Your garage is arguably the largest area in your residence. Whether you use it to store your car and tools in or have converted it into a studio or office, it’s one space that requires constant maintenance and organization. Also, a dash of design on the side won’t hurt too!
Sometimes, we find it hard to feel inspired and driven in keeping our garage as ideal as it could be. If you’re having one of those days, then you’re in luck. We’ve gathered the best expert tips on garage organization as well as garage design tips from the pros. By the end of this post, we guarantee you’re going to find yourself running towards your garage and getting this show on the road.
1. Identify your needs
Dan Petcoff is no stanger to garages. He’s the co-owner and operator of Tailored Living of Toronto, a company that is known to be best in customized storage solutions for both the home and garage. Needles to say, he’s had a ton of experience fixing up garages.
His pro advice? Identify exactly what you need in this space. Envision what you want the garage to be; what its heart would be. “I recently worked with a customer who is an avid gardener,” said Petcoff. “She likes to pot plants so we installed slatwall for her gardening tools and a stainless steel countertop that allows her to assemble her pots in the garage.”
Ginny Scott, chief design officer at California Closets also believe that purpose is priority. “You need to think of your goal first. Do you want to store overflow from the pantry? Do you want to make a Costco closet? Do you need a workspace like a potting or tool bench? Maybe you need a place to stash sports equipment. Once you have determined what you want to do, that will inform the kinds of shelving, cabinets or lockers you need,” she says.
2. Generate zones throughout the garage
Your garage is a huge space. However, it doesn’t mean you should be careless about organizing it. Since you’ve got a large area to work with, the best approach is to section them in zones.
Petcoff further explains: “Things like seasonal decorations could be stored in tubs on an overhead rack, while items you use more frequently, like bikes, should be closer to the door or hooked on the wall.” Whether you’re going to store tools, sports equipment, arts and crafts stuff and others, it’s all about keeping them neatly grouped with each other.
3. Choose the kind of storage that works for you
We’re all different types of persons. That translates to how we organize our space and how we keep things in storage. It also depends on the people you live with.
Amanda Le Blanc, a professional organizer (she owns The Amandas in Birmingham, Alabama) and spokesperson for Organized Living shares: “If you are of the “out of sight, out of mind” school, closed storage is not for you. “If you are that type of person, then go for open shelves and labeled bins,” she says.
“I tell parents to forget about lids with kids,” she says. “If there’s a barrier, it seems to keep them from putting things away.”
4. Generate a local resource list
Houzz contributor and avid organizer Laura Gaskill believes keeping an organized and clean garage means sorting out your items extensively. It’s not just about wiping them down and keeping everything again. It’s about knowing which ones you should let go to finally make extra room.
“Look over the notes or photos you made during your reconnaissance trip, and make a list of the types of items you plan to get rid of. Once you know what you have, you can begin to figure out where it will all go. Perhaps you need to rent a refuse container to collect trash, find a consignment store to drop off clothes or schedule a pickup of donations for a local charitable organization. Having these details charted out in advance will make the rest of the process feel more straightforward.”
5. Divide and conquer
Most of use our garages beyond storing items. In fact, we also like to do other productive things in there, especially when practicing crafts and arts. The trick here is to learn how to divide your space.
Designer Andrew Benn shares more about creating partitions: “Moveable partition such as bi-folding doors or curtains will divide and open up space as and when it’s needed. Or you could take inspiration from Japan and install shoji screens fitted with rice paper which slide open or shut.”