Garages don’t get a lot of thought. Instead, many garages have a lot of similarities to the junk drawer inside the home. They are where everything goes that doesn’t have a designated home, and because you are in and out of it all day long, often times things get thrown in willy-nilly. Very few would describe them as “dream garages” or “dream drawers,” and eventually your junk drawer and your garage become sources of hair-pulling and stress every time you open them and especially when you try to close them!
While the junk drawer tips will have to wait, there are some really smart ideas for organizing your garage that will take you from “I really need to do something to my garage,” to “why didn’t I do this way sooner.” If you’re really lucky, you will be calling it your dream garage in no time.
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Garage Organization Ideas
First of all, determine categories for the items in your garage. Most of the items thrown in garages fall into the following categories: tools, garden implements and supplies, sporting and outdoor equipment, overflow storage, and miscellaneous items you have no idea where they should live.
Garage Tool Storage
Your tools are probably the items that get most used and need to have the most organization. There are some great do it yourself solutions to keeping them organized, handy, and well-cared for. If a DIY is not what you are looking for, there are a number of storage solutions you can purchase, or you can hire a contractor with the help of ImproveNet to turn it into a functional and dreamy garage. If you were ever a fan of Julia Child’s, you would have seen the amazing way she utilized pegboards, not in the garage, but in her kitchen! Pegboards are inexpensive, easy to hang, and very practical because the hangers can be moved around to fit the size and dimensions of any tools you have in your garage. Hanging tools rather than putting them in expensive tool drawers allows you to find and put them away quickly.
Sports Equipment Garage Storage
Sports and outdoor equipment can create some serious chaos in your garage making it a nightmare opposed to a dream garage. Getting your leisure time equipment organized is simple. Hooks and holders of all sizes and purposes are now available at any big box home store. They have them for bikes, kayaks, skateboards, you name it. Hanging as much equipment from the wall as possible will give it a permanent place for the winter months and will free up the clutter and floor space of your garage.
An interesting, inexpensive and easy way to keep those fishing poles off the floor or out of the corner of your garage, in good condition and untangled is a $1 pool noodle. Screw it in horizontally approximately 4’ from the ground or from a horizontal stud 2” x 4”. Use a box knife to put a vertical cut every 6” on the noodle. The reel will rest on the 2” x 4” and the rod will fit snuggly into the noodle.
Sports balls and toys of all sizes are always an issue. Using a sturdy laundry hamper with at least two compartments will allow you to sort large balls like soccer balls and basketballs from smaller ones like tennis balls and baseballs and keep the balls from being strewn across the garage.
Vertical Storage Solutions
Wall storage is a great way to increase your square footage and to make your garage an oasis of organization, but have you considered taking advantage of the square footage above your head. There are a number of cool storage systems that can be installed up above. These are trickier to install than your average storage system, but certainly doable. If you’d rather leave the neckaches to the experts, then find a reputable carpenter near you.
Likewise, if you don’t have the need for a traditional garage, there are other ways for you to utilize that space. You could even take your garage into the next level of dreamy by creating a unique space with a totally different purpose, like an Air B&B option, game room or better yet, a “she shed.” No matter what you do, and regardless of whether you use it regularly, don’t neglect your garage, get it inspected and keep it maintained because it adds to the value of your home.