There is something irresistible about pushing that key fob button and watching the garage door slowly roll up as you pull your car inside – if it can fit among all that clutter! How about a garage where everything is in place, items easy to locate, every corner well-lit, and the whole space appealing to look and walk into? Back to the reality check, the garage is an area that is consistently an issue in every home. A combination of a parking spot and general storage, with items accumulating haphazardly often pushing the car out on the driveway. Don’t wait until you retire to take care of it. Using these practical tips, you can easily declutter your garage, and at the same time, increase its storage capability.
Add some shelving
If you’re keen on DIY projects, get some L-shaped brackets and a piece of lumber, which is all you need for one shelving unit. If you want to get creative, you can create several levels of shelves stacked on top of each other. On the other hand, if carpentry isn’t the sharpest skill in your trade-box, there are plenty of pre-built shelving ideas in home improvement stores. Steel storage racks are easy to assemble, relatively affordable, and capable of holding a ton of weight. If you don’t like their gray powder coat finish, you can paint them any color you like. They also work hand-in-hand with the next solution – plastic bins.
Go for plastic bins
When it comes to de-cluttering virtually any space, plastic storage bins are manna from heaven, as every local home improvement store is bound to have a wide selection of them. True, cardboards boxes cost less money, but they aren’t nearly as sturdy or practical. Fill them, label them and stack them on their shelves, or even one upon another, as they are built to be stacked. Their airtight rubber seal keeps the moisture out, which makes them perfect for storing your family heirlooms, Christmas decorations, and other fragile items. Even if you don’t label them, clear bins let you check the contents at glance, so you can make self-contained, ready-to-go kits like camping cooking gear, plumbing tools, etc.
Get more light in
A series of strip lights fit perfectly over your workbenches, even inside tool cupboards, with fridge-like door activation. A single canopy light on the inside above the garage door works well if you like to park in reverse. Keep in mind that garages are tricky places to rewire, since often a great deal of utility pipes runs through the walls. The recent home improvement boom and have prompted even countries like Australia, which have traditionally had very stringent electrical safety regulations, to update their standards. That’s why most homeowners over there are more likely to leave their DIY enthusiasm aside, and hire a good Sydney electrician, whether they need a new lighting scheme or extra outlets installed.
Exploit vertical space
Your garage walls and ceiling provide valuable square footage as well, making them perfect for hard-to-store items like rakes, bikes, and other gardening equipment. Add some wall hooks and racks and de-clutter the floor and corners. If your garage has a high ceiling, you can even consider installing a ceiling storage lift – perfect for bulky items like bikes, kayaks, surfboards, spare tires, roof boxes, etc. The key is to make everything as accessible as possible – in other words, you don’t have to move three items to reach the fourth.
Fill the cabinets
Sleek and sturdy metal storage cabinets are a fail safe way to declutter and organize almost any garage. While giving tons of vertical and horizontal storage, cabinets protect your items from damage in ways that other containers can’t. Their construction makes them resistant to moisture and rodents, and makes them easy to keep clean. Since they go up on the walls, you have a plenty of room below for floor storage, or pegboards. Invented in the 1800s, these perforated plywood sheets are synonymous with tools that see a lot of use around the house such as screwdrivers, pliers, hammers, hand saws, and everything else that isn’t worth storing away.
However, before you move forward with any purchases or DIY projects, consider your current options and habits to see what works for you. What makes sense to one family, may not work for another. On the other hand, getting your garage in line might even inspire you to get more decluttering done around the house, or get on with those projects that have been lingering around.
About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor on several interior design, lifestyle, real estate and eco-friendly blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.