How to optimize your garage space

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Originally, the primary function of a garage was to house a car. But here it is: often very crowded, many are those who do not fulfill their true role. “Due to lack of space, people leave their cars in the street.

By doing so, they take the risk of seeing their vehicle damaged. And they voluntarily reduce the number of available spaces. Real space that they already own and which is difficult to find otherwise,” says Franck Rodriguez, manager at  Homedepot.com

Fortunately, there are practical arrangements that make it possible to optimize space and efficiently organize all your belongings.

Let’s start!

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Sort it out

The first thing to do when you want to reclaim your garage or simply fit it out, is to sort it out.

We all tend to accumulate a lot of things that are no longer useful to us. Or even worse, things that have never been useful to us. “In general, when you haven’t touched an object in a year, it’s enough to get rid of it,” says Franck Rodriguez.

Conclusion: You don’t like an object? Don’t be shy: throw it away, give it away. Or, more cost-effectively, sell it!

Thanks to the many resale options available on the Internet,  ebay.com, Craigslist.com,  letgo.com, you may be able to get a small nest egg to help you finance the development of your garage.

Plan well

To avoid unpleasant surprises, measure the space available in width, height and depth in the garage… once the vehicle is parked!

Interior designer Leyla Flucher explains: “We must favour the comings and goings of the car. We should not forget either to keep an ease of movement, for the installation of passengers.

But also for opening the trunk to load and unload it without any problem.” If your garage is really cramped, at least, make place for the driver mouvements.

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Choose storage spaces adapted to your garage

In a garage, the important thing is to free up the floor space. Therefore, use storage along the walls. However, the small size of this part means that concessions have to be made.

Install all storage units on one side of the garage, for example: “They are installed over the entire height of the wall, up to the ceiling and to a maximum depth of 60 cm” says Leyla Flucher.

If the garage is small but deep, it makes more sense to use the back wall. “Ideally, a workbench should be installed at the back of the garage with storage space under and above the bench to a depth of 37 cm.”

The walls will save you

Simply by investing the walls over their full height rather than cluttering the floor. “The ultimate objective is that there is nothing left on the ground. When properly arranged, the walls offer an unsuspected storage capacity,” says Franck Rodriguez.

A specialized company, Homegaragespokesman, recommends. “We provide private individuals with 244 x 30.4 cm wall panels with storage accessories that allow individuals to make the most of all the available space. One, two or three panels on one or more wall sections…. The possibilities are endless!

All this is very easy to install since these panels can be cut out with a jigsaw and screwed directly onto existing walls, whether they are made of cinder block, plasterboard or stone. On the budget side, you can expect from 400$ for four panels supplied with some accessories.

Of course, there are other solutions available in DIY stores or in decorative signs, including modular structure systems that can be attached to walls or installed and that also allow you to transform your walls into storage space.

The limit is only your imagination!

Use the Ceiling

When garages have a small surface area, storing all your tools or other leisure accessories does not become an easy task. So why not use all the available space, especially up to the ceiling?

Invest in height! “In this case, hooks can be a suitable system for storage because they take up little space,” explains James Moore, product manager at Lowe’s.

Another solution: two steel tubes fixed to the ceiling allow you to support the heaviest and most bulky objects such as a ladder, a chaise-longue or even a surfboard.

A word of advice: include your least used items (e.g. beach accessories). In the end, the space saved is significant and you can even impress your friends and family by giving the impression of being organized!

Similarly, a wooden grid and mesh system can also be arranged to store heavier objects on the ceiling, such as a bicycle.

Hang storage bins on the ceiling of your garage

This simple combination of plastic bins and homemade do-it-yourself support carts is perfect for Christmas decorations and other items that are rarely used.

To manufacture the supports, it is enough to screw and glue 2 cm thick plywood boards in 2×4. Then screw the brackets to the ceiling joists and slide the storage bins into them.

The large bins we used cost about $17 each.

Favour sturdy storage space

Subject to bad weather, your garage is probably a less well insulated room than the rest of the house. Be careful to choose materials that are resistant, especially to moisture. Good insulation is just one way to control your electricity consumption, there are others here.

The galvanized steel storage units are resistant to knocks and very low temperatures. The hooks must be stainless, metal shelves too, otherwise they may rust.

To store more fragile papers or equipment, choose closed cupboards that will be more airtight. Resin shelves or plastic boxes are more suitable for garages with little or no insulation.

The forgotten garage floor

If you plan to use your garage for work or to protect your vehicle from the elements, plan to purchase a siding. Or better, paint the floor with good epoxy paint.

One good trick: To prevent the surface from getting slippery, buy cactus soil and put it in a large hole salt shaker. Before the paint dries, sprinkle sand generously over the painted surface.

As it dries, the paint will “trap” the sand to ensure a rough surface. After all, you don’t want to break your leg!

Create separate zones

To find your belongings easily and quickly and prevent disorder from settling in, it is best to create zones. Group your equipment by type: arrange all the sports equipment on one side and, on the other, the DIY tools or your gardening equipment, for example.

To differentiate these areas, do not hesitate to leave space or to materialize the separations between them.

You can buy separation modules or use an element in your garage: a bicycle hung vertically, for example, or bins placed one above the other.

The much-loved workbench

If you want a place to tinker in your garage, you will need a workbench. Installing it on the side of the garage is usually a very bad idea. It will harm you to open the doors of your vehicle.

You should preferably install it on the wall facing the front door. Its height depends on your size and what you want to do on it.

Tip: if you have a vise, your elbow should reach the height of its jaws. Provide a solid workbench, at least 80 cm wide, that will occupy part of the wall and shelves or drawers to store your power tools.

An alternative could be to build a folding workbench!

If your garage is not large enough to accommodate both your car and a workbench, you have two choices: choose a smaller car (seriously, who would you do that?), or build a folding workbench.

It can be mounted in seconds and does not occupy any floor space when not in use. You will just need 2×4 boards, a pair of solid hinges, a few bricks and threaded tubes, and a handful of screws (about $80 for all).

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