Make the most of the space in your Northern Virginia home’s garage with these 7 expert tips.
Northern Virginians enjoy living in an ideal state. Mountain resorts in winter, Assateague Island National Seashore in summer, sports in spring, and the Blue Ridge Parkway in fall. It’s a perfect Goldilocks climate—not too hot or too cold! Taking advantage of such nice weather means going outside—and that means you no doubt have sports gear and seasonal wardrobe items in need of a garage storage space of their own.
By organizing your garage to fit your lifestyle, you can organize all the equipment and tools you need to get out there and enjoy the beauty of Northern Virginia any time of the year. Here are seven tips on how to set up your garage in a way that makes the most of the space you have using custom design.
# 1: Getting Started: Organizing Your Garage Storage in Northern Virginia
Even if your garage is a mess, don’t worry! Break the project down into a series of smaller jobs. First, look at everything you’ve got tucked away and sort those items into piles. Think about what items must go together in order to be functional. For example, having your bicycle handy won’t help if you don’t know which box holds the tire pump. Store related items in the same box, on the same self, and so on.
Another thing to consider when you are sorting your items is how often you use them. Make sure to keep items you use frequently accessible, while things you use occasionally can be stored on higher shelves. Also, design the layout so emergency items such as extra fire extinguishers or jumper cables are kept within easy reach. Keep in mind your storage needs can also vary by season. For example, a snow blower needs to be easy to grab on snowy mornings when you’re running late.
As you sort through your garage, group items into plastic tubs or boxes. Don’t forget to use labels, such as the sticker labels you can get at any office supply store. Once you know which items you want to keep, which ones you want to get rid of, and which ones you want to store, you can think about what long-term storage will work best.
# 2: Custom Cabinetry and Shelving Do the Heavy Lifting
Most garages allocate the main floor space to parked cars. This means the area around the edges of the room must be optimized with the perfect garage storage system to get the most possible storage to provide enough room for people and cars to come and go. The bulk of your storage can be easily handled using custom cabinetry and shelving that makes use of a room’s vertical space. And—did you know?—something as simple and handy as adding storage to your garage can noticeably increase your home’s resale value.
Cabinetry: Install cabinetry with adjustable shelves. This is a good option for items you want to keep out of sight, such as fertilizer or pest control items, as you can simply shut the door on them. If you have heavy tools or equipment, try using steel shelves that can hold up to 300 pounds.
Shelves: Shelving provides access and is nice because you can quickly spot the item you are looking for. Shelves can hold plastic bins for organizing clutter and keeping related items stored together. Strong steel shelves keep tools and equipment off the floor and help prevent bending and lifting heavy items. Metal baskets can keep cleaning or car care supplies nicely stored away. And add shoe shelves to prevent winter boots and galoshes from cluttering the doorway.
# 3: Get Hooked on Extra Wall Space
After adding cabinets and shelving, you may be left with smaller empty spaces on your wall. There’s no reason to let these spots go to waste; there are many types of hardware and accessories that can help you take advantage of even these spaces. In particular, you can use you can use hooks to maximize wall space and get items such as fishing rods or bikes off the floor. Hooks are especially good for items of clothing you might want to grab on your way out, such as raincoats, gardening gloves or jackets. And even if the walls are concrete, hooks are easy to install.
Specialized hooks can store specific items:
Double hooks, J hooks, and loop hooks hang a wide variety of tools and equipment.
Golf racks hold golf bags, shoes, clubs, and gear.
Garden racks and baskets organize shovels, rakes, and gloves.
Fishing rod hooks protect rods and reels from breaking.
Vertical bike hooks and horizontal bike racks make bikes easy to get in grab in good weather, and keep them out of the way when the outdoors outlook is less favorable.
# 4: Use the Ceiling Space, Too
Even if your walls are full, keep looking up — straight up. The ceiling space is great for long-term storage of items you can’t part with but do not frequently use, like those pictures from your first trip to King’s Dominion. Overhead storage is safe, secure and won’t come crashing down. It may sound complicated, but it’s not. You can build your own sliding storage system and hang plastic bins from the ceiling. Or, if you don’t have the time to do a home improvement project yourself, you can have professional designers install overhead racks for you. Either way you go, be sure to make use of your ceiling; it’s like using your floor space twice over!
# 5: Get Crafty with a Pegboard
Another great way to store your tools is with a pegboard. It’s inexpensive and if you use your garage as a workspace, it will clean the place up nicely. A pegboard is easy to hang. All you need are a few hooks, and you can store just about any hand tool you like. A pegboard looks organized and enables you to hang a variety of items, including baskets and totes that can hold even smaller parts. It’ll increase your floor space while saving you from having to dig through your toolbox every time you need to find a tool.
# 6: Make the Small Spaces Count
The best way to organize your garage in Northern Virginia is to make a place for everything. Organization means being able to find things when you need them. And that’s a great a job for small spaces; don’t think of them as being leftovers, but as specialized areas for keeping the tiny things you need from getting lost.
Is there an empty space under a workbench? Try installing a rolling cart. You can pull it out when you need it and use it as a staging area for tools while you are working on a project. Or, try using up empty patches the walls with magnetic strips. A magnetic strip will hold lots of smaller tools such as drill bits or nails, allowing you to grab them off the wall while you are working. It will keep tiny parts from falling on the floor and rolling away. Keep an eye out for empty spaces and be creative! Look at a small space and imagine how it can hold the small items you don’t want to lose.
# 7: Got a Concrete Floor? Stain It!
Most garages aren’t exciting places, and no one wants to spend money adding expensive flooring to a garage. But that doesn’t mean the garage floor has to be unattractive. A cheap and easy way to add color and interest to your garage is to stain its concrete floor. The stain will not come out as a solid color, as the deviations in the concrete will result in sections that are darker while some are lighter. This is softer on the eye as most natural surfaces have these slight variations. You can go with an acid stain for a look that is similar to marble or granite. Or you can use a water-based stain that comes in a variety of bright colors. The result will be easy to clean and if you ever get tired of it, easy to repaint over.
Having Trouble Organizing Your Garage? Get Help
If you run into any problems you can always get help. Give Closet America a call for answers to any questions you may run into as you organize your garage storage in Northern Virginia. We are dedicated to helping homeowners like you get your storage spaces in order so you can an orderly, more productive life. If you’d like us to have a look at your garage to help you figure your design plan out, just give us a call. Your consultation will be absolutely free, and every garage storage system comes with our exclusive transferable warranty for double the life of your home.