Many of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about our garage. It’s just a place to park the car, keep our tools, and stack up boxes of whatever junk we simply can’t bear to throw away (even when we know we should). The garage, however, can be the perfect solution for that one dilemma everyone experiences at one point or another: not having enough space.
Maybe you have kids whose bikes and sports equipment are cluttering up the place. Maybe you bought some Ottawa real estate and are having trouble keeping track of all the snow shovels you need to survive a typical winter in the Great White North. Maybe you need a place to do repairs and want to turn a corner of the garage into a workshop.
Whatever your needs, the following ideas will help you maximize the space you have and turn even the messiest garage into a well-organized storage hub.
Clear up the floor by adding shelves
The quickest and easiest way of making more space is to pick all your clutter up off the floor. Mount some shelves on your walls or, if you prefer, get some adjustable free-standing shelving units and push them as far back against the walls as you can. The benefits of wall-mounted shelves is that they save even more room and can be mounted all the way up to the ceiling. However, that may not be an option for some, in which case shelving units work fine. For superior sturdiness, go with metal over plastic.
Use hooks and tracks for oddball items
Not everything can fit neatly on a flat shelf, and some items are so bulky and awkward that even when you get them situated, they just end up taking up valuable room where other things could go. Think of tools like shovels, rakes, weed-whackers, or sports equipment like bicycles and goal nets. Putting hooks up or installing a track system are great ways hanging these items on the walls so that they’re easily accessible, while also not hogging up too much space.
Hang a corkboard up for smaller tools
As noted above, putting items up on the wall is a great solution for freeing up floor and shelf space. For smaller, more lightweight items, though, instead of installing additional tracks or hammering in hooks, a simple wall-mounted cork board works wonders. It’s especially handy for items you use often. Instead of having to dig through your tool box every time you need a pair of scissors or a roll of duct tape, simply stick a few pegs in a corkboard and hang them there. It’s also a good place to store broom-and-dust pan combos, ice scrapers, and key rings.
Divide everything into labeled sections
The biggest problem most people run into when trying to stay organized isn’t actually finding enough room. It’s finding the energy to not fall back into bad habits. To conquer the urge to “just leave this here, I can put it back where it belongs later” (and also to simply make it easier to find things later), it can be a big help to divide your storage into different sections. Garden tools go on this shelf. The bin for Halloween decorations is stacked over there. Etc. For even better results, label each section, shelf, bin, and box.