How to Organize a Garage


Garages often hold more than just our cars. Designing a versatile garage and workspace requires careful planning.
Garages often hold more than just our cars. Designing a versatile garage and workspace requires careful planning.

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­The major problem when it comes to organizing a garage is the accumulation of "stuff," some necessary and some not. These sundry acquisitions don't have to be tossed, donated, or sold at your next garage sale; they simply need a place to be stored. Once everything has its place, the garage can hold your cars and bicycles as well as all that "stuff," which is now visible, reachable, and usable.

Check out the following pages to learn how you can better organize your garage space.

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Assigning and Arranging Space

The first question is where to put everything. A garage provides more wall space than floor space, so it's an easy task to systematically assign and arrange that space. The ceiling is also a valuable resource for storage space. With the insertion of a few well-placed hooks, the ceiling can hold bicycles, ladders, and luggage out of the way. A storage shelf installed from the ceiling is great for items that are used infrequently or seasonally, such as camping gear, outdoor Christmas decorations or lights, or window screens and storm doors.

­ Built-in shelves provide plenty of space for paint cans, spray bottles, mulch, buckets, automotive supplies, flower pots, and boxes and bags of all descriptions. Make sure you arrange them on the shelves by category, putting like items together. It's helpful to confine smaller items in a system of drawers attached to the shelves or in boxes and bins that sit on the shelves. Both drawers and bins or boxes should have attached identification labels.

Workshops and Hobby Areas

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As you sort through everything in your garage, you'll quickly realize that many items need more specific and detailed handling. Or you may decide to designate a specific area as a workshop or as storage for your particular hobby or sport. Your sport may be tennis, skiing, golf, bicycling, or some other activity A neat and tidy look combined with a great deal of storage can be achieved with this equipment displayed on the walls rather than scattered on the floor. For the carpenter or home handyman, there are certainly a number of ways to control and regulate the tool situation. A workbench is a good way to gain some control over the equipment and the many nuts, bolts, and screws that are necessary for this hobby.

­ If you're simply looking for a place and a way to organize the tools, nails, and wrenches you use periodically a rack or portable tool box may do the trick. This can be kept in the garage or in the basement, depending on your needs and space.

Gardening

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­ The garage often serves as the storage area for gardening equipment. You'll need a place for repotting, sprouting, fertilizing, and seeding blossoms and greenery as well as ample storage space for potting soil, pots, sprinkling cans, and the like. An inexpensive combination of crates and bins can be used to build a tidy area that demands little floor space. Of course, little gardening actually goes on in the garage. But the hoes, rakes, spades, shovels, and water hose can be stored there for convenience. A rack or tool strip on the garage wall can accommodate this equipment. Individual hooks in any configuration can also be used if you don't want to limit yourself to a straight-line arrangement.

Recycling

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­ One final matter in the garage deserves your attention since it contributes greatly to clutter. With today's concern over the environment, recycling is becoming more common. Recycling bins are most often kept on the floor, taking up valuable space. You can at least control and reduce the amount of space occupied by using stackable recycling bins. Adding a hand cart keeps you from having to make two or three trips to the curb on trash day. Just wheel the entire three-piece unit -- with its separate loads of glass, aluminum, and plastic -- out of the garage and to the street.

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