Exterior, Garage, Home Improvement

Garage Design Tips

Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Organization SystemBetween old sports equipment, holiday decorations, children’s toys, camping gear and home repair tools, the average garage is too full to even fit the family car! Worse, when you need a hammer for a quick repair, it can take more time to dig out the hammer than it takes to complete the project. Since garages are such big, open spaces, they tend to become “catch-all” dumps for just about everything that doesn’t have a set place. Spending a weekend diving head first into this black hole of clutter can seem overwhelming at first, but with a clear plan, you can maximize your garage storage space.

These six garage organization tips will help you tackle to the clutter without going crazy:

#1: Sort and eliminate.
Take three large bins and designate one bin “keep”, the second bin “donate” and the third bin “toss”. Start in one corner of the garage and begin combing through the clutter. Those rollerblades you haven’t used since 1995? Those are a “donate”.

#2: Go vertical.
Once you have sorted through the clutter, the next step is to go vertical. Hardware stores are a great resource for inexpensive holders to store gardening supplies, rakes, brooms, mops and other yard or home equipment. Add cabinets, drawers and shelving units to hold everything from camping gear to craft supplies. For an inexpensive solution, affix two pieces of vertical plywood to the wall and then mount vinyl gutters in between the wood as storage bins. Maximizing vertical storage gets clutter off the floor and creates more space for storing bikes, large sports equipment, and the family car.

#3: Never lose a tool again.
Stop searching for the hammer with this ingenious tool wall. Keep track of every tool by mounting it on the wall and then tracing the tool’s outline. You’ll know exactly where each tool belongs — and whether your neighbor borrowed your saw (or drill, or screwdriver) again. Reuse old spice containers to hold nuts, bolts, screws and miscellaneous hardware inside your drawers and cabinets. Keep track of drill bits with a magnetic holder.

#4: Label the cabinets.
When it comes to cabinet and drawer storage, it’s all too easy to think “out of sight, out of mind” and randomly toss miscellaneous hardware into the drawers or shelves. Instead, keep things organized by painting your cabinets and drawers with chalkboard paint for easy labeling. Thanks to the chalkboard paint, if your storage needs change, you can quickly change the cabinet labels without needing to repaint.

#5: Design a custom storage system.
From crafting stations to mountain bike maintenance, a home storage company can create a personalized garage organization system design to fit your family’s needs. For a fully custom solution, choose a reputable home storage system company, such as Closet & Storage Concepts.

#6: Stash your sports gear.
Get your bikes, balls and other sporting gear off the floor with easy garage organization solutions. An inexpensive bike shelf will mount your bike and provide a place for your helmet. Use bungee cords to store sports balls by stretching several cords together to hold the balls in place. Nail plywood slats to the studs in your garage wall to create “pockets” for storing baseball gloves, Frisbees, tennis balls and rackets.

Ralph Watson is a home improvement and organization expert. He writes a weekly home improvement column for a variety of online and print publications.