Maximizing space in your garage

Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl
Yahoo! Homes

Does getting something out of your garage involve running an obstacle course or seem more like a treasure hunt? Is your garage like a time capsule of layered storage against the walls? Unless you are the owner of a Garage Mahal, your garage is likely pressed for storage space. Older homes tend to suffer from pre-SUV and single car syndrome which translates into a smaller garage with little to no excess space.

If your garage is on the small to medium size, I guarantee that you have unused space within.

The most commonly overlooked storage space is over your head. If you have room beyond the garage door tracks, simply building hanging storage that attaches to the ceiling joists will gain you additional space for excess lumber and/or tubs of seasonal decor. If you have exposed vaulted rafters, you may be able to lay some planks down for additional storage up there. And if you want the convenience of being able to access that overhead storage, there are a few companies that sell motorized or mechanical platforms that raise and lower your storage when needed.
Garage walls are prime real estate for shelving, hooks and hanging space. Simple brackets and sturdy shelves can do wonders for getting paint, sports equipment and other things off the floor. But don't skimp on the materials -- make sure to spend a little extra money to buy heavy duty brackets and shelves that can withstand the weight of garage storage items.

If you live in an earthquake zone, make sure to secure shelved items with some bungee cords or built-in fences. Pegboard is versatile for storage that can change per your needs. If there is a tool, there is a pegboard hook for it. Yard tools like shovels, rakes, and other tools are easily hung from double hooks. A curved pair of hooks is made specifically to handle your drill. And, a tray for all your toolbox hand tools can be purchased from your local home improvement store.

A step up from pegboards are slat walls (similar to retail display walls). You can purchase a wide variety of components to add to the slats. Cabinets, bins, hooks and shelves all pop into the grooves in the panels and can be moved around very easily. When you are finished it looks like you hired a professional to install an attractive wall storage unit.

If you prefer more of a DIY approach to wall storage, try searching online for garage storage tutorials, like this one for a custom built storage hook system for hanging bikes and scooters (should you be one of those families that are overrun by 2 wheel vehicles.)

Storage that takes up valuable floor space needs to be minimal. Building or purchasing shelving units that hug the wall is one solution. Upright bins and tubes can create a corral that holds yard equipment and sports gear for easy access.

Clear storage drawer sets are perfect for providing water resistant storage for those little items. Gloves, tape, and other odds and ends fit neatly and can be easily seen through the bins. Label the drawers for added convenience.

A rolling storage cart can be used as moveable storage. It can rest beside or in front of other objects and be moved out of the way when you need to access items behind it. This tool storage caddy holds a multitude of power tools all in one convenient location.

When you are ready to reclaim your garage, be sure to look up, down and all around for underutilized space. And don't forget to elevate items that can get wet if you pull in a soaking wet car.

Brittany blogs for

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