Making the Most of Your Garage

Organize the garage so that you get the most from it

By FamilyTime


You may not be taking full advantage of one of the most useful rooms in the house (or next to the house!). Take a look at the layout of the garage and draw a scaled version on graph paper. Beyond the dimensions of the space, indicate where existing shelves, electrical outlets, doors, and windows are located.

The Many Uses for a Garage
Decide what you want to use the garage for. You may decide on storing gardening supplies and sports equipment; using it as a wood-working workshop or laundry room. When making these plans, consider the size of the car.

Decide what you need to make the garage functional. This could mean adding tables, shelving, overhead storage, more outlets, better lighting, or a new garage door.

Utilizing the Walls
Install shelves or cabinets on walls high enough so that the car has clearance. If the ceilings are high enough, install free-standing or wall-mounted storage systems. Make use of old bookcases and metal shelving.

For shallow spaces, use pegboards to hang tools and equipment. Outline the tools directly onto the pegboard with bold, thick markers so you know where they belong. Place wood spacers away from the wall so that you can attach various hooks and hangers.

Utilizing the Ceiling
Overhead storage needs to be at least six-and-a-half to seven feet above the floor for clearance. Consider where the garage door is when it's open.

Build a loft or a rudimentary overhead platform. Screw hooks into beams for hanging bikes, fishing rods, ladders, camping equipment, and folding chairs.

Suspend a hammock for storing soft items such as porch cushions and sleeping bags.

Take Inventory
Begin by cleaning out the garage. Make large piles of what you intend to keep in the garage, move to the house or basement, and throw away. Sorting the contents may leave you with items suitable for a tag sale. See "Organizing a Tag Sale" listed under Fabulous Ideas.

Before you put tools and other equipment back in the garage in their proper places, clean or repair them.