Packing a Smart Garage

By Real Home Advice Magazine October 26, 2015
Packing a Smart Garage

Come the fall and whatever came out of storage, or got moved and not replaced in your garage, needs to be returned to create some semblance of normalcy and organization.

Things like garden furniture, gardening tools: rakes, hoses, brooms and mops, your lawnmower, sports equipment, and of course the family bicycles, just to name a few items – all need to be packed neatly away and organized in your garage.

The best way to start is to find a day before the weather becomes too inclement to go through your garage. Take everything out and sort items into groups. Make a list of what you have to store your items in or on, and what you might need in addition to get as much off the floor as possible. You can draw a plan if need be.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can create a system that will accommodate everything from the smallest of items to the tallest and heaviest. Or you can ask someone from your hardware store about the systems they sell and what might work best for your space.

Make sure your shelving is sturdy enough to support large stackable containers, which will be clearly marked for easier identification of items. Be creative and use colourful totes to brighten up your organized storage space. Ladders can run along the length of the wall off the floor, and your wheelbarrow can be propped up against the wall inside its own designated niche.

Garden tools are best stacked up onto the wall. You might want to build a wooden bracket with slots so your tools can easily slide in. Alternatively, hardware stores sell convenient plastic tool tower racks that roll on wheels, or be a fixed item posted to the best place in your garage.

You can use pegboards on the walls for organizing your shears, clippers and small trowels and hand tools. Metal cabinets with shelving on wheels are the perfect answer to sorting all your small hand tools and nails, and magnetic strips are also useful to organize your drill bits.

You might want to suspend your bicycles from a track system on the wall or from the ceiling. Heavier hooks will support the load and can easily be screwed into the ceiling. Decide what else might be best served out of the way by hanging from the ceiling, and place tracks with hooks to accommodate additional items.

If you have a smaller space you could place a metal shelving stand, which does not take up much space and easy to access.

All your sporting equipment can be neatly hung from hooks that run along tracks. Your local hardware store might also have systems that you can hang small wire baskets off, or a metal grid with hooks that can be moved to suit. Make a list of what needs to be hung and what small items can go together into baskets. Cleaning liquids, oils and sprays can have their own designated baskets to prevent them from being knocked over and possible spillage.

If you have projects on the go with notes and drawings you have made, you may wish to get some cork tiling and put that up on one wall to organize your project notes.

When you bring your garden furniture in to store, wipe down and dry.
Collapse your furniture as much as possible: fold up lounge chairs, dismantle and stack umbrellas, and dust off cushion seat covers. Place these in large plastic bags readied for storage in one or two of your larger bins.

Take your time to ensure that all the contents of your garage and storage area are organized and off the floor. A de-cluttered and organized storage space makes it so much easier to navigate especially when winter arrives.

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