6 simple ways to maximize space in your garage

July 27, 2015

Your garage is more than just a place to keep your car. It doubles as a tool shed, garden center, workshop and more. Here are 6 simple ways to help you get the most from your garage by keeping things organized.

6 simple ways to maximize space in your garage

1. Hang bicycles up high

Store bicycles up and out of high-traffic zones.

  • Bikes can be suspended from walls with simple clips available in hardware stores, or on sturdy racks sold in bicycle shops.
  • Use screws to fasten the racks into wall studs.
  • Some designs include shelves or baskets for biking gear like helmets, gloves and water bottles.

2. Stash athletic gear on a shelf

Visit a home improvement centre and you'll find racks and shelves specifically designed for all kinds of sports equipment, from inline skates to golf clubs.

If you're handy with tools you can use scrap lumber to create inexpensive storage shelves for your sports equipment.

  • For example, simply bore some three-cm (1 1⁄4 in.) diameter holes into scrap pieces of 1" x 10" lumber to hold baseballs. To hold the bats, cut bat slots with a coping saw. Nail the shelf onto support blocks fastened to wall studs, ensuring it is sufficiently supported, and you'll be able to stash away your baseball gear neatly.

3. Assign different types of gear to specific locations

By assigning specific areas of the garage for certain items, you'll always easily find them – provided they were put back in their proper place.

  • Store protective gear (e.g., helmets, elbow pads and knee pads) close to bikes, skateboards and rollerblades for easy access. One good place is on hooks and shelves near the garage door.
  • Assign camping and sports gear a place close to your car or van to make moving and transporting easy. You could also use a wheeled storage bin so that loading and unloading is quick and convenient, as is moving the bin out of the way when it isn't needed.

4. Install a fold-down table and use stackable storage

Install a fold-down table if space in your garage (or basement) is tight.

  • It lays flush with the wall when not in use to keep your space looking tidy and traffic zones clear. When you need usable workspace, simply unfold it and voilà!

Stackable storage drawers are another great option that can be arranged to fit almost any space.

  • Stackable storage drawers can hold tools, garden supplies, toys and anything else. Clear plastic allows you to see inside the container and keeps the contents dust-free since you're not constantly opening and closing them to see what they hold.

5. Install rain gutters for specialized storage

You can use inexpensive rain gutters to create convenient storage for molding, lightweight lumber, pipes, and other long, thin items.

  • To install vinyl or aluminum gutters, cut the lengths you want and use screws to fasten the mounting brackets to studs. Then just snap the gutters into place. They usually come with installation instructions.
  • You can use the gutter brackets alone as hooks for garden hoses, extension cords or wire coils.

6. Add a bench to your garage

A bench in the garage provides a handy spot for your family to put on and remove sports gear. The only effort will be to keep it clear of junk – it's tempting to use as a "shelf" and simply toss stuff on it. What's more, having a bench means fewer people milling about inside your house as they put on sports gear since you now have a dedicated space in the garage.

  • Look for a model with a storage shelf underneath to maximize your space. There are sturdy, lightweight plastic models that are easy to move.
  • If you're looking for a good place to leave boots and shoes to dry, you can put a rigid plastic sheet under the bench or get one of those plastic trays used in entryways for winter boots.

A garage for all seasons

Your garage offers a lot of unique storage opportunities. Be sure you're using it to its full potential, whatever needs you might have.  Whether you're an avid cyclist, a handyman, an athlete, or simply someone who has a lot of stuff, your garage is your best friend when it comes to storage and organization.

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