Garage storage solutions may sound unnecessary to the Born Organized, but for the average person trying to organize their home, garage storage helpers are key to our garage organization sanity. If you currently can't fit your car in your garage because of all the clutter, keep in mind stages of choosing and installing garage storage solutions:
- Create as much space as possible; and,
- Choose the proper storage solutions.
In this guide to garage storage we will tackle these larger topics... and break them down into more manageable steps, with a little help from some professional organizers along the way.
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Plan Out Your Garage Storage
Use your garage's architecture to your advantage advises professional organizer Lisa Mark. “Most garages have a huge amount of vertical space and ceiling space. A good storage system definitely allows one to use that space to the best (and safest) advantage.”
- Triple measure space(s) before moving in any storage solutions. Nothing is more frustrating than moving a shelving unit into a space that is a just a smidge too small.
- Brush up how to utilize storage spaces like a pro with the Guide to... Maximizing Storage Spaces.
- Don't store anything that weighs a ton too high -- eventually, you’ll have to ease it down and that may be dangerous.
Garage storage has three keys:
- Cutting clutter;
- Creating as much space as possible; and,
- Choosing the proper storage solutions.
In this guide to garage storage, we will tackle these larger topics and break them down into more manageable steps, with a little help from some professional organizers along the way.
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How to Choose The Right Garage Storage Solutions For Your Space
Before purchasing storage solutions, professional organizer Mary Hoff recommends her clients answer the following questions:
- Do they have a finished garage?
- Do they want something that is built in or portable?
- Should it look like furniture?
- Or is wire shelving OK?
Once you have settled on a look and feel, establish a budget and buy the best product you can in your price category.
If you are not spatially-inclined and a professional organizer is out of your budget, many stores like Home Depot, Lowes or... the Container Store will work with you to plan your space.
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Bikes are best stored in storage solutions that are mounted to the wall and/or ceiling. Don't let your bikes pile up in the yard when you can easily hang them out of the way for extra space savings in your garage or shed.
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Garage systems include shelving, grids, and wall-mounted cabinets to contain the tools, sports equipments and countless odds and ends people store in their garage.
- Organize your garage: it's important to know how much 'stuff' you are storing before choosing, purchasing and installing a garage storage system.
- How much space do you really have? Can you re-purpose an old cabinet for the job?
- Purchase a garage storage system: Set a budget, compare prices and install your new system.
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Top picks for overhead storage that can be used in several different rooms in your home -- kitchens, attics, basements and the garage.
- Make sure you don't store large heavy boxes in overhead storage.
- Use small, clear containers (see: Plastic Storage Containers) and make sure you can lift individual container comfortably.
- Label your storage containers for additional ease of use.
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Re-purpose household items for garage storage.
Is there anything in your home that can be used? Think: A shelving unit collecting dust in your basement or an old office storage cabinet that is tall and skinny enough to fit into your garage?
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- Clean off anything you’re re-purposing before you begin loading it down with items.
- Also, make sure storage units are structurally sound.
- Don’t store items in cardboard, recommends Mark “Cardboard doesn’t hold up all that well to the elements or against animals that might gain access to the space, chew... through the boxes, and leave a mess.”
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Create more storage space.
Could you use more space? There are ways to create it without pulling out the old credit card. Think about going vertical and using overhead storage to create more room for the car, lawn chairs and tools.
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5 garage storage pro tips.
I interviewed three professional organizers and they gave me their best tips for garage storage like containerizing toys and locking up potentially dangerous cleaning supplies. Continue reading Garage Storage Tips
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Declutter the garage
This is always the first step in any organizing or storage-seeking scenario for three reasons:
- Decluttering frees up space;
- it prioritizes what you need to store; and
- it helps clarify what zones items should be organized into when you organize the garage. Dedicate a couple hours over a weekend to decluttering this space, then move on storage and organization.
Continue reading about How to Declutter the Garage
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What not to store in the garage.
There are two considerations when choosing what not to store in the garage:
1. Anything that doesn’t stand up well to the elements. If it can’t handle dampness or extreme heat, better to store it inside the house where you can better control temperature and climate. Examples:
- Cardboard boxes
- Wooden furniture
You get the idea.
2. Could be dangerous to have that close to your home
The other no-no is anything that could be dangerous to your home. Examples
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- Propane tanks
- Chimineas or fire... pits
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What you should store in your garage.
Anything you regularly use outside that doesn’t fall into the above category:
- Lawn furniture
- Sporting equipment
- A smoke detector. You might think of this as an outdoor area, but it still needs the same safety precautions as the inside of your home does.
- Store chemicals locked up or out of the reach of children and pets.
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Organize the garage into zones.
I love the concept of organizing in zones for spaces like the garage, attic, basement and utility closet. Think of a department store when you organize the garage: tools, storage, recycling and garbage area, etc.
Continue reading about How to Organize the Garage Into Zones