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Organizing the Garage: Essential Ideas for Garage Storage

Organizing the garage with ideas for garage storage

Need help organizing the garage? Has your garage become a catch-all for all sorts of things that you just don't know what else to do with? Maybe you need the stuff, maybe you don't. Maybe you're not even sure what's out there. But one thing is certain. A good garage storage system will get it all organized, providing more room for your family and all those possessions.

With winter finally behind us and summer quickly approaching, more families will be spending time outdoors. Pastimes like biking, the beach, sports, or just hanging out in the yard become popular again once the snow and bad weather leave us. All of these outdoor activities generally involve a lot of gear — gear that is often kept in the garage. Without a proper organization system in place, things can quickly pile up to the point that the garage and its contents become unusable.

If you were able to take a peek behind the closed doors of most garages in your neighborhood, you'd most likely find an assortment of toys, bikes, sporting equipment, yard tools, automotive accessories, and even extra refrigerators and patio furniture. With all the clutter, many garages don't have room to park an automobile — the purpose for which they were originally designed.

mess and disorganization before organizing the garage
Before organizing the garage
garage organizing completed with ideas for garage storage
Same garage (different angle) after garage organizing with Closet Works garage cabinets, shelves, tool bench, and wall organizers.

In addition to providing storage, the garage often functions as a conduit between the outside and inside spaces of the house. It provides a point of entrance and departure for the home. Because it is enclosed from the outdoors, but not really an indoor space like the house, it often is used as a staging area for outdoor activities. This tends to leave it vulnerable to the accumulation of a lot of "stuff".

Most homes could benefit from some sort of garage organizing system. This means storage. Whether the problem arises from an abundance of toys, bicycles, sports equipment, yard tools, or clutter generated by hobbies, a good garage storage system needs to be implemented to make the most of this space. The best garage system for you will depend on the exact items that you need to store in the space, but when there is a place for everything and everything is in its place, the clutter magically vanishes.

Ideas for Garage Storage:

  1. Garage Shelving:

    ideas for garage storage include garage shelving
    Essential ideas for garage storage include garage shelving.

    Every home garage needs some sort of shelving as part of its organization strategy. It should become the backbone of your entire garage organizing scheme. They are absolutely necessary if you want to get things off the floor and put away so that you can find and use them when needed. Correctly placed shelves will offer a convenient place to store automotive essentials like windshield wiper fluid, motor oil, car wax and more. Yard tools, sporting equipment and toys can all find a convenient home on garage shelves. Purchase large plastic bins with lids to corral like items and keep them organized on your shelves. The bins also make it easy to swap places on the shelves, moving seasonal items like holiday decorations to the top shelf during the warm months, while bringing down the beach toys, yard tools and fertilizers to the easier to reach lower shelves.

  2. Garage Storage Cabinets:

    ideas for garage storage include garage storage cabinets
    Essential ideas for garage storage include garage storage cabinets.

    Never under estimate the importance of cabinets to your garage organization strategy. Cabinets are basically shelves with doors to cover their contents. The doors provide added benefit over plain shelving because they hide the clutter on the shelves, offering a cleaner look, and can be locked. The locking aspect is key to families with pets and small children. Dogs are known to go after rat poison, and all chemicals should be kept out of reach of small children as well as sharp tools. A locking cabinet in the garage can take care of both of these needs easily, while making the entire garage appear neater and more organized.

  3. Garage Wall Organizers:

    ideas for garage storage include garage wall organizers
    Essential ideas for garage storage include garage wall organizers. This garage features the Omni Track aluminum wall storage sold by Closet Works.
    Garage wall organizers like track wall systems offer a well-organized storage solution without taking up much space. They consist of special hooks designed to hold a wide assortment of household items. The ones that use wall track are easy to move and rearrange at need. They are ideal for the walls next to where the car is parked because their small footprint ensures that you will still be able to open the car door when it is inside the garage.
  4. Garage Overhead Storage:

    ideas for garage storage include garage overhead storage
    Essential ideas for garage storage include garage overhead storage
    Overhead storage racks add additional space to the garage by utilizing the ceiling as a fifth wall for shelving. These racks consist of heavy-duty shelves that are suspended from the ceiling and anchored to the studs. They are made in sizes to fit in between your overhead door tracks, reclaiming otherwise dead space for storage. Use these racks for seasonal items and things you use only ocassionally, as a ladder is usually required to access the possessions stored here.
  5. Bike Racks for Garage:

    ideas for garage storage include bike racks for garage
    Essential ideas for garage storage include bike racks for garage.
    You can reclaim a lot of floor space in your garage by using a rack system to store the bikes when not in use. Without racks, bicycles can take up and entire bay in the garage. Assuming you own one bike for each member of the family, that's a lot of potential space that might be better utilized for the family car. The key when selecting bike racks for the garage is to choose racks that will be accessible and easy to operate for the age of person using them. That often means multiple types of racks in a single garage. Suspended bike racks are good for adult bike riders. The better-quality overhead cycle racks also include some sort of hoist system to raise and lower the bike, keeping it accessible. Suspended bike racks often attach to the ceiling like overhead storage, pressing spaces into use for storage that would otherwise be left unused. Toddler's tricycles can be suspended from a bike hook on your wall track system, as they are relatively small, and the child is always supervised by an adult who can get the bike down for them when playing. Older children who ride their bikes on a daily basis, however, need some sort of floor storage for their bike. If they have a designated bike rack in the front of the garage on the floor where they are supposed to place the bicycle when home, it will discourage them from leaving it in the middle of the bay and blocking access to parking for automobiles.
  6. Garage Tool Bench/ Potting Bench:

    ideas for garage storage include garage tool bench
    Essential ideas for garage storage include garage tool bench or potting bench, depending on your hobbies.
    A tool bench or potting bench for the garage is a cross between storage and work space. There are usually cabinets above the work bench and often some sort of drawers or shelves underneath for organizing the tools of the trade. The "bench" is actually a countertop that that can be used as a work surface for the hobby. This kind of garage organizer is ideal for messy hobbies. Wood workers and gardeners alike will find that a tool bench or potting bench in the garage provides a space to enjoy their hobby that protected from the outdoor elements while keeping the mess out of the house.

Organizing the Garage:

Like all organizing, garage organization hinges on having everything in its place with a place for everything. That means installing good storage solutions that are simple to use by everyone in the family. Shelves, cabinets, wall organizers, overhead/ceiling storage, bike racks and a tool bench/potting bench for hobbies are essential components of the well-appointed garage that will keep you organized.

If you decide to take the plunge into organizing your garage this spring or summer, you will find that it has lasting benefits all year long. It's like the gift that keeps on giving. Having your things stored in such a way that it is easy find and enjoy what you want when you want it frees up your time and energy to do the things the really enjoy with the people you'd like to do them with. Everything in its place and a place for everything. It makes life easier. After all, everything is easier when you're organized.

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garage shelving
A large part of successful garage organizing is making full use of all the nooks and grannies in the garage to maximize the storage potential. The space behind this door was largely ignored, but now sports convenient shelves and pull-out wire baskets to stow small toys, balls, or even wet umbrellas.
See Project >

garage cabinets and tool bench
Garage cabinets offer a lot of storage and the ability to lock certain cabinets containing dangerous chemicals or sharp tools but look neater and cleaner than open shelving.
See Project >

garage overhead storage with tool bench and cabinets
This garage uses overhead storage for out-of-season items in combination with cabinets for the things that need frequent access. The simple tool bench makes any small "fix-it" jobs a breeze.
See Project >

garage wall organizers were used to organize hand tools
Omni Track aluminum garage wall organizers were used in this workshop to organize the small hand tools.
See Project >

garage storage cabinetsgarage storage shelves
This modern garage hits all the essential points of good garage organization. It offers floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets on one wall, floor-to-ceiling shelving on another, overhead storage racks, and a tool bench between the garage cabinets.
See Project >

garage storage for bikes
These overhead bike racks keep Mom and Dad's bicycles out of the way of everyday traffic, while the kid's bikes that are ridden every day to school are allowed to remain on the garage floor — though parked in a corner so that there is still room for the car.
See Project >

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