Garages tend to accumulate the “stuff” that struggles to find a place elsewhere in the house – boxes of seasonal items, projects slated for repair and especially tools. When that accumulation is taking up valuable vehicular real estate, however, it’s time to get down to business and reclaim the space. Our experts have seen all sorts of misused space when installing garage doors in Toronto, so they know a thing or two about cleaning up garages. Here are seven tips from our experts to help tame the clutter and keep it controlled!
Look Up For Inspiration
Depending on the open position of your garage door, the ceiling can be an excellent place to carve out some specialized storage. Larger, bulky items such as bicycles or holiday decorations can be suspended with rubber-tipped hooks, bungee cords or actual netting in the case of smaller items. If you opt to go this route, ensure that a step stool or other sturdy climbing device is also in the garage to get the items back down. Items that have the potential to gather dirt or insects should be bagged or sealed in small bins before they’re suspended. If you have a large collection of these items and feel like a few hooks just won’t cut it, consider installing ceiling tracks. These tracks allow specialized bins to slide into place overhead, their tops nearly flush with the ceiling, similar to an over-sized desk drawer.
Long And Tall? On The Wall!
Even if you attempt to corral them in a spare garbage bin, brooms, mops, rakes and other long-handled tools take on a storage life of their own. Reclaim your square footage by mounting them on the garage wall – modified peg boards, bungee loops, slices of vertically-mounted PVC pipe or spring-loaded clamps are all great ideas for keeping them orderly.
“An “Old School” Solution
Small glass jars, such as those used for baby food and jelly, are ideal for storing bolts and screws. A popular trick for handymen for several generations, a bolt, screw or industrial adhesive permanently attaches the lid to an overhead beam or similar elevated platform, allowing the hardware-filled jar to simply unscrew like a light bulb. A few well-placed labels, and finding the right nails, screws, washers or fuses takes seconds of scanning instead of minutes of digging.
Not Just For Hoses Anymore
Garden hose reels are, predictably, excellent for holding garden hoses, but that’s not where their usefulness ends. Long extension cords, spare Christmas lights, rope and twine can all benefit from the reel treatment, which keeps them tangle-free and easy to spot in a crowded garage. Provided they are mounted with heavy-duty hardware anchored to a stud, reels can also be used for heavier items like towing chains.
Keep Hand Tools Handy
An organized garage won’t do you any good if you can’t easily access items like hand tools when they’re needed. Rather than buying expensive tool caddies and drawers, try making closed-end PVC pipe arrays and hanging them just above the back edge of a work bench. Your screwdrivers, hammer handles and other small tools will fit neatly inside, keeping these important items at your fingertips yet off of the working surfaces you need to keep clear.
Curtain Rod Ingenuity
Using either curtain rods and brackets or tension shower rods in tight spaces and corners gives you an excellent place to hang spray cleaners (saddle their triggers over the bar), shop towels and more. For items such as gardening gloves, shower rings with hanging clips work wonderfully – just roll the edges of the cuff under the clip or hang the gloves from the fingers to discourage insects. Large S-hooks can be threaded through the handles or hanging loops of other gardening tools to keep them on the bar as well.
Pre-Organize Needed Items
You probably have “batches” of similar things in your garage right now – the soap, sponges, wax for car washing, or maybe the same type of assortment for giving the dog a bath. Keep these task-oriented items gathered together with inexpensive shower caddies, which have handles incorporated into them. this way, rather than rooting around in your garage for 4 or 5 items and leaving a trail of disorganization, you can simply grab and go. This is also handy if a neighbor needs to borrow those items – you can hand them over and they can bring them back quickly and easily.
While bringing a little order to your garage may require a small initial investment of time, money and effort, the long-term benefits are well worth it. The first time you’re able to pull your car into the garage without pulling, pushing or hoping nothing’s in the way, you’re sure to agree. Get back your garage by putting these tips to use today!