Tips For Organizing Your Garage
There are many reasons to organize a garage. Probably at the top of the list is to get all the clutter out of the way so you don’t trip over it and break your neck. Right behind that is the thought that organizing the garage will give you additional useful storage space, and not to mention a place to store your vehicle. Keeping your car in a garage keeps it out of the elements. No UV exposure, no excessive heat that’s going to damage plastic, and also moderate the temperature the vehicle’s exposed to when not in use. Finally, it also keeps it away from people who may want to do damage or otherwise.
The first step is to stand back and do an appraisal of everything that’s in the garage, and the spatial constraints that you have to deal with, also taking note of storage spot options such as the walls and ceiling where you may be able to hang storage racks or modular shelving. Now that you have your head around this, it’s time to begin the project, and the first step will probably be to get your family involved as you go through what undoubtedly are things that have ownership from various members. You know what we mean, sporting equipment, bicycles, fishing poles, automotive repair tools, jacks etc. You get the picture.
The single most difficult part of this exercise is going to be to analyze what you absolutely cannot live without, and what can be discarded. Generally speaking, anything that you haven’t looked at in 2-3 years is a prime candidate for the trash bin or donation to a charity. You should begin to segregate and categorize everything that’s in the garage. Put the sporting equipment together, put the detergents solvents paints etc. together, and put the tools together. I think you know what I mean by now. Once you’ve done that, decide which things can be disposed of. Keep in mind that certain things like solvents, fluorescent light tubes, harsh chemicals, and such, must be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Generally speaking, your local municipality has a facility for this. Usually Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart will provide disposal for CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps) and T8 and T40 full size fluorescent tubes.
Ok, now you’ve identified and categorized the contents, you’ve taken the next step and you have discarded everything that’s not needed or not wanted, put it in appropriate disposal containers, and moved out to the curb, you might also have noticed that you have some combustible and dangerous materials in your garage such as propane tanks for your grill, gasoline cans with fuel for your lawnmower, assuming you’re somebody who still cuts their lawn, pet food which is nothing more than a magnet for rodents and other vermin, and should be stored indoors in a sealed container that will not allow access from other animals. Now you’re at the point where you can make some rational decisions. Once you surveyed everything that’s going to stay, it’s time to decide where to put it, and how to organize it. One of the most important considerations is to keep everything off the floor when possible. Dumping things on the floor is the kiss of death and should be avoided at all costs.
If your garage is large enough, you have a much wider range of storage options. You can purchase readymade garage organizing racks, cabinets, or shelving. One of the best and most versatile arrangements is to get standard pallet racking. This is the same type of teardrop style racking that you see at Lowes and Home Depot, and you can usually find a local vendor of commercial warehouse storage equipment that will have this. Not only is it super strong, it is absolutely ideal, because the shelves can be located at any height, and the end panels can also be purchased at a height of eight feet. This gives you a huge range of options, particularly since you can set the racking and the shelving high enough so that your car can fit underneath it, and yet you still have access to shelving. Ideally you would have one shelf about 6” above the hood of your vehicle, and then another shelf maybe 3’ above that. This gives you an enormous amount of rock solid storage space. If you’ve gone this route then you’ve also purchased the wire mesh decks that lock on top of the laterals. The suggestion here is to put a piece of plywood on top of them so that you can slide boxes off and on easily. You will find this to be an absolutely superior garage storage technique.
Another cool and efficient thing to do is to buy plastic totes. The suggestion, of course, would be to get the ones that are more transparent so you can see the contents. These are containers that provide for effective storage and organization of items within a given category. In addition, typically one can nest slightly on top of the other so they don’t slide out of the way. And you can probably get 30 or 40 of them to fit on the shelving of an 8’ section of pallet rack. This is a clear winning formula for big time well organized storage.
Assuming you put this at the front end of your garage, now it’s time to take a look at the walls. One storage technique is to have something like peg board. However, peg board is so old school and has limited weight supporting ability. The ideal method, which is aesthetically pleasing is structurally solid, is to use slat wall. Slat wall as much stronger, and is infinitely more adjustable, and you can hang a wider range of items on it, in addition to shelf brackets so the shelving can be included.
Now we get down to one of the most difficult categories to store and organize, and that is mops, brooms, and other long handle cleaning implements. Ideally you’d want these stored close to your interior access door to the garage. There are several good organizers and racks made by companies such as: Menxen, Shanney, Berry Ave, Home-It, Rock Birds, Onmier, Homeideas. The one we happen to like is the one made by Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/. The Tech Team Hook and Clamp Mop Broom and Duster Organizer https://www.amazon.com/TECH-TEAM-Cleaning-Hardware-Included/dp/B07CV2H2X9/ref=sr_1_34?ie=UTF8&qid=1539524698&sr=8-34&keywords=tech+team is a superior item that installs quickly and easily, and can conveniently store a variety of long handled items.
Finally the other item that you should also have close to your access door is a fire extinguisher. We strongly recommend a class 3 extinguisher that hangs from a hook, is easy to get to, and is tested and/or updated on a regular basis. If you happen to have a two car garage, and you can set up an additional pallet rack, actually you only need one more upright, as the laterals will attach to the one end of the other racking. You can use the pallet racking to make a workbench. You would find this to be a rock solid stable bench that offers many options. We hope that we’ve given you enough good ideas to effectively organize your garage.