If your garage is a mess, don’t feel bad…you’re not alone. In fact, most people tend to use their garage as a catch-all for clutter instead of a useful and practical part of their home. When people have something bulky that they want to keep, but not in their house, the garage is usually where it ends up. Naturally, the garage is the easiest and most convenient place to put it. This is perfectly fine, for a while at least. Eventually, the garage becomes overwhelmingly full of stuff and it becomes more and more difficult to find things.
The first step in dealing with garage clutter is to get rid of as much of it as possible. You can have a garage sale, donate it, Freecycle it, or simply trash it. Unfortunately, for a wide variety of reasons, many items are just too difficult to relinquish. So, they need their own place in the garage. The idea is to get as much stuff of the floor as possible. Utilize your garage wall and ceiling space by installing different types of shelves and racks. Use cabinets, bins, and containers to organize smaller items like sporting goods, tools, and hardware. Before you know it, you’ll be able to use your garage for what it was actually meant for…parking your vehicle!
Now that you have new found space in your garage, you should consider integrating a decent workbench, or even a small workshop. This will give you a place to stage and complete home repair, maintenance and hobby projects. You have many options in finding the workbench that’s right for you. You can buy one at from your local home improvement center, pick one up at a garage sale, find one in classified ads, online, or even build one yourself. The advantage of building one yourself is that you can design it to fit perfectly into the space you have available. Once you have a good workbench, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
You can utilize your workbench to finish your garage. Insulating and dry walling your garage will help keep it measurably warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. If you have any attic space in your garage, you can put some plywood up there to create
a significant amount of available storage space. Then, dry wall the bottom of the trusses and install a hinged access door about 2 and a half feet wide and 6 feet long to get all of your things in and out of your new storage space. You can also protect your garage floor from automotive fluids and winter slush with a floor covering such as paint, epoxy, or garage floor tiles.
When it comes to your home garage, there is an unlimited number of things you can do to improve it. The important thing is to not get overwhelmed. Break it down into small jobs that you can work on here and there. Take your time and have fun with it. If you dread it, you probably won’t do it. Look forward to the big picture, but slowly take one step at a time. When you slow down and take a look around, chances are you’ll come up with plenty of ideas to better utilize your garage. Before you know it, your garage will be more useful and practical than you ever imagined!