/ by Hali Wyatt

Notorious for storing tools, bikes, mowers and everything else that just doesn’t seem to have a place inside, clutter can easily overrun what you think should look like an organized toy box. Functionality is key when it comes to a garage redesign, big or small.

  • Maximize wall space. A combination of shelves, hanging racks and pegboards work best to organize the many items a garage can hold.
  • Bikes are best hung by using J Hooks. You can hang several side by side to keep everything tight  and together.
  • Golf equipment, camping backpacks and soccer bags should be stored using a Monkey Bar system. This will keep everything off of the ground and clearly visible for easy access.
  • Free standing toolboxes can be used to store and organize tools.
  • Keep like items in categories: tools big or small should stay together, beach gear of all sizes and shapes grouped, camping equipment in its own place, automotive supplies need to be shelved. Think about what you use often and what you access sparingly.
  • Add lockable storage cabinets for storing anything that you might not want little hands to get to, such as lawn chemicals and gas for the mower.
  • Consolidate items. Tiered, vertical shelving gives you more storage space and keeps your floor clear of trip hazards.
  • Large tools, like shovels and rakes, should be hung head up, tines in.
  • Utilize overhead space for flat items you don’t use every day, such as tall ladders, sleds, boogie boards and boxed annual decor.
  • Slat-wall panel systems are perfect for a combination of hanging baskets, hooks and hangers and come in finishes from painted to stained wood.
  • Label every closed container. This will save you the trouble of searching for items later.
  • Epoxy floors are resilient to gas, oil, and other liquids that might spill onto a floor. They come in an assortment of colors to match your surroundings and can obscure cracked concrete.
  • Polished floors are great for garages, as well. Their high shine is easy to clean, plus you can still see the concrete underneath offering an appropriately industrial look.
  • Keep 36 inches between parked cars so that passengers can comfortably exit and reenter without bumping.

Beverage Center

Full size refrigerators are not the most cost-effective option for a garage; many will not continue to work in the winter months if  a garage is unheated and are  an energy drain during the hot summer. Consider an under-the-counter beverage fridge with an outdoor rating instead. Its insulated housing makes it an ideal fit. Kegerators are cute in  a well-designed garage, but they need to abut an inside wall of an attached garage or be housed in a specially designed insulated cabinet to weather the climate of an outbuilding.