Saturday, 15 February 2014

How to Organize Space In Your Garage and Use It For Activities

For many homeowners, a garage represents a sanctuary – a place where they can work on projects in inclement weather, store out-of-season holiday decorations, and just generally be alone to toil in peace. 
Unfortunately, there will come a time when that holiday décor seems to multiply exponentially and those projects start stacking up on top of each other. 
When a garage becomes cluttered, it offers no calm and is instead a source of agitation every time you attempt to pull your vehicle in there. It's time to stop that mess from causing distress with these tips on organizing garage space.

Get Rid of Junk
There's a big difference between 'organizing' and 'putting your junk somewhere else.' The first step in getting a garage back to a functioning area is removing unwanted items. It doesn't have to be an arduous task. Think of it as a money making or charitable undertaking. The aptly named garage sale is a great place to start getting rid of decorations, tools, toys, etc. that are no longer of use and are simply taking up space. Even renting a scrap dumpster (skip) to get rid of old appliances and metal items can earn a pretty nice financial return. Donating old coats and other clothes also serves a two-fold purpose: it clears out your space and it provides for those in need.

A recommended task when clearing out junk in the garage is taking everything completely out of the area and into the yard and sorting out items into piles of keeping and trashing. When the garage is empty, it also presents a great time for a fresh coat of paint. It's also an opportunity to call in garage door manufacturers in Canada to give the opener and tension springs a tune-up.

Raise the Roof
If your garage has the room, using the roof to store things helps clear up usable space on the floor and walls. Shelves that hang from the ceiling are great for storing seasonal items like camping gear, coolers, or holiday decorations.

Create a Stack Up Plan
The garage provides perfect storage for items like sidewalk salt, bird feed and dog food, but those large bags take up valuable activity space. Creating a plan to store these items can improve the looks of the garage and free up a lot of room. Some examples include keeping the feed in stackable metal containers that can sit on top of each other away in a corner or square plastic totes that are kept inconspicuously out of sight.

Get Hooked
Another nuisance to garage organization is stacked up rakes, shovels, and other lawn maintenance equipment. Placing hooks on a pegboard or a special track enables these items and others such as lawn trimmers or hedge clippers to be stored where more space is freed up and the tools are safely off the ground (see image above).

Cabinet Integration
 The next time a friend or neighbour remodels their kitchen, ask if you can take the old cabinets off their hands. The units can be sanded and restored to provide a great addition to your garage. The cabinets not only add a sense of finishing to a garage, they serve as a great place to discretely store those loose items such as paint cans, weed whacker (strimmer) string, and other things that can be an eyesore.
Shelves Are a Must
One of the principal rules of making room in the garage for activities is to store up, not out. Shelves help accomplish this by using their space efficiently to store items in an easy to see and grab manner. Without shelving in place, the area above any item in the garage is dead space but these units help to increase the efficiency of every square inch in the room.

Other Tips
One key idea to keep in mind when creating a garage organization plan is that everything must have its place. When a particular tool or decoration has a place where it belongs, it's easier to put that item back in its spot when done using. This is also good practice in general – put things back in their spot each time as soon as you're done with them. This might be a helpless task with kids in the home but it's good to at least implement some sort of use-and-replace rule.

With these tips in hand, an organized garage doesn't have to be a mirage.
Editor's note: Whist this piece was written with the Canadian market in mind it does provide some useful ideas for Homeowners in the UK to de-clutter their garages.


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