Garage Storage Ideas, Tips & DIY Projects – It All Starts With a Plan
Decluttering your garage can be difficult and expensive, but it ought not to be and it won’t if you plan. Indeed, good, thorough planning is the key to easy and inexpensive garage organisation, regardless of whether you have a very large garage or just a small shed.
However, even before planning, there is an initial stage that you can’t get out of, no matter how much you dread it and that is cleaning. You can’t draw up a plan if you don’t know exactly how much space you have available and what items you’re going to actually store in the garage, as opposed to those you are going to throw out or relocate. As much as you hate it, you need to sort and purge. When that’s done, you can begin your garage shelving plans and pin down storage ideas based on space and load.
1. Draw Up Your Garage Storage Plans
If you really want this project done like a pro, then don’t wing it. Take grid paper and note down all the measurements, doors and windows, anything that can influence your storage plan. Don’t forget the space you’ll need for your car, as more likely you’re undertaking this entire project specifically as to be able to park your car inside the garage. The great advantage about drawing up the plans on grid paper is that it will allow you to mark your zones. Keep your gardening accessories in one place, your handyman tools in another and your sports equipment in another and so on. These are your zones and create as many as you need in order to have quick and easy access to whatever you need, but especially to what you use on a regular basis.
2. Emphasize visibility
A good plan is not the one that will get all of your stuff inside and on shelves, but one that will get all of your stuff inside, on shelves and where you can see them from a glance. Items that you only use once in a blue moon should be placed on higher shelves and if some of your things need to be boxed choose clear containers so that you can easily see what’s inside. Visibility is key if you don’t want your garage to turn into a mess again very soon. Whether you put in garage wall shelving units, free standing bays or cabinets try to keep visibility at a maximum.
3. Select Your Storage
Once you have a drawing and an overall plan of where each category of items goes it’s time you planed your shopping. Different storage solutions are now available on the market and, depending on your needs, you can get a combination of shelving, cabinetry, pulley systems and hooks, as well as storage bins and boxes. If you don’t know exactly what to get, look over some garage storage plans or shelving ideas online and it’ll certainly help you come up with your own design.
However, it’s best to decide on how you want your garage to look before you start buying shelving and cabinets or garage benches, as you might be tempted to overspend otherwise. When you browse and shop for storage units take into account the loads you’ll eventually put on them. For heavy loads, such as cans of paint and heavy tools, you’ll need heavy duty shelving with high weight limits, so you need to consider free standing bays as opposed to wall fixed systems. On the other hand, for lighter items, there’s plenty of garage wall shelving units that will do.
4. Hang As Much As You Can
The more items you hang on ceiling hooks or pulley systems or rails, the more floor space you’ll be able to save and this is essential in a clean and organised garage. You don’t want to overstuff your garage with shelving bays and cabinets, especially when it’s not necessary. Lawn and garden tools can go on K-rail wall systems, sports gear and bikes can also go on pulley systems or ceiling hooks, as can canoes and kayaks. Even your tools can be hanged if you’re thinking pegboards, which can be fixed on walls and allow for so much storage.
Hanging things is really a great tip when it comes to garage organising, but it also requires some attention, as usually it’s the bulky and awkwardly shaped items that are hanged, so you need to make sure that their positioning does not interfere with the operation of the garage door or doesn’t block any outlets or drainage or ventilation and so on. Again, looking over some garage shelving plans and ideas online might help you get a better grasp on how to position everything.
5. Improve Along The Way
Just because you started with certain garage shelving ideas and storage plans, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve on them. It’s good to stick to the plan, sticking to the plan means keeping within budget and getting everything done within the set time frame, but there is some wiggle room for improvements, depending on what turns out. For instance, you’ll probably notice that all garage storage plans and guides emphasize the importance of getting metal shelving over wood, because metal performs better in a garage environment and it’s cheaper. But if you don’t like the look of metal shelves and units, then you don’t have to settle with less: simply paint over it or put stickers on it or maybe a cascading plant, whatever you like.
Painting is actually a brilliant plan for a garage makeover and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the shelving. If there isn’t much you can do about the garage wall shelving, there’s certainly something you can do about the wall. Rich and warm colours will contrast beautifully with the metal and if you have any stairs within the garage or poles, don’t hesitate to paint those as well.
6. Squeeze A Workbench In
Garage benches are a must in the garage of a passionate DIY-er. Even if you are short on space, there are many ways to improvise a workbench, not to mention the fact that these garage benches can provide you with some storage areas in themselves. You can get workbenches with drawers or half drawers and you can have pegboards attached where you can store all of your tools. If space is really tight, then you can just have a fold up work bench that conveniently tucks away when not in use.
The bottom line is that there is plenty that you can do with your garage even when it comes to storage. There are so many garage shelving plans that you can adopt and so many garage shelving ideas and storage plans that could work for you that it might even become overwhelming, not even mentioning the impressive array of products available on the market. This is why planning and actually jotting down your plan is so important, as it will help you make the right choices within each and every stage. Having a plan pinned down, you’ll know exactly what you’ll need to buy, where everything goes, if there is anything you need to make yourself and how the whole project is supposed to look in the end, not to mention what it’ll cost. Obviously, little tweaks and improvements can be made along the way, but you’ll deliver order into chaos with a good, firm plan.