You’ve had enough of your cluttered garage. It’s time, once and for all, to clean it up so that you can finally park your vehicle(s) in it. Wondering where to start? Here are some garage organization tips you may find useful.
When attempting to organize the garage, the beginning can always seem daunting, especially because it requires ruthlessly sorting all your belongings into three groups: sell/donate, trash, and keep. As you come across items you’re unsure what to do with, ask yourself:
Step 2: What Not to Store in the Garage
Keep in mind that there are some items, such as paint and other hazardous materials that should be stored anywhere else, but the garage. Pet food, paper products, and large appliances like a spare refrigerator or freezer should also be properly stored somewhere else.
Paint: Extreme cold or heat can ruin it. Store paint in a low-moisture, climate-controlled area, rather than the garage. Responsibly dispose of any left-over paint you don’t plan to use in the very near future.
Propane: A spark could ignite the fumes. Propane tanks should always be stored outside – away from the house. Always ensure the valve is fully in the “off” position after using the tank. Propane tanks also require responsible disposal.
Pet Food: Mice and other pests consider pet food – whether open or unopened – an open dinner invitation. This includes birdseed. Store pet food in sealed containers and place in a climate-controlled area.
Paper Goods: Another thing that may attract mice and other pests is paper goods (e.g., toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc.). It’s a good idea to store these items in your pantry instead.
Refrigerator or Deep Freezer: In areas that are not climate-controlled, these appliances will battle against the ambient temperature to keep your food and/or drinks cold, thus using more energy than if they were stored in the house.
Step Two: Storage
Now that you’ve thrown away the junk and sold or donated anything of value that is no longer useful to you, you should have a better idea of how much storage you need, and what kind. Your objective in this step is to get as much as you can off the garage floor and onto the walls or shelves using the following storage solutions.
Cabinets: If you’d prefer to store items behind closed doors, consider thick, low-gauge steel cabinets with sliding doors for longevity. Sliding doors are preferable in a garage over swing out because they help to minimize dings to your car.
Pegboard: Pegboard (now also available in galvanized steel) with an array of hooks and baskets is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to store your most often used tools. Slat walls or track systems with hooks and baskets are two more options.
Shelving: Industrial strength storage units are perfect for storing large items. Combine with stackable clear-plastic bins with lids for loose or small items. Use mason jars or other clear jar for nuts, screws, and bolts.
Workbench: A built-in workbench is the perfect accessory to any garage. You can custom build a standing or fold-down workbench in little to no time or you can buy one. Painting the top using chalkboard paint allows you to jot down quick measurements.
Overhead Storage Racks: An effective cluster-busting storage solution is overhead or ceiling-mounted storage racks. Installation is very easy and straightforward. Their ability to free up valuable floor space is why so many people choose them.
Step 4: Don’t Forget the Garage Door
Your dream of a Pinterest-worthy garage has now become a reality. However, since you probably haven’t parked your car in the garage in some time, it may be a good idea to hire a garage door professional to come inspect and maintain the garage door and automatic opener to ensure they are operating safely. You may also want to consider purchasing new.
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