Garage Layout: How to Organize your Garage
Garage organization is very important, but how many homes actually have a garage layout that gives the owners enough storage space?
If your garage is a mess or just doesn’t have room to store everything you want to store, you’ve come to the right place.
Here, you’ll find garage ideas and tips to get the best use of your space.
Plan Your Perfect Garage Layout
This is the real secret to your success. Before beginning any work, sit down with a cup of coffee and a pencil and figure out how to organize your garage. The perfect garage layout can be determined by answering the following questions:
- What do you need to store in the garage? Do you need space for lawn and garden supplies? Sporting goods? Do you require a workshop? Or do you need a garage layout that lets you store canned goods, extra food, and other items you purchase in bulk?
- What is the best way to store these items? I recommend using storage cabinets with doors, which hide your stored items out of sight and give a much cleaner look than open shelves. You can store long items across the top of your cabinets. How many cabinets will you need? How tall? What is your budget?
- Is your garage dark and depressing? Well then, it’s time to shed some light on the problem. Green-energy-efficient-homes.com is a great source for information on flourescent garage lighting as well as hundreds of energy saving tips.
- Do you need to do other work in the garage? If you’re redoing your garage layout, you may want to paint or do other work at the same time. If you are painting, paint before putting your garage storage ideas into action and always work from the top down.
Fabulously Frugal Tip: If you have a lot of leftover paint you’ve been storing for a few years, take out what you don’t need for touch ups and marry the rest in a five-gallon bucket. This will give you free paint for painting your whole garage. (Save a little for touchups.) If you don’t have enough paint, you can buy one or two gallons of white to mix in. This is a great way to clear out shelves and recycle, and it saves you money.
A Note About Doors and Garage Layout
Our neighbors replaced a solid exit door in their garage with a recycled French door to bring in more light. It looks fantastic, plus you don’t have to turn the lights on to see. If you plan to do this, make sure security is not a concern.
Design mistake: In trying to fit as many cabinets as possible in our garage, we put a cabinet behind an exit door that swings in. We now have to lock the door to open the cabinet or risk getting clobbered if someone walks in. Be mindful of the pathway of swinging doors when planning your garage layout and cabinet locations!
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Mount Your Cabinets
Cabinets are one of the garage storage ideas I recommend often. Determine where to install storage cabinets and mount them securely to the wall at least four inches above the floor. Mount them higher if you live where flooding is common or if you have a water heater in your garage. (Water heaters are famous for springing leaks when you least expect it and can make a real mess.)
Having custom cabinets built for your garage will give you the nicest, cleanest garage layout and look. This does cost money but remember that the cabinets will last a lifetime and you can even take them with you when you move.
We had custom cabinets made for a garage and took them with us when we moved because the little bit we paid to the movers and the carpenter to re-hang them saved us 75% over buying new. One cabinet fell off the ramp of the moving truck and broke but we were able to salvage the materials to make two open shelving units for the kids’ closets.
More Ideas on How to Organize your Garage
Overhead storage racks: If you’re short on wall or floor space, overhead storage racks, which hang from the ceiling, are a great way to get more out of your garage layout. Expect to pay $300 to $400 to get a 4’ x 8’ section of overhead storage racks installed. I like this garage storage idea for storing seasonal or holiday items and things that are too long for a wall cabinet.
If you’re using overhead racks, put the items you are storing in bins so they look neater and label the bins. Remember that this option doesn’t work well for heavy or bulky items or for items you need frequently because you have to be able to carry the storage boxes or items up a ladder. Two other points to remember about using overhead racks: make sure you have a ladder that allows you to reach the racks and ensure that the racks won’t interfere with your light source.
Shelving: Garage shelving is another way to maximize your garage layout. It comes in many different sizes and grades. Don’t expect particleboard shelves to hold hundreds of pounds without warping; choose a material that will hold the weight of the items you are storing.
You can buy your shelves in kits and have a carpenter or handyman put the kit together, or put the kit together yourself with some help from family and friends. You can also get your shelves custom-built. If you do, get multiple bids on like materials. You’ll be surprised how the price goes down when they know you’re shopping around.
Hooks: Hang things like bikes and ladders on the walls with heavy-duty hooks. You can buy a neat bike hook that folds down like two arms to hold the bike horizontally against the wall. When the bike is being used, the arms fold up so you don’t walk into the hook. We even fit our folding construction “horses” and the bike on the bike hook.
Cold storage: Garages are the perfect place to store an extra fridge or freezer. Most folks are tempted to move their old appliance out to the garage when they buy a new one; however, if you only need more freezer space, a brand new freezer is much larger and more economical to run. New freezers cost about $15 per month in electricity, depending on where you live, and can be picked up for around $200. You save money on food too because you can buy in bulk and on sale.
More Garage Layout Ideas ~ Make Your Space Work For YOU!
Why is it that no matter how much space you have you always want more? Be sure to build enough storage space into your garage layout to house all your crap and, if it really is crap, get rid of it. Donate it, sell it, give it away. Why pay for more cabinets just to store junk?
Consignment shops are great places to sell furniture, rugs, etc. You get a 50% commission and you don’t have the hassle of organizing the sale. You may even make enough money to pay for the new cabinets.
Have some stuff that’s just too good to let go of? Give it to a family member as I did with a beautiful Karastan rug that didn’t fit my new décor. It only cost $100 to Fed Ex it to my mom and now it stays in the family.
Fabulously Frugal Tip: Recycle old kitchen cabinets when you do your remodel and set them up in the garage, countertop and all. Quality cabinets in a garage look lovely, plus you save money and prevent something from going to the landfill.
Another Use for a Good Garage Layout
If you’re going through a major home remodel, the garage can be turned into a makeshift kitchen just by putting your old fridge, microwave, crock-pot, or electric skillet in the garage. You can even bring your dining table in and eat in there, which is what our neighbors did for a few months last summer.
Change Your Garage Layout Today!
Being able to find your stuff quickly and easily is a super time saver. Who wants to spend 20 minutes looking for those garden clippers, or listening to someone ranting and raving when they can’t find what they want?
An organized, well-planned garage layout is visually pleasing and provides a benefit when selling your home. Why do we always wait till we’re moving to organize and make everything look nice? Get rid of the clutter with some of my garage ideas and you will enjoy your home all that much more.
Before you go, take a look at my garage gym ideas, complete with rubber garage flooring, plus see cool garage ideas that work for the whole family. Don’t forget that all of these ideas work great for basements too!
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