With spring on the horizon, the thoughts of homeowners everywhere turn to one thing: home improvement projects. And while most of those projects truly revolve around your home, let’s not overlook that other key structure on your property—your garage.
Just take a look around it. Do you have items shoved into corners? Tucked precariously on overhead beams? Has it been years since your two car garage had any cars in it? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you’ll want to pay attention to the following five tips for DIY garage storage.
1. Make Use of the Walls
If you think you can’t have proper storage in an unfinished garage, think again. Those exposed studs make it easier to install hooks or shelving, which will allow you to take items resting against the wall or laying on the floor and get them up and out of the way.
There are many simple hook systems out there that you can install yourself and are ready-made for shovels, rakes and other tools to rest in. This is such a quick fix that you’ll want to make sure you take a moment to plan out where you’ll install the hooks and predetermine how you’ll hang up items.
If you are looking to do a complete overhaul of your garage, see how much it would cost to remodel a garage in your area.
2. Install Shelves or Cabinets
For items that won’t hang easily or are better stored in cupboards and drawers, consider installing shelves or cabinets.
Again, you can make use of exposed studs to easily install either at your desired height. Plus,you get to play interior designer when you choose the styles. This is a great solution for bringing order to chaos, especially if you keep all your tools, and not just those for the yard, in your garage. You can create specific shelves for certain types of projects (think spade, gloves and watering can) or organize by tool type (handheld pruners in one cabinet, seed packets in another).
3. Build Up
Just as landlocked cities have no choice but to build up, you should make use of the space overhead in your garage as well.
If all you have are exposed rafters, it’ll be a bit of a project (but a doable one) for you to install some sheets of pine wood (or other strong material) on top of them. Depending on what you intend to store up above, you’ll want to consider different materials in varying degrees of thickness. Be sure to leave a space for access when you create this garage ceiling storage area. You’ll want the gap to not only be large enough for a person to pass through, but decent-sized objects as well. Fitting your child’s red wagon up there for the winter will be all the easier if you leave a good sized gap.
4. Store More Than Just Things
So far, we’ve only talked about storing items you may keep in your garage, but what about storing something like a workbench?
If space is a premium, and you really want that surface area to work with in your garage, pick out another piece of pine, cut it to size and buy yourself some hinges and a chain latch. You can connect the appropriately sized piece of pine to your studs via the hinges and then have it fold down against the wall to be out of the way when needed. When the time comes that you need a workspace, just fold the wood down and brace it with your chain latch.
The tension will hold it in place while you work. You can also choose to install one or two struts underneath, for added support. This can come in handy depending on the amount of weight you intend to rest on your fold out workspace. If you implement these garage storage ideas and still don’t have enough space for all of your belongings, you can always consider building a shed to house those last few items. See the average cost to build a shed in your zip code.
5. Use Clear Containers
If you’re like me, even your best efforts to mark solid colored plastic storage containers have come up short. Yes, you wrote “WINTER CLOTHES” in very big letters on the one side, but that was three years ago and the winter clothes aren’t even in this tub anymore.
Instead of having to play storage bin roulette, do yourself a favor and use clear plastic containers when you finally do start to load up the shelves and newly created space in your garage. Clear containers will let you easily see what’s in the tubs you’re considering lugging down from the top shelf and are in no way inferior to their solid colored counterparts. Once your project is complete, you may want to do a thorough cleaning to add the finishing touch to your new garage storage system.
So there you go, five tips for DIY garage storage. What have you done to improve upon your garage space? Share your tips in the comments below.