If your garage is like most people’s, it’s a messy tangle of bikes, gym equipment, fishing gear and old lunch kits that may or may not contain food from a few years ago, and if that’s the case, just know there’s no judgement here.
However, for those of you who cringe every time you have to venture into your garage or squeeze around boxes to get into your car, we have a few tried-and-true solutions. We’ve seen some of these tricks in garages around Edmonton when we’re doing a garage door repair or new garage door or overhead door installation, so we wanted to share them with you.
Cleaning Tips for Your Garage
Before you start organizing, you’ll probably want to give your garage a thorough clean to keep your belongings from getting dirty or dusty as you sort through them.
Motor oil stains on your concrete floor can be removed using a wire brush, dish soap and some cat litter to absorb it. If there’s a nasty smell of oil or gasoline lingering in your garage, leave out baking soda, vinegar, activated charcoal or kitty litter to absorb the smell.
If you park in your garage and your vehicle tends to pull in a lot of dust and dirt, you can also buy large floor mats that sit under a vehicle. These can easily be pulled out and rinsed with a hose.
Storage Ideas for Garages
Your garage is probably one of the most functional spaces in your home. It’s most likely utilitarian in style, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look fantastic.
Whether you use your garage solely for storage or just have a few items tucked away, finding the right kind of storage system is one of the most important factors in keeping your garage organized.
Use Tall Shelves to Open Up Floor Space
Your garage floor space is precious, which is why ceiling-high shelves work so well to increase your storage without taking up more room. You can buy tall plastic shelves at a hardware store, or you can shop thrift stores and garage sales for old dressers, shelving units, and even lockers.
Use Extra Items You Already Have as Storage
If you have items like flower pots, crates or scrap wood taking up space in your garage, you can do double duty by making them into storage units for other items. Flower pots or buckets can be screwed into the wall as holders for items like paint cans, while crates and scrap can be built up into shelves.
Embrace the Art of the Hang
An organized garage makes the best possible use of wall space. To get items like bikes, extra chairs, and garden tools out of the way but still easily accessible, try hanging them on the wall with heavy-duty metal hooks. You can also use items you don’t need, such as curtain bars, hooks or hangers for hanging items like tools, ladders and extension cords. You can even cut slits in a pool noodle to wrap around handles and keep them in place.
Many homeowners use pegboards (which you can find at any hardware store) for creating a hanging wall with hooks that slide into the holes. For smaller items like zip ties, cut a piece of PVC pipe and hook it into the pegboard.
You can also purchase hanging storage units for your garage that screw into the roof. You just need to make sure they’re placed at the back of the garage where they won’t interfere with your garage door opener. Or, you can create some simple tracks with plywood and a few nails for your storage bins to hang from.
Rolling Storage for Tools
If you’re a mechanic (or just enjoy working on your car), you’ll want to make sure your storage isn’t just organized; it also needs to be mobile so you aren’t running back and forth between your project and your tools. You can buy fancy rolling tool boxes of course, but they’re usually quite costly. For a more economical solution, you can put wheels on an old filing cabinet or a set of shelves.
Other Tips & Tricks for Keeping Your Garage Organized
Use Tape to Define Parking Stalls
If you have a new or nervous driver in the house, you know the frustration of trying to fit multiple vehicles in a garage. To help keep everyone in the right place, put coloured reflective tape on the floor to mark your spots as you drive in. This will also help make sure everyone can get in and out of their vehicles easily.
Have Your Garage Door Inspected & Maintained
If you use your garage for storage, chances are good that you have some items in there that are worth a bit of money. Garages are a main target for thieves, which means garage door security is important.
Having your garage door inspected and maintained can give you peace of mind that your door won’t unexpectedly reverse and stay open all night while you aren’t looking.. Your garage door technician can also recommend other safety features, such as remote keychains to prevent thieves from getting a remote out of your car. The MyQ app can even tell you whether your door is open or closed and send you alerts.
Don’t Hang Items from Your Garage Door or Opener Tracks
Some garage door hacks include hanging items from your garage door tracks using special hooks. Although your garage door opener is definitely strong and built to hold a great amount of weight, adding items to the track can be dangerous.
First, it places more weight on your tracks than they’re meant to hold. Second, you risk items shifting and getting in the way of your opener, which could cause damage to the hanging items, your door or opener, and the structural elements of your garage. Remember, your door is the biggest appliance in your home, so keep everything away from your door for safety and to get more life out of it.
If you want to learn more about how to maintain your garage and make the most of your space, get in touch with us at C&W Canada Garage Doors today and we would be happy to help you out with all of your garage door needs!