How to Create Zones for an Organized Garage
It’s really starting to feel like summer in Alabama! And summer means yard work, kids home from school, and maybe pool gear all over the place! So I thought it was the perfect time to share some tips from a recent episode of Today’s Homeowner about organizing your garage!
As with any organization project, it is essential to take inventory of what you have and what your needs are as far as storage goes. What do you use most often? It needs to be easily accessible at all times. What is stored for seasonal use, i.e. Christmas or summer camping? It can be stored overhead. For this family, they didn’t really have a lot of stuff, they just didn’t have a designated place for everything so it was chaotic and everywhere. We helped them by creating zones for each ‘activity’ (so to speak) which really was a zone for each family member.
Their priorities were (1) a place to park mom’s car, (2) a spot for dad’s workout bench, (3) a spot for dad’s tools, and (4) storage for the kids’ ride-on toys and baseball gear.
Make it clear where everything goes! Draw outlines of everything if you have to! Then no one (aka husbands and kids! ha!) can say “I don’t know where it goes.” We used a commercial-grade carpet to line the sides of the garage, leaving the concrete (after painting it with a Behr coating) exposed only where the mom’s SUV would be parked.
We moved Dwight’s workout bench to the middle of the left side of the garage for 2 reasons. First, when it was in the corner, it took up 2 walls of space. So moving it to the middle freed up the adjacent wall for his tool storage.
Second, we changed out an overhead light bulb socket into a ceiling fan/light combo. So now the fan is directly over his workout bench. And if you’ve ever worked out in a garage in the humid heat of summer, you know a fan is a necessary accessory!
Utilize Vertical Space
I remember my dad’s advice when I was moving into my dorm room to use as much vertical space as possible for storage. The same is true for maximizing the storage space in any room really!
We started by priming and painting a 1×16 that ran the width of the garage. After creating braces for support, we hung it on the back wall, above the door that leads to the backyard. Ahh! Perfect for storing rarely-used items like select power tools, boxes of Christmas decorations, and tents and camp chairs. But it’s still accessible with the ladder stored on the wall underneath.
Also on the wall underneath, we used simple hooks from the garage organization aisle at the home center to get the shovels, rakes and other lawn tools up and off the ground. Fasten a painted 1×4 to studs and then you have something for the hooks to grab a hold of without having to line up with studs.
To help store the kids’ bikes and scooters, we built a simple rack out of 2x4s (painted white like the rest of the garage shelving) that allows the boys to push their bikes into place and the bikes will stay upright, much like a metal bike rack.
Then the homeowner, Shar’Day, and I built a simple bench around 3 plastic bins. It’s the perfect height for her boys to sit and take off their shoes when they get home. Then they can store the shoes in their own bin right next to the door that leads into the kitchen.
Leave Room for More
When you’re overhauling the organization of a space, whether just a closet or a whole room like this, it’s always a good idea to leave room for more. Here, we didn’t store anything on the right wall. There’s also more space to expand the overheard shelf on either side. There’s room to grow. Don’t organize just for exactly what you have now. Otherwise you’ll be re-organizing every time you buy something new! It also helps to trash, donate, or sell a few things as you go along too! 🙂
You can see more details about these projects and watch the full episode on todays homeowner.com!
On a scale of 1 being BAD and 10 being Pinterest-worthy, how organized is your garage right now?? Mine’s probably at a 5 which is why I’m talking about someone else’s today! Ha!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea