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Garage Re-haul

March 31 2010

In so many homes, the garage is a cluttered dumping ground where you stick things that don’t otherwise seem to have a place to live. Sometimes, this is so much the case that there’s not even room to park your car. Sound familiar? If so, now might be the perfect time to transform your garage into a useful work and storage space. Doing so can add significant value to your home in the eyes of potential buyers. Best of all, a garage re-haul project doesn’t have to involve a huge investment of either time or money.

Out with the Old

It may sound tedious and labor intensive, but the best way to tackle a cluttered garage is by hauling everything out to the driveway where you can sort and organize it. In the bright light of day, it will be easy to see what holds value and what needs to get chucked. Fortunately, once it’s in the driveway, it’s that much easier to send unneeded items on their way to the trash or the Salvation Army.

Once you’ve cleared away what you don’t need, sort what remains by function. Tools with tools, sports equipment with sports equipment – you get the idea. Doing so will help you get a handle on what you have and help you think through how best to store it in an orderly fashion. 

In with the Organization

Now that you can clearly see what really belongs in the garage, you can start to think about how best to make it all fit. The next order of the day is to consider what type of storage system or systems will keep things organized and accessible. You can choose from cabinets, shelves or wall-mounted racks – and you can go with a pre-fabricated mix-and-match modular system or you can build your own from scratch.

Cabinets and drawers, among the more expensive solutions you might consider, offer protection from dust and moisture and hide clutter from sight. Shelves, a cheaper option, are efficient uses of space that keep items visible, making them easy to locate and access. Wall-mounted racks are among the most affordable systems you might install, great for hanging tools and other equipment. The right solution for your garage will depend on your individual needs and budget – and it may be that a combination of storage types works best. Also keep in mind that plastic storage bins or containers can provide protection from dust and moisture for items that require it if you don’t include cabinets or drawers as part of your overall mix.

Remember to Look Up

In the garage especially, don’t forget the ceiling as you are taking inventory of your available storage space. Hooks can be a great way to store bikes and other unwieldy items, off the floor and out of the way but easy to get down when you need them. Standard wire shelving installed overhead between ceiling joists can also provide a valuable place to stash items that you need less frequently – such as seasonal sports equipment or holiday decorations. Ladders, too, can be kept out of sight and out of the way on hooks suspended from the ceiling. Obviously, if you have an automatic garage door that opens into the garage overhead, make sure to avoid installing any ceiling storage that might impede it.