You want to utilize and decorate all the spaces in your home—but what about the garage? If you own a home with a garage, you have an extra opportunity for storage and design. This space can often get neglected—but not anymore! With a few simple tips, you can turn your garage from an unutilized mess into an ordered, attractive addition to the rest of your house.
Go through everything in your garage, mudroom, and other storage areas. Create piles of items so it’s easy to organize, sort, and place in storage accordingly. Some items lend themselves better to the garage versus the attic and vice versa—and some can be discarded of all together! (By the way, get rid of everything you don’t need.)
Below are items you should consider storing in your garage:
Don’t store in the garage those items that are subject to temperature changes or moisture. Also, despite your best efforts, critters can still make their way into the garage; so don’t store anything that could attract insects and animals.
Sort everything into piles in the lawn or in a space outside of the garage. This will make it easier to do the following steps.
Garages get dirty incredibly easily. They attract dirt, debris, cobwebs, food, dead things, and a lot of other grimy goods. They also tend not to get cleaned nearly as often as they should. You should do a thorough cleansing of your garage twice annually. This includes vacuuming debris, dusting cobwebs, scrubbing shelving units, removing stains from the floor, wiping garage-door tracks, and more. Enlist everyone in the family to take a wall and corner of the garage and get cleaning!
Certain types of floorings will help reduce the dirt tracked into the home. Concrete floors—which are most common in garages—don’t do much to trap dirt before you go into the house. Rubber floor tiles are becomingly increasingly popular because they help keep your house clean while also adding a fresh, dynamic look to the garage space.
Brighten up the look of your freshly cleaned garage with a layer of paint! Even a single color can help brighten up space. You can paint all of the walls or just one wall; you can add an entire theme to the room, or you can just add a few colorful shelving units.
For example, you could paint the inside of your garage doors a light green; then, all of the other accents in your garage (like the lids to your plastic storage containers) can also be light green. This creates a cohesive look that extends the atmosphere of your house décor into the garage. Plus, it doesn’t require a large budget!
Another great idea is to paint the steps leading from the garage to the house. A bright color or a painted message will enliven the space and make your family and their visitors feel more at home.
After you’ve cleaned and brightened the look of your garage, you need to plan how you will organize it. It’s a good idea to draw out how much space you’ll need for each type of item as well as where each category will go in the physical space. You should sort items by frequency of use to make your garage livable and accessible.
a.) Trash and recycling should be easily accessible by the house and easily removed through the garage doors. You want to be able to throw trash out simply and efficiently.
b.) Sports and hobby equipment should be stored closest to where you’d load up your car with your supplies. This will ensure you’re not carrying heavy golf clubs through your entire garage, potentially damage your cars, walls, and clubs. The same is true of gardening tools if you are an avid gardener.
c.) Give your bike its own home that is both accessible and protected. If you ride your bike daily, you’ll want to be able to get it as quickly as if you were hopping in the car. Consider a miniature bike-rack.
d.) Stow your seasonal items in the spot that’s hardest to reach. This is often in the corner furthest from the door to the house, hidden by pulled-in cars and other equipment.
Pegboards instantly create more space. They allow you to hang supplies, baskets, totes, and even large cleaning equipment like brooms and hoses. Pegboards also allow you to easily and consistently update your wall organization by popping out one type of hook and adding another. If you’ve suddenly taken up a new work project that will call for a whole new set of tools, a pegboard will let you change organization in a snap.
After you have planned where you’ll sort all the different items in your garage, you can install a pegboard in the spot closest to your tools and maintenance supplies. There are various materials to choose from, but we like steel because it’s both functional and attractive.
Hint: Install a shelf above the pegboard to add more space for storage bins and totes.
K-rails are those bars that allow drawers to move in and out of a storage unit smoothly. K-rails work great on a storage wall because you can quickly and easily mount K-rail hooks and pegs.
Like pegboards, K-rail systems are easily changeable based on what you need to hang up for that season. This is a great way to hang sports equipment, bikes, cleaning supplies, gardening equipment, and even small shelving units. These K-rail units allow you to use your garage’s vertical space to get items off the floor.
If you’re handy or interested in DIY projects, you may want to consider getting a garage workbench. We recommend installing a floating desktop space that will give you the working platform without taking up room on the garage floor. You can then add cabinets, drawers, or rolling carts underneath to hold additional supplies. You should also consider installing a pegboard over the workbench, which will allow you to easily layout your tools in a functional yet attractive way.
Pro-Tip: Glue magnetic strips to your floating desktop or the bottom of your pegboard. This will help organize your magnetic items, like drill bits and screws.
You’ll want to store seasonal items and smaller supplies in organized containers. We recommend using large, sealable, plastic bins. Make sure they are a quality plastic and tightly sealed to keep the inside dust- and moisture-free. You’ll also want these containers to be see-through and labeled, so you can easily know which box you need to get off the shelf. You might want to consider getting bins with lids that will match your paint to add another cohesively decorated touch!
You’ll also need a place to store these bins. Wire or metal shelves are ideal because they are easy to clean and access. You can also change shelf height simply if you move houses or change organization. This picks up containers from the garage floor and uses up even more wall space.
P.S. Put silica gel packs in each of your containers to soak up any additional moisture or humidity and protect your items inside!
You’re using your vertical and floor space—but what about your ceiling? With secure, sliding storage systems, you can easily hang boxes, sports goods, and bikes from the ceiling. This will free up your wall and floor space for items to which you need more access. Talk to a local expert to see what could be done on your ceiling for a safe and secure storage system.
Use all of your wall, floor, and ceiling space to create a dynamic storage area. With a prioritized reorganization and some bright colors, you’ll add an entirely new room to your house.
Your garage is more than just a spot for your car to park. It’s the entrance to your home every day. It’s the last part of your house you see before going off to work, to school, or to a day with friends. You want to enter and exit your home feeling great, organized, and happy. The garage is your “transition” from the outside world to the inside one and vice versa.
Thanks for letting HomeRev be a part of that!