Cluttered residential garages are not uncommon. However, you can get away from all the stereotypical designs by investing a little time, effort and cash. You will be glad to realize that there is actually more space and beauty in your own garage than you thought possible. Pick the right layout that matches your needs as well as throw in some creativity to eliminate eyesores.
Rules of Organization
Since the garage is one of the biggest areas in the house, it will be wiser not to underestimate the amount of time and effort you’re going to spend fixing it. Provide at least an entire weekend or two to work on the project. To start organizing, do a visual inspection of the entire area and check how much space you’re using up. It will help a lot if you get the dimensions specifically the total area and height so that you will know which furniture and storage fixtures will fit later on. You may want to ask someone you know to help you estimate the space you have.
When organizing, consider the biggest item you’re supposed to store inside the garage. Do you have a car? How many vehicles do you have? Do you own any power tools that occupy space such as lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc? Start making a list of all items you intend to store inside from the biggest to the smallest. Next, start cleaning out the place. Take away all items you no longer need to be sold, given away or stored in other areas in the house such as the basement or attic. Finally, design your layout that will effectively accommodate all items in the list while freeing up as much space as possible.
Planning the Layout
You can hire a professional or plan the layout yourself with the help of a friend who knows a little about layouts. Start writing down all options to make the design as efficient and convenient as possible. The best approach to save as much space as you can would be to keep all things off the floor if possible. This means you have to invest in fixtures like wall-mounted shelves and baskets, hooks and pins, overhead storage lockers, lofts and tool racks. You may also want to put a couple of large cabinets to keep clutter out of sight.
Use racks and hooks to mount bicycles and power tools. Small items such as nails, screws, bolts and other accessories should be placed in labeled boxes, crates or baskets to be stored in shelves or cabinets for easy access. Larger items can be positioned on lofts and overhead storage shelves if they fit. The rest can remain on the floor but make sure that you still arrange them well out of anyone’s working space and path. Drawers are very useful in storing items which you need to protect against external elements.
As for aesthetic purposes, think of one or two colors to use for the whole room. You may decorate with a few wall-mounted items like a clock, picture frames or framed posters. Be more creative and find the style that best interests you like placing a die-cast miniature Ferrari on one of the shelves or pinning a NASCAR flag on one wall. Lights and garage doors should also carefully be chosen to keep everything safe and easy to locate. A single fluorescent lamp is usually adequate for most residential garage designs but you may also use lamps if you have a certain working corner.