Do you want space in your garage and actually know what is in it? A pity to think, that this large area of anything between 18 m 2 or 36 m 2 is actually a wasted space unless you start treating it with respect and turn it into a space that works efficiently, your possessions organised and easily accessible.
The garage floor is littered with boxes of stuff that no one knows what to do with or why it is kept? Leaving no space for the cars that are actually intended to be parked inside for security. In many homes the garage is used as storage for all the stuff that doesn’t fit into the home anything from old furniture to garden tools.
Now you can change all that in 6 easy steps
1. Analyse what you have and what you need
Before you go and pull out everything that is there and buy storage, visualise what you want in your garage. List the items that need to be stored there and how they should be stored.
2. Plan your space
You need to be able to access everything without moving stuff out of the way to get to something. There is a wonderful selection of garage storage options at varying prices that should encourage everyone to get the garage of their dreams. Decide on your storage and zones before you start sorting and decluttering the garage, so that it can be installed while you are sorting your stuff or use storage that you have.
- Large bulky storage is vital to store larger items. This can be either shelving or built in cupboards, either floor to ceiling unit or two shelves below the ceiling to facilitate you to still open your car doors with ease.
There are many ready made shelves available in wood, metal or beautiful chrome but what irks me with those, is that they normally have a set height into which some of your containers or possessions won’t fit.
I prefer using adaptable double slot wall bands with brackets that come in widths from 152mm to 610mm with Melamine or gondola metal shelving. The span of each shelf should not be more than 900mm as it tends to sag.
- Hanging storage wall – thin area, hang bikes, ladders, rakes, spades, so that you can still open your car doors.
- Plastic containers with lids. Stick to a size that is easy to handle and to lift when filled or smaller containers that can be stacked.
- Perforated panels or pegboards with hooks to hang smaller items and tools.
- I love slat wall panels with hooks, shelves and baskets which create a very sleek look to the garage.
- Lin-Bin Panels with different size lin-bins are great to store all the smaller hardware items like screws, nails etc.
- Labels to label each container to easily find stuff.
- A Platform to store wood, planks or extra tiles for the house
3. Sort, purge and clean
Make sure that the weather won’t turn on you as you will have to take everything out. You’ll need
- heavy duty rubbish bags,
- duster, dusting cloths,
- containers to sort the stuff into or just make piles sorting like with like
- boxes to pack stuff you are giving away
- recycling bins
Start at the door and work your way around touching each item and making decisions as to what to keep or toss and decide in which zone the item will be housed. Group like with like.
When everything is out and sorted the garage can be cleaned properly. All the items must be dusted and cleaned before being containerised and/or housed.
4. Create zones
When organising your garage create zones to maximise space, for storage needs. Keeping the stuff that you use the most at an accessible level and stuff that you need less often at a higher or lower level adapting the storage option accordingly. Frequently used outdoor items should be stored close to the garage door whilst items that are used in the home should be stored close to the interior door.
Here are some handy ideas for zones, these will differ from person to person:
- Entry- Exit zone close to the interior door from the garage – add a seat to take off muddy shoes, hooks for bags, umbrellas, weather jackets
- Laundry zone – ( Only if you don’t have one in the home) with washer, drier, detergents, pegs, washing baskets
- Out of season clothing – in containers per individual, remember to label
- Camping equipment – tents, chairs, gas bottles, refrigerator
- Automotive tools & products – oil, waxes, shampoo, chamois, brushes, toolbox
- Garden equipment and supplies – lawnmower, fertilizers, potting soil & supplies. Store herbicides and pesticides out of reach of children
- Household items: cleaning materials, equipment, detergents, broom, mop, vacuum cleaner, duster, buckets
- Bikes with the helmets, pumps, tyres, tubes
- Sporting equipment – clubs, bats, racquets, balls. keeping it together will make storage and recovery easy
- Pets – harnesses, basket with soap – shampoo- brushes, toys, food bin – treats
- Holiday & Party decorations – Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Birthdays
- Workbench for the hobbyist with storage for tools and materials
- Recycling bins
- Under the ceiling storage for bulky items like kayaks, roof carriers
- Storage in the roof trusses for left over tiles and flooring for your home.
5. Containerise, house and label
Once everything is sorted and decluttered you can organising the stuff that is left. Containerise like with like, label the container on two sides. Place containers on shelves in their respective zones. Hang items in their zones. Ensure that everything has a home and that everyone knows where things belong.
6. Maintain organisation
Now that everything is in its place, and there is a place for everything, ensure that things get put back where they belong after use. To keep the order going do a sweep as you enter the garage and put things back where they belong. As the garage is part of the home it should be cleaned regularly and sorted at least once a year to keep clutter at bay.
Some helpful links to suppliers: