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Organizing your garage

April 30 2010

Many men take pride in their abilities to manage things around the home from fixing leaks to installing crown molding, but for some men, self-esteem rises and falls with the garage.

A well organized garage shows you’re in control. A messy garage….not so much. 

A messy garage can be embarrassing, but worse, it’s inefficient.  It can take hours to find anything, nothing is in the right place and working on simple projects is more difficult.

If you want to get anything done this spring, it’s time to seize the moment. Organizing may not be your idea of fun, but with a few steps, you can reclaim the garage, create more space, and do better work than ever.

Get It off the Floor

The first step is to revitalizing your garage is to install pegboard along the walls. Pegboard comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and in durable materials from hard particle board to industrial grade steel. It can be measured and cut to size to fit right where you want it to go. In control, remember?

From the peg board you can mount brackets and hooks of all sizes to hold tools in an easily accessible, highly visible area. Think – quick draw, McGraw. 

Use the pegboards to hang like things together – brooms with mops, bicycles with tire pumps, etc.

For extra organization points, once you you’ve decided where a tool should be, take a permanent marker and trace the tool, then label the tracing so you know where tools are supposed to go and what’s missing from the wall. Gone is the mystery of where that screwdriver is supposed to go.

Build Shelves

Starting with pegboard allows you to build shelves over it.  Your goal with building shelves is to maximize storage and minimize clutter.

Your shelves can be mounted over the pegboard by installing them into the beams that hold up the wall. Just make sure your brackets are strong enough to hold the weight of what you’re wanting to support.

Think in terms of frequency of use. Put stuff you use most often between hand and eye level, so you don’t have to bend or reach. Consider putting odds and ends in big bins that you label so you can make things easier to find.

When thinking about shelves, AssociatedContent.com suggests that you take advantage of those high spaces in your garage, especially for storing larger things or stuff that isn’t used as often. 

Light It Right

The last thing you want to include in your revitalized garage is some good work lighting. Often over-looked and underappreciated, light brightens your garage and is crucial if you plan on getting anything done.

Consider task lighting for specific uses such as woodworking, as well as overhead light. If you already have some fixtures, they may be a bit outdated and could use an upgrade. Rd.com suggests going with 8-ft to 4-ft fluorescent fixtures for some good overhead lighting. Fluorescents save you money on energy bills and have a long life so you get the best bright for your buck. 

With just a little effort, you can make your garage one of the most useful and exciting spaces in your home.  If you need to make changes, the module aspect of your pegboard will allow you to remodel and reorganize your garage whenever your needs or interests change.

And have a place to park your car!