The garage tends to become a catch-all space for all the extras, but taking the time to organize this space is an excellent investment. You walk through this space every day on your way to your car, so garage clutter is an inconvenience, and a possible source of danger. There are excellent manufacturers who make garage storage products such as Gladiator, Ulti-Mate, TOTEStorage, and Rubbermaid, but if you’re a do-it-yourselfer on a budget, try the following.
1. Store bikes up and out of traffic zones. They can be suspended from walls with simple hooks and clip systems, or on sturdy racks generally available in hardware stores, bike shops or in closet accessory departments.
2. Keep athletic gear in order. Visit a home center or closet accessories shop and you’ll find racks and shelves designed for all kinds of sports equipment. Depending on the size of your collection, some organizing system designs include shelves, wall systems, and hanging baskets. Or use scrap wood to create an inexpensive storage device for your family sports equipment.
3. Store protective gear close to bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades near the garage door.
4. Assign camping and sports gear a place close to your car. We built corner shelves from scrap wood to hold bunny food (our bunny lives outdoors), and ski boots. This makes loading and unloading a snap for ski season. If you don’t have that space, use a wheeled chest to store equipment for convenient loading.
5. Install a fold-down table, if space in your garage or basement is tight. It lays flush with the wall when not in use to keep traffic zones clear. When you need a surface for potting plants or making home repairs, it folds out into a locked horizontal position.
6. Stackable storage drawers can be arranged to fit almost any space. Some can be placed atop other storage systems, or can be placed on wheels. Storage drawers can hold workshop tools, garden supplies, winter gloves and hats or toys for example. Clear plastic lets you see inside, while keeping the contents dust free.
7. Use PVC rain gutters and/or pipes to create convenient storage for molding, lightweight lumber, pipes, and other long, thin items. To install the vinyl or aluminum gutters, cut the lengths you want and use screws to fasten the mounting brackets to studs; snap the gutters into place. Use the brackets alone as hooks for garden hoses, extension cords, and wire coils.
8. Build a bench in the garage to provide a handy spot for your family to put on and remove sports gear. If you’re buying a bench, check out home stores for a model designed with a storage shelf underneath to let wet boots and shoes drain dry. Or for the same effect, place a ridged plastic tray underneath the bench.
9. Don’t forget the space above the garage door for tracks and clear storage tubs. There are many companies now who specialize in tracking systems that allow you to slide your labeled tubs above the dead space created when the garage door closes. This area is great for bulky off-season items and outdoor decorations and tools.
Content in this blog post is adapted From the Reader’s Digest Householder’s Survival Manual