Home organization usually focuses on the main parts of your living space: kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, maybe laundry room or home office. There’s one other area that probably needs attention, only many people forget it because it is “outside” the main house. Whether your garage is attached or a separate building, whether it’s a full garage or a carport with storage area, there are plenty of outdoorsy things that accumulate in this space and could do with a little organizing –or a lot.
Perhaps more than any other part of your house, the garage should be organized in zones. This is mainly due to the fact that a garage is a multipurpose storage space. Gardening, lawn maintenance, car maintenance, sporting equipment and things like bicycles find their home in a garage. It is usually where people store tools for household as well as vehicle repairs and some people use it as a workshop for woodworking or other projects. Depending on the size of the space it may also house exercise equipment or be used for off-season storage of everything from clothing to holiday decorations.
Before you go out to purchase bins, hooks, peg boards, and shelving, take a look around the space and divide it into zones where you can gather all related items. That will help you determine what type of storage you are going to need in each zone. You may even want to color-code the zones, buying tubs of different colors for each area.
Here are few tips for creative organization in your garage:
- Use hooks — they come in sizes small enough to hang things on a peg board and large enough for supporting sports helmets, tools, or even an entire bicycle.
- Re-purpose containers — baby food jars, in fact any small glass jar, can store nails, screws, and other items. Kitchen storage containers, wire baskets, metal planters, and tin cans can be turned into garage storage. You can organize them on shelves, hang them from the wall or for the glass jars, screw the lids to the bottom of a shelf or ledge so the jar hangs down. Other things that can be re-purposed include hanging show racks, paper towel holders (use as a garbage bag dispenser) and one guy suggests turning old hubcaps into “hanging baskets” by threading wires thru them and hanging them from the ceiling.
- Think magnets — there are magnetic tool hangers available that work just like the knife strip in the kitchen. You can also create your own magnetic boards, strips and shelves to organize other metal items. Most home and hardware stores carry a variety of magnets, magnetic tapes, and even magnetic primer paint, so use your imagination.
- Make use of scrap wood — if you are handy with a saw and nails, there are numerous projects that can be accomplished with scrap wood to help you organize the garage. Build a screwdriver holder, a custom bike rack, or create your own systems for hanging chairs, large tools, or even bins on the walls.
- Corral the balls — those basketballs and soccer balls roll all over the place and don’t store easily. Here’s two quick fixes: use bungee cords to create a “cage” for the balls or re-purpose one of the mesh or fabric laundry sorters.
As with any organization projects the keys are to plan first and to think creatively. If you can manage that, the rest will fall into place.