Are you constantly searching for new garage storage ideas? Or, maybe you’ve found a clever solution, but you can’t decide if it would actually work in your space? Organizing a garage isn’t about making it Pinterest-worthy.
Nor is it about figuring out how to stretch small garage storage areas into enormous ones. Instead, creating a functional, organized garage means cleverly grouping the items you need to store.
Sorting Your Stuff
The first step in this process is categorizing your possessions by their value to you or someone else. Each item gets placed into one of the following categories:
- Keep: short-term storage
- Keep: long-term storage
- Sell or donate
The second step is separating the items into groupings based on their function.
Most garages hold the same types of items, which fall into several categories, including:
- Workbench tools
- Paint and building supplies
- Yard and garden tools and supplies
- Long-term storage items
- Holiday decorations
- Sports equipment
- Yard toys and pool equipment
- Auto repair items and supplies
- Lawn and patio items
- Food and beverages
- Hazardous materials
To simplify the process, organize the items in your garage into piles using these categories. Then, figure out which items you use the most and the least. Those items you use the most need to be easily accessible in your garage.
Evaluate the Space
Determine which areas are more accessible. Calculate how many items each of those spaces can hold. Take some time to create a rough floor plan.
Share your preliminary ideas with a professional garage organizer. They’ll know what types of storage systems or custom cabinets for your garage will fit best. They’ll also be able to help you work out a garage storage installation budget.
No one wants to invest in a bunch of cabinets only to learn they’re unsuitable for their needs. The only way to build efficient storage cabinets and systems is to know the shapes and sizes of the stuff you’ll put in them.
A garage storage installation professional can help you optimize your storage. They’ll recommend solutions that improve on your original ideas.
Wall and Ceiling Storage
Base your shelving and cabinetry choices on an item’s function and category to simplify your wall storage. For example, hanging some of your tools on a pegboard might be more efficient than placing them in a drawer.
Moveable shelving units and custom-built cabinets are reasonable storage solutions in a garage.
But in some cases, you might just need a set of clearly labeled storage bins sitting on some sturdy shelves. The goal here is to make it convenient to access your most used items.
The ceiling storage area is ideal for bigger or long-term storage items, such as lawnmowers, patio furniture, snowblowers, artificial Christmas trees, and bicycles.
Both fixed platforms and retractable systems work well when mounted to the ceiling. The number of long-term items you can store depends on your ceiling height.
A good garage designer can develop ideas that fit your needs and budget.
Beautifully finished epoxy floors can tie any garage design together.
And if you’re going to invest in a new floor, you’ll want to show it off. So consider starting your wall storage systems a foot or two above the floor.
With a floor design that accentuates your cabinets, you’re almost guaranteed to see an increase in your home value.
Other aesthetic solutions include special lighting: motion sensor lights, decorative rope lights, or workbench lights.
You need adequate workbench lighting to help you sort items for storage or work on hobbies.
Some of the most challenging items to store include:
- Leaf blowers
- Lawn chairs
Their unique shape means they often take up more space than you can afford to lose. However, garage storage installation companies know how to handle these awkward pieces.
Pulley systems are popular for those with high-ceilinged garages. For example, a clever garage storage professional knows of a dozen ways to get bicycles off the floor. They can also tell you which solution is best for your garage.
The more unique the item, the more you’ll need help from an organizational professional. For instance, is it best for you to mount your bicycles vertically on the wall or hoist them overhead?
Additionally, the best solution for your garage might not be the easiest to install. That’s why a professional consultation is necessary.
Organize by Zone
For example, it’s wise to keep the lawn and garden tools near the garage door. When you’re doing yard work, you can simply reach in and grab any tool you need.
If you store your trash and recycling in the garage, you’ll want to place the trash cans close to the inside service door. This makes it easier to empty the kitchen trash every couple of days.
Then, at the end of the week, you can just open the garage door and roll the cans to the curb for pick up.
Be as strategic as possible when setting up your zones. For example, if you have items you use all the time, you don’t want to bend over or reach up high to get to them. But you can store lesser-used items in more out-of-the-way places.
It also doesn’t make sense to take the car out of the garage just to get an item down from the ceiling.
Only store seldom-used objects above your vehicle.
What Not to Store in Your Garage
Part of organizing the garage is determining what not to store.
While having an extra refrigerator to hold drinks and meat can be helpful, try to avoid storing dry food in your garage. Bulk pantry staples and dry pet food are easy targets for rodents and other pests.
Likewise, your garage is not a wine cellar. The temperature inside a garage fluctuates, causing the wine bottles to expand and contract. This may lead to oxidation and ruin the taste of your wine.
Don’t store cardboard boxes in your garage. They absorb moisture, and pests might nest in them. To avoid setting up a mouse hotel, store empty, collapsed boxes in sealable plastic bins. Make sure to label the containers, so you know what’s in them at a glance.
Similarly, it’s best to store essential documents, paintings, photographs, and delicate clothing indoors. While these moisture-sensitive items may do okay sealed in plastic, many of these items are too vital to risk damage.
Don’t store propane tanks or other flammable items in your garage. They can ignite, causing a severe house fire. Instead, propane cylinders should be stored outdoors and away from your home on a flat surface.
You can store hazardous materials in your garage, but only temporarily—a week or two at most. Old batteries or any HAZMAT-listed items should be disposed of swiftly and prudently.
Garage Storage Space Installation
Your garage storage installation professional will handle the hard work. With their experience, you’ll have an organized, functional garage in no time.
They’ll also help you consider important factors that most people would miss on their own.
For example, a storage installation specialist will check your garage walls and ceiling for gaps. They’ll seal cracks with caulk or expandable spray foam to create a barrier against moisture infiltration. They’ll check your doors and windows to ensure they’re secure.
Few homeowners consider the importance of sealing their garage doors. Yet, this is the number one entry point for insects and rodents, neither of which you want to get inside your storage containers. A professional can advise you on the best threshold strips for any garage door.
A storage specialist may even help you to organize your everyday life better. For example, they might advise where to store your trash bags to avoid smells and keep pests at bay. They can offer helpful tips like keeping cat litter on hand to absorb oil and grease spills.
Your Garage Storage Installation Professionals
Your garage organization professional will help you evaluate your options. They’ll know whether vertical or ceiling storage (or a combination of both) is the best option for your possessions. They’ll make recommendations that fit your budget.
Request a free estimate today to learn about how we can help you transform your garage from a dark, messy den to a functional workspace.
Get Inspired with Your Free Garage Organization eBook from Garage Designs!