The Garage – Not just a dumping ground!

Whether you have a single garage or a drool-worthy 3-car space, one thing seems to inevitably happen – vehicles gradually get nudged out of the space by ever-growing piles of “stuff”. With a bit of planning, the garage can become a productive extension of the home and a sanctuary for Dad to tinker in.

The key to a great garage is the same as any household space – assess your needs and plan your space. Fortunately, you are not alone here. Professional garage planners and installers are now available to help you maximize your space. There are many companies now offering sleek, modular, storage solutions for the garage. Almost every hardware store has one or several brands of garage storage systems to help you with your garage transformation. If you are not confident in your abilities, there are even specialty garage-planners to call upon for their expertise! You may want to look at a few websites for ideas before you even begin to open your mind to the possibilities.

Getting started on a garage makeover:

 Choose your day carefully

  • Check the weather forecast and make sure you have enough fair weather to empty your entire garage. Yes, we said your entire garage! It’s the only way to sort through all of the things lurking in there.
  • Get the whole family involved! Comfortable clothes are a must.
  • As you empty the garage, sort all of the items into piles of things to keep, sell, recycle, or toss
  • Make sure you look through all of the boxes and totes while you sort

Without all the “stuff” your garage will likely look massive. With a blank slate, you can plan for the use of the space for your family. 

  • Measure your space, including location of doors, windows, stairs and electrical
  • Determine how much space is required for your vehicles
  • Take note of the clearance required for the garage door
  • Decide on whether you want visible access to all items, a sleek look with all items stored or something in between.
  • Think of your typical activities – home projects, tinkering on the car, bike repair or a potting bench.
  • What do you need easy access to and what can be stored and taken out as required?
  • What needs easy access for the family?
  • What items need to be securely locked away?

 Choose your products

  • Decide on your wall system. Pegboard systems allow for storage of light items. If you are needing a more robust system, slatwall may be the way to go.
  • Wall components (shelves, baskets, hooks and hangers) can keep items neat and off the floor.
  • Look up! If your ceiling height allows, overhead storage for light, seldom-used items may be the way to go.
  • Cabinets with drawers create protected, tidy storage for tools. Other types of cabinets keep sports equipment clean and paint and chemicals safely locked away.
  • Workbenches have a myriad of purposes – repotting plants, art and science projects, and general tinkering. Just be sure to place a workbench where you have good light and an outlet.
  • Rather than running into the house, consider a garage fridge. It may be for overflow consumables or to store garden bulbs, seeds or fishing bait. You choose based on your needs. While you are at it, a trash compactor may be in order.
  • Look at the condition of your walls. Do they need just a coat of paint or new drywall.
  • Many kinds of garage flooring are now available, from chemical resistance peel and stick tile to roll-on coatings. A great floor finish can really enhance this space and protect the concrete from damage.

The end is now in sight!

  • Paint any walls needing a coat, complete your chosen flooring and install your wall tracks or panels.
  • Position the workbenches, floor cabinets, appliances and install hooks, shelves and wall cabinets
  • Finally, it is time to move in. Your “keep” pile can now be stored, hung or placed in their place. 

Your whole family will love this new space and you’ll be surprised at how pleasant small fix-it tasks will be when you’re not fighting with clutter.

If you are building a new home, try a pre-emptive strike before you move in and plan your garage and audit your belongings before cluttering your new space. Your new home will truly be a home, sweet home!

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