Great Tips for Garage Organization
Get your garage in order with these easy spring cleaning tips.
Garage space can be endlessly useful. It can be a completely vehicular zone with cars, bicycles, and kayaks. But garages can also deliver above and beyond as a functional work and storage space for your power tools, assorted lumber, automotive maintenance equipment and seasonal decor.
How you use your garage probably has a lot to do with your geography and house style as well; if you lack a basement, your entire workbench might live in your garage while the cars live in the driveway. If it’s a finished garage, you might favor it as a craft room and bonus entertaining space. If you’re in a climate defined by tough weather conditions, your snowblower or plow attachments might demand their own 10-25 square feet of floorspace. Snow removal equipment is demanding like that. Best case scenario? My garage would look like this:
My family utilizes the garage as an all-purpose space, and like what you see above, it’s a totally utilitarian playground that serves hobbies ranging from car maintenance to landscaping. However, it’s by no means spiderweb free and tidy, and once in awhile I even have to scare the furry pants off a squirrel to teach the interloper boundaries. Maybe someday we’ll splurge on features like enclosed cabinetry to “hide” the tools of our trade, but for now it’s all functionality, all the time. And if I do say so myself, the “shelving” I installed between exposed wall studs is among the easiest, most low-profile open shelving systems you can configure in a garage.
However you use your garage, keep these tips in mind, and maintain function in your space:
Make the Most of Brackets
Brackets are a great storage solution whether your garage is finished with drywall or not. They’re inexpensive, capable of supporting a lot of weight, and make for an easy open shelving solution.
If the space allows, an adjustable shelving system is a great way to store covered plastic bins out of the way. Put the items you use less frequently in clearly marked bins overhead, and products that get a lot of use in plain sight at eye-level and below.
On behalf of STIHL, Bruce Allentuck, owner of Allentuck Landscaping Co. reminds you to avoid storing any sharp and pointed objects at eye-level, and suggests too that you use the shelving to help keep bagged items, such as soil and mulch, off the ground to prevent the bags from deteriorating.
Store Bicycles With Ease
Bicycle storage products are plentiful. From simply installing hooks on the rafters to buying a wall-mount system, there are a lot of options that can help you get the bikes off the ground to free up floor space. The system I installed operates with pulleys, so with almost no physical effort the bikes can be hoisted into the lofted space above the cars.
Keep Tools and Cans Categorized
Whether you use open shelving or secure utility cabinets, have a method to your madness. Keep the dangerous sprays and oils on the top shelf away from curious hands, and organize your goods by category depending on your needs, such as separating your automotive tools from your gardening hand tools.
When it comes to storing paint cans, I keep everything in the basement. Metal paint cans have rusted really fast when left in the garage, and I’ve read that it has to do with the humidity level. The basement has a dehumidifier which helps with moisture, but the garage does not and is more directly effected by the weather conditions outdoors.
Organize Your Garage Towels
There’s never a shortage of towels in the garage – we use them for everything, and when they’re too gross to wash, they can get tossed (just remember to handle all oily rags with care, and always discard of them properly outside of the home – spontaneous combustion is a real thing). In our garage, we keep rags on hand for convenience, stored in a box on the wall that fits easily between two studs. Within the recycled cardboard box shown below there’s a wood strip, through which screws are drilled to reinforce the box and keep it secured to the wall with no chance of tearing. How’s that for an easy, purposeful upcycle?