Garage Organization – Assign and Arrange Your Areas
by Dave Donovan
Let’s get real, for a minute. Can you find anything in your garage? Sure, there’s a ton of stuff in there, but can you find your adjustable wrench when you really need it or do you just go out and buy a new one? Garage organization is on everyone’s to-do list, but it’s always the one job that gets pushed to next weekend. It’s time to stop the procrastination and get it done. Believe me; you will thank yourself the next time you need to find a tool in quick fashion!
If you’re like me, you slowly open the garage door and peek inside for fear that a poorly put away shovel may strike without warning, but be brave, just go in! As you enter the disorganized chaos, the first thing you will have to do is remove all of the junk. Clear out the garbage and debris so you can see exactly what’s causing the real mess – all of your stuff!
Throw open the garage door and let the breeze in. Next, start taking the larger items out of your garage like your lawnmower or other yard tools and supplies. Clear away the floor as much as possible so you can at least move around more easily. Now, take a long hard look at what you have to work with. If you have shelves, tables or attic storage, take note and decide where your stuff should be placed. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Which tools do I use the most?
- Which tools do I rarely touch?
- Which tools do I need quickly when I do need them?
- Do I really need that box of moldy, damp magazines?
Your job here is going to arrange your garage to be as convenient to your needs as possible. Assign sections of your garage to house certain items. For instance, keep all of your lawn tools in one corner or along one section of wall. This means that the pruners, the rakes, your lawn gloves and anything else you use in the yard should be in this area. Likewise, keep a section solely devoted to your hand tools like screwdrivers, wrenches and the sort. Why would you want your electric hand drill being stored in the same location as your hoses anyway
Condense your items so they take as little space as possible. If you did suffer from buyanewtoolitis at one time, donate some of your older ones to a youth center or church, or sell them outright on eBay or Craigslist. You don’t really need eleven cordless drills, do you? As you begin to get the items in your garage assigned to their proper area, you will begin seeing your garage becoming cleaner, more organized and better suited to your needs.
When it comes time to organize your garage, you may suddenly find that you simply don’t have room for all of your stuff! Your shelves are packed to the point of tipping, your garage attic is overflowing and you still can’t pull your car in. You take a look around and scratch your head wondering, where are the Christmas decorations going to go?
If your garage is fully packed, while you’re scratching your head, just take a look up. No, I know the attic is already filled, but let’s take a look at your ceiling! Today, there are a number of overhead storage solutions designed to get your junk, I mean valuables, off the ground and over your head. Here are a few things you can consider:
Rack storage is great for storing boxes and other packaged items. They’re easy to install as they simply get screwed into your ceiling rafters. They can hold and impressive amount of weight, but definitely check the weight limits before putting anything too heavy on them. Best of all, your stored items will still be visible, so if you need to get into that box of cable wires, you know exactly where to find them.
Do you have a bicycle that keeps getting in your way when you’re trying to work in your garage? Storage pulleys work great for getting that bike out of the way by lifting it into the air. Install it close to the wall and maximize your floor space.
Garage lifts are similar to the storage pulley systems but they are designed to handle a much heavier and bulkier load. Some can handle loads of up to 100 lbs.
Heavy Lift Hoists
For storing items weighing up to 250 lbs., install a heavy lift hoist in your garage. This unit features a hoist that raises and lowers a storage lift using a gear drive.
Large Accessory Storage Units
These units are specially-made to safely store large items like canoes, truck caps and so on. While these large items may still be somewhat obtrusive even when off of the floor, lifting them will provide you with more floor space in which to work in your garage. Just watch your head!
So as you can see, there are a number of ceiling storage solutions that you can apply to your garage organization plan. In fact, there are storage solutions for every budget. For less than ten bucks, one can opt to purchase ceiling mountable hooks designed for getting that bicycle off of the floor. The next time you are at your local super-hardware store, drop by the storage section and you’ll be amazed at the new products available which can ultimately help you get your garage organized and tidy.
For some people, the floor of their garage is just another place to put the things they can’t find room for. This results in a cluttered and inconveniently organized garage. Let’s face it; it’s not fun having to walk over and around things just to get to a screwdriver. But, if you get things up off of the floor, you may just be surprised at how much room your garage has. And with the brilliant options available in garage flooring these days, you can transform your garage from an over-sized garbage bin into a handsome, well-organized workshop with premium foot space. Heck, you may even be able to fit your car in there!
One of the most common problems with garage storage is dampness. If you have ever stored a cardboard box full of books in your garage for a season, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But today, there are a number of flooring solutions to help reduce the moisture level on your garage floor. Here are a few options:
Vinyl Floor Mats
Vinyl floor mats are great for garage floors and you can even get them sized to order from many companies. They help reduce the amount of dirt and snow you track into your home and they offer a gorgeous finish to your garage. In addition, they are easy to clean and spills can be easily managed. If you have ever tried scrubbing stains out of your garage floor, you will appreciate that! Vinyl floor mats are anti-slip, non-conductive and fire-retardant, which makes it an ideal flooring solution for a garage that doubles as a workshop.
Garage Floor Tile
Ever dream of your garage looking like a showroom? Garage floor tiles can help you get the look you want! Available in a wide range of colors, designs and styles, garage floor tiles simply interlock and remain where you put them. Some also offer self-adhesive backing. High quality tiles can stand up to chemical spills and other auto-related liquids which makes them a perfect choice if your garage really is a garage!
Similar in scope to the rubber floor mats mentioned earlier, containment mats are simply smaller versions which fit right under your car. These mats are excellent during the winter months for catching the snow, slush and ice falling from your vehicle and they prevent the water from spreading all across your garage floor.