It’s easy for your garage to quickly fill up with clutter. Important tools, yard equipment, recreational gear, and spare household supplies fight for space with your garage’s primary inhabitant: the car (or cars). But you can take control of your garage clutter with these organization tips.
Start by sorting all the contents in your garage. Group similar items together by usage: cleaning supplies, tools, leftover paint and other chemicals, seasonal recreational equipment, extra pet supplies or bulk household items. As everything is organized, the best storage approaches for some of those items will be obvious, and then it will be easier to deal with the items for which a solution still needs to be found.
Make the Most of Wall Space
In any garage, but particularly the narrow (and possibly shallow) single-car garage, floor space can be tight when navigating around vehicles. Use wall space for shelves, cabinets, and hanging systems. In places where you’ll need a shelving system that rests on the floor, make sure to anchor it to the wall for safety. When choosing storage units, include enough space for easily (and fully) opening car doors. In a narrow garage, shelf and cabinet units may need to also be shallow. If the required depth isn’t available for installing cabinets or shelving on both sides of the garage, deeper cabinets on one side only may be a solution, and the opposite wall can be used for tool-hanging systems or other vertical storage (more on that up next).
Moving on Up… to the Ceiling
Once cabinets and shelving are in place, go vertical, making use of overhead space to store lighter goods, sporting equipment, and even bicycles. Bike systems can range from wall hooks, to vertical towers, to even ceiling mounts, keeping the floor clear. Other gear like kayaks or skis that require low overhead clearance are other candidates for vertical storage. Always keep clear of your garage door opener, track, and the clearance the door itself requires as it rises. But sturdy and secure storage in the otherwise unused upper space with free up a lot of wasted floor and cabinet capacity.
Storage in Motion
Choose or build movable units for floor storage (on wheels or casters) to rearrange as needed. If floor-space flexibility is needed, being able to wheel storage around to either where it’s needed or where it won’t be in the way can solve a lot of frustration—and reduce physical strain. And wheeled solutions can go beyond the garage to outdoor yardwork, backyard building projects, and more.
A Touch of Home
The garage’s appearance can get a little neglected as we just consider it a storage area—first for the car, and then the many other objects that make their way into the garage over time. But since you’re making the effort to organize and optimize your storage, treat the garage as an extension of your living space. With some attention to detail, carefully-chosen materials, an appealing paint job, and more, you’ll be motivated to keep the garage organized and tidy—and maybe even spend a little more time out there. Who knows what household projects you’ll get done, how many birdhouses you’ll build, or what hit record you and your garage band will create? Enjoy your revived space!