Before you fill your garage with any and all junk you don’t need, there is a progression to go through and a system to follow to make sure your garage storage is efficient and effective. Space plan the garage and determine what type of storage you will use. Remember, if you haven’t used it in 2 years, you probably don’t need it. Some good tips to follow are:
If your garage isn’t climate controlled, don’t put temperature sensitive items in it. Items that can warp, or can’t take temperature fluctuations should not be stored in the garage. Items like wooden antiques, electronics and books are garage no-no’s.
Don’t put items that can absorb smells in the garage. Clothing isn’t best to put in the garage due to exhaust smells, stored gas or kerosene herbicides and pesticides, etc.
Utilize wall storage like hooks for yard tools and hangers for bikes and ladders to keep as much floor space available as possible. Use a metal cabinet (preferably fire proof) to store items that are flammable or caustic. It’s safer from flammability standpoint and from a kid deterrent standpoint. If the cabinet is locking it’s even better.
Keep sports equipment in a large bin, wire cage, or unused garbage can. This keeps items more orderly. Then put the sports equipment close to outside access, this way you (or your kids) don’t have to drag items across the entire garage.
Items that are not used very often like seasonal yard ornaments are fine to store hanging from the ceiling, in the garage attic, or up in the rafters. Other non-temperature sensitive items like bulky little tykes slides or houses, kiddy pools, etc (that kids grow out of) and other bulky yet light items that work well up high in the garage. You can get 4’x8” overhead hanging racks that work well above the garage door or hanging from other ceiling joists. This converts unused space into useful storage. Do it yourself home stores and hardware stores have all sorts of options when it comes to shelves, cabinets, and other creative storage possibilities.
Work bench systems with underneath drawers and or cabinets are great for tools. Peg boards behind the workbench for hand tools can work for some traditional tool storage or you can use shelves or hanging cabinets depending on your needs. There are plenty of small drawer or tipping drawer systems you can utilize to create order for screws, bolts, nails, and other potentially messy items.
If possible seal or paint the garage floor. It makes the floor easier to clean and makes the garage look better.
Finally, after making your plan and organizing your garage, you need to label shelves, cabinets, hangers, etc. so you don’t mix your areas. If you have a cabinet or shelf but it’s all different items with no rhyme or reason, you’ve defeated the purpose of the project. Labeling is key to garage organization.
Follow these tips and you can transform your garage from disorganized junk collector to efficient storage option where you can actually park your cars. Oh, and if you’re looking for some additional great tips, you can find some over at the Woodtex.com blog.