If you have the luxury of only using your garage for parking your car and not much else, then you probably won’t find much of use in our garage organisation tips. That’s based on the assumption that if the car isn’t in there, nothing is, and that doesn’t leave much to keep in order! For most people, however, it is rarely that simple. As the garage is often separate to the main house or at least not always directly accessible, it can quickly turn into a dumping ground.
When Christmas comes around, boxes need to go somewhere, and they usually end up in the garage. If you run out of space for something in the house and it could do with leaving altogether, it goes in the garage. Within weeks, you no longer have the space you started with – to the point that the car might not even fit. However, like any room, there are steps you can take to make the most of the space you do have, and you’ll find all our best advice throughout the tips below.
1. Add some Overhead Storage
Whenever we write about making the most of limited space in our tips here on the site, our thoughts immediately turn to looking up. Most garages boast a bit of clearance over head height, especially if they do not have a flat roof, and there is no reason to let that space go to waste. Ceiling racks are not overly expensive, and they don’t take up much space on the floor – yet they open up a whole floor’s worth of space above. Just try to avoid using that space for unnecessary clutter and things that should ideally be in a skip!
2. Install Pegboards
Pegboards can quickly convert a flat wall into yet more vertical space. They are like shelves for the garage – more on them shortly – but far more flexible. If you’re into DIY, gardening or anything else that benefits from a decent collection of small tools, you can assign spaces on the wall in which to store them with ease. You can then take your pick of shelves, hooks and other fittings to suit whatever you need to store.
3. Shelves Have a Part to Play
Pegboards may be more flexible, but you still cannot go wrong with a shelving unit. Some items will be too big or bulky for pegboards anyway. That means that you could leave them strewn across the floor, but that vertical space comes to the rescue once again. We tend to prefer freestanding shelving units in the garage as it is easier to judge the size and weight they can bear, but the choice is down to you.
4. Keep Costs Down with Used Storage Furniture
Your pride in your garage may extend to keeping it sparkly and clean, but that is rare. Most people cope with a dirt and dust buildup in the garage as par for the course, to the point that it doesn’t matter how the furniture looks. Dents and scratches in the garage give the impression of hard work and usefulness, so there is nothing wrong with putting old filing cabinets and other used items in there. You might not even need to buy them – if there’s storage in the house that is a bit too tatty to stay, it can find a whole new life in the garage.
5. Wooden Pallets can be a Great, Creative Idea
We want to keep floor coverage to a minimum, so wooden pallets might not make sense at first. However, the idea is not to lie them on the floor. Pick them up and screw them into the wall and you have an instant storage rack for larger garden tools, sports equipment and just about anything else that takes your fancy.
6. Screws Alone can Create Storage Space
Screws sticking randomly out of walls are not exactly attractive, and most health and safety inspectors would pass out at the thought. However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that most things you’d want to store in a garage lend themselves well to hanging from screws. Handles, holes and anything else can hold items on the wall without fuss, and if it doesn’t, a couple of screws can make for an impromptu frame for many handles and bases.
7. Repurpose Items that Weren’t Made for the Garage
You’ll have to proceed with caution for this tip, as you run the risk of annoying someone else in the household. Nevertheless, there are plenty of in-home items that are perfect for garage storage. Anything designed to keep shoes out of the way works particularly well, and self-contained clothes peg caddies can keep cloths and lighter, more flexible items out of the way.
8. Replace Large Items with Smaller Ones
Like we always say, just because a tip is obvious does not mean it is any less relevant! The garage is potentially the most flexible room in the house, and all sorts can go on in there. If you like to use a workbench for projects, consider ditching the bulky, fixed option for one that folds away when you’re finished. If you have large, freestanding tools in there, consider whether you need them at all or, failing that, if a handheld version could do the same job.
9. Use Physics to Store Metal Items
Magnets are another favourite when we discuss making the most of limited space. Magnetic strips are particularly useful in the garage because they rarely look out of place or unsightly. You probably won’t want to risk sticking a bike or shovel to them, but they are great for small garden tools, screws and anything else light and magnetic.
10. Label Everything
Admin is probably the last thing on your mind, but we mustn’t forget that this feature is about organisation, not just storage. Everything has its place, but you need to find it quickly so keep some sticky labels or a Dymo nearby so that drawers, cabinets and other containers don’t lose their usefulness.