For many of us, a car is something we can’t live without. And because they’re often an expensive investment, it makes sense to park our cars in a garage, where they aren’t exposed to UV rays, bird droppings or snow and ice in the winter. And while our garages make for an excellent storage space for our vehicles, they unfortunately become something of a parking lot for everything we don’t want to keep in our homes — such as sports equipment or holiday decorations — and in time, our garages can become quite cluttered.
The thing is, an organized garage is something that most homeowners want — they just never get around to making it happen, or they feel that they need to invest a lot of time and money to make it possible. Well, we’re here to share five storage and organization ideas that are sure to get engines revving; read on to discover how you can maximize functionality in your garage and transform it into a usable space to be proud of.
1. First Thing’s First: Draft a Floor Plan
We know, we know — it’s a garage, do you really need to draft a floor plan? The short answer is yes. While it certainly isn’t the most glamorous room in the home, the garage is still a functional space, and assessing your needs and determining what goes where ahead of time will help set you up for success. Drafting a floor plan is the first step that professionals will take when upgrading your garage, and while your plan doesn’t have to be as elaborate, it will save you having to move (and remove) heavy or awkwardly-shaped boxes again and again.
2. Upgrade Your Garage Flooring
No matter how organized your garage is, an unfinished floor will leave it looking messy. A finished garage floor has a huge impact on transforming the look of your garage, will protect your floor and make it easier to clean. Both epoxy and polyaspartic (the two main choices for coating) are anti-skid, resistant to oil stains and relatively easy to install. Epoxy is the more cost-effective solution, but needs a warm, dry weekend for drying after installation; by comparison, polyaspartic can be applied and dried in less than a day, and installation can be done even during cold winter months.
3. Add in Open Shelving Units
Open shelving units are flexible in use and are designed to withstand moisture, dirt and heavy loads. Having open shelves makes it easier to access supplies and helps maximize square footage, as you don’t need additional clearance for doors to swing open. They also help to ensure that you keep your garage as organized as possible, as everything will be on display. Pro tip: If buying ready-made shelving units, be sure that they’re on raised legs so that you can clean the floor under them easily.
4. Install Vertical Organization Systems
Maximize your garage’s wall space through organization systems that include pegboards or track-based systems. Pegboards can often be customized or painted to suit the aestehtic of the garage and are great for storing smaller items like tools; track-based systems can bear the weight of heavier objects and can be customized with hooks, shelves and organizers that can be relocated easily as needs change.
5. Take Advantage of Ceiling Height
If your garage has tall ceilings, you’re in luck — this fifth wall is perfect for keeping bulkier items — like bicycles — off the floor and out of the way. Pulley systems, like this one from The Home Depot, are inexpensive and affix to ceiling joints for support. Don’t neglect the space above your garage doors, either — this is a great area for stashing away extra storage bins.
Want more home organization inspiration and ideas? Discover five free organization apps to help simplify your life, and see fresh ways you can repurpose spare rooms.
Images courtesy of Organized Living (hero); Evolve Coating (epoxy); Ikea (shelving); This Old House (vertical systems); Better Homes & Gardens (bike storage).