One thing that makes organising the garage so difficult is that it is usually a multi-purpose space. By the time you have brought in the gardening tools, sports equipment, wheelie bins, and all that “stuff” that you don’t have space for in the house, there is no room left for the car, let alone that workspace you wanted.
If the door won’t close, and you can never find the thing you want that is “in there somewhere” then it’s time to get organised.
- How do you use your garage?
When organising the garage, you have to get your priorities right. If the car or boat must be safely locked away under cover then mark out the space it will take up. Grandpa had that tennis ball on a string for a reason. Knowing exactly how much space things take up (including the car) will help you plan better and stop you from cramming “just one more thing” into an overflowing garage.
- Clean up and clear out
Once you know what is most important, it’s time to get rid of all those things you can live without. Maybe have a garage sale?
If the whole purpose of having a garage or shed is to store the things you might need one day, then that’s fine too. Just know that it will come at the expense of workspace, and that you will have to find some clever storage solutions.
- Use the walls
Leaning ladders, brooms and shovels up against the wall is not the best use of space. If you can hang them from the walls instead you will free up a lot of floor space. Hooks and rails are ideal for this, as long as heavy items are secure and well-supported.
If your garage has exposed studs, then you can use these and run planks or rope between supports to keep items in place.
If your garage is lined, then you may want to consider pegboard, or horizontal rails that allow you to customise your wall storage. Many retail stores utilise this idea. If you need some inspiration, have a look at the grid walls, pegboard and slat walls in shops. Every shelf, hook and rail on these walls can be easily moved and placed elsewhere.
Adequate wall storage will also allow you to store sharp tools or hazardous chemicals up high and out of reach of the kids.
- Use the ceiling
Again, this one will depend greatly on whether your garage is lined or not. Most people store things on their exposed beams and joists – lengths of wood, corrugated iron sheets, fishing rods or paddles and oars – if it’s long and used infrequently, it’s probably up there.
If you think about it, you can probably make far better use of this space. Installing temporary or fixed crossbeams or hooks will give you greater scope. Just make sure that your structural beams can handle the extra weight.
Don’t despair if your garage has a ceiling that hides those handy frames. Attach 2×2 planks to the ceiling framing. These can support hooks, or baskets, or act as the base for railing. If you have plastic storage tubs taking up floor space then why not make storage rails that these will slide into?
- Create multifunctional storage
This is important if you are planning to use your garage as a workshop as well as for storage. Fixing a collapsible or fold-down table to the wall will give you a bench when you need it, and free up floor space when you don’t.
Another solution is to place a workstation on caster wheels. Choose or make one that is the right height to fit under your fixed bench, or lowest shelf, then wheel it out when you’re ready to get to work on the next project.
Looking to upgrade or renovate your existing garage? Visit www.aussiemade.com.au for more ideas!
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