A well-designed layout improves garage organization and enhances any activity you undertake in the garage. The first step in achieving a well-designed garage layout is a garage clean up or a garage clean out.
Maybe you dread it. Maybe you see it as an opportunity. We’re hoping it’s the later. Of course, we’re biased. We see the garage as far more than just a place to park cars, keep tools, store seasonal items, and store an assortment of stuff that can’t find a home anywhere else in your house. A well-designed layout improves garage organization and enhances any activity you undertake in the garage, whether it’s a simple household item repair at your workbench, an engrossing hobby, vacuuming out an automobile, or finding a more convenient place to store camping equipment.
The first step in achieving a well-designed garage layout is a garage clean up or a garage clean out—you choose the term that best fits the current state of your garage organization. Depending on the current garage organization, the time required for garage clean up may be considerable.
Motivation for Your Garage Clean Out
If you need some motivation to tackle that garage clean out, sages past and present have weighed in on the value of good organization. Benjamin Franklin assures: “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” A. A. Milne observes: “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” Time invested in organizing has lasting benefits. We offer six expert tips to help you clean up, organize, and maintain order in your garage.
#1 Move It All Out
If it’s been a long time since you’ve done a garage clean out, we recommend a thorough clean-out. Top to bottom. Everything in the garage gets moved out. The driveway is the best location for all the “stuff,” but plan ahead to make sure the weather is on your side. And this should be a team effort. Have the entire family participate. If you have young ones, they won’t be the most efficient helpers, they may even balk, but you’re helping them understand the importance of cleaning up and organizing.
As you move items from the garage to the driveway, identify items that are no longer useable and group them into trash and recycle piles. If you have any hazardous materials check with your local municipality for guidance on how to best handle those items.
#2 Nitty Gritty Cleaning
Now that your garage is empty it’s time for the deep clean. Start with your leaf blower directed at the upper regions of your garage. You’ve got weeks, months, maybe even years of dust, dirt, and bugs settled in those areas. Don’t forget to protect yourself with a dust mask. When you’ve dusted off the rafters, hit the walls, then finish with the floor, starting at the back of the garage.
Leaf blowers are powerful, but there will be some areas that need the special attention of a shop-vacuum—corners, crevices, under and around shelving, and a once-over on the floor for good measure. If your garage floor is stained with spills from oil, paint, or grease of ages past, rent a pressure washer to make the floor look as good as new.
A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place, Perfectly
An empty garage presents an opportunity for planning better organization. Perhaps we should have started with this topic, but with an empty garage and all of its contents arrayed before you, now is a good time to consider how to achieve and maintain better organization. Here are four more tips to help you improve organization in your garage with custom accessories, components, and cabinets.
#3 Racks and Custom Cabinets for Tools and Supplies
Frequently used hand tools like screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, wrenches, and hand saws are best located on easy-to-reach racks above your workbench. Small, handy clear plastic drawers make it easy to find the exact screws, washers, nuts, bolts, nails, and other small hardware that you need for repairs. Power tools like hand drills, palm sanders, and jig-saws stored in custom-designed cabinetry with adjustable shelves keep these lesser-used items accessible. Specialty tools for electrical work, plumbing, and painting are neatly organized on one or more adjustable shelves in custom cabinets. Custom cabinets are also ideal for storing paints, plumbing, electrical, automotive, and cleaning supplies. An added benefit of cabinet storage is keeping those items dust-free.
#4 Racks and Baskets for Garden Equipment
Your gardening activities and efforts will go much smoother when all your large garden tools—rakes, shovels, spades, hoes, weed-wacker, hedge trimmer, and axe (if you happen to enjoy the rhythm of splitting firewood on a crisp Northern Virginia morning)—are neatly racked and arranged on the wall, instead of clustered and crowded in the corner.
Hand tools like trowels, pruner, tiller, weeder, bulb planter, and the oh-so-versatile Japanese Hori Hori garden knife find a home in metal baskets that don’t collect dirt and let you quickly access just the tools you need for that garden task.
#5 Protect Two-Wheeled Transportation
If you’re a growing family, or you have a bicycle for every surface—road, gravel, single track, sand, and snow—those two-wheeled investments in fun, adventure, and good health deserve to be neatly arranged and easily accessible. Bike racks free up valuable garage floor space, protect your bikes from scratches and dings, and prevent the ultimate tragedy of backing over or into a bike with your car.
#6 Up Above There’s Unused Space
Few garages take advantage of overhead space. You might have a few items such as outdoor umbrellas, lumber, or ladders tucked up between rafters, but that’s hardly the best use of that space. Custom-designed overhead storage racks relieve your garage floor of items that unnecessarily take up space. Bins or boxes of seasonal items like ski boots, goggles, and helmets; Christmas decorations; water sports; camping gear; and patio accessories are easily accommodated in overhead storage racks. In many instances, available overhead space can increase garage storage capacity by as much as 50%. That makes it so much easier to park cars, work on projects, and access the tools, supplies, and other items neatly organized throughout your garage.
From Garage Clean Out to Optimum Garage Organization
A garage clean-out can be the first big step to better organization. But you’ll realize optimum organization in your garage by working with experts who have years of experience in designing custom garage layouts. Our professionals have the expertise to transform your garage into a space uniquely designed to meet your needs.
Schedule a free consultation with our designers who will meet at your convenience to review your needs and recommend an optimum garage design. In many cases, a 3D interactive garage model can be developed during the consultation. We are proud of the quality and workmanship of our components and installation process.
Image #4 Unsplash user Wayne Bishop