ensure that lids and covers are closed properly to avoid accidental spills and contamination. Keep them in their original containers and lock them up in a cabinet so that children and animals do not have access to them.
While you can put chemical products on high shelves so that they are out of reach, it’s not a guarantee that kids will not try to get to them. Remember, children are creative and they will probably find a way to climb up and reach for that colorful but deadly antifreeze. Hence, a safer solution is to keep these dangerous chemicals out of sight by locking them up in a cabinet with the key stored in a secure place. There are also lockable chemical storage cabinets that you can purchase at home improvement shops. Investing in one ensures that your kids and pets are protected from the poisonous effects of highly flammable materials.
3. Maximize Walls: Hang Stuff and Use Pegs
A great space saving idea is to hang bulky items such as bicycles. Unless you have an outdoor shed where you store garden tools and mowers, keeping your bicycles in the garage always eats up valuable space. Fortunately, there are even stylish mounts and racks that you can use to store bikes neatly on the wall or ceiling. If hanging your bicycles on the ceiling, make sure that your hooks are sturdy and secured safely. A ceiling mounted pulley system is an option as well if you do not have the strength or the will to lift a bike over your head.
An alternative to max out wall space is to put a pegboard where you can hang tools and equipment so that you can easily find them. You can label each space or use outlines so that tools are hanged in the correct slots. Some appliances such as portable vacuum cleaners also come with hooks that you can fix on walls to give your space a neater appearance.
4. Create a Folding or Mobile Workshop
The work area in the garage takes up a lot space and the irony is, you probably don’t use it often. Think of getting a folding bench and table mounted on a wall that you can easily tuck away when they’re not needed.
A work table on wheels is also another option that you can put wherever you want and use as storage space for tools. In addition, portable work stations are practical because you can even bring them outdoors if the weather is fine instead of being confined to a dreary corner in your garage throughout the year.
5. Make Use of the Ceiling Space Above the Garage Door
The ceiling above your garage door is a space that can be tapped to increase your storage area and there are many creative ideas that you can use to achieve this. Add J-style hooks on the sides of your garage door where you can stow ladders or long items. A hanging net is another possibility that is convenient for lightweight seasonal items such as Christmas or Halloween décor that would otherwise devour floor space. Otherwise, simple ceiling-mounted shelves also serve as storage spaces.
For those with mobility issues or young children who can get into trouble with a messy garage, consider a ceiling storage lift where you can keep bulky items such as garden furniture or boxes. There’s no need to use a ladder to bring down things and all you need to do is depress a button. If you opt for this system, make sure that it is installed properly to prevent mishaps.
Keeping you garage organized ensures that you have adequate space to protect your car which is a valuable investment. Periodic decluttering also frees up storage space, enhances safety, and improves the look of an important extension of your home.