Many homeowners put a lot of stuff in their garage, when they should be putting thought in there. Smart garage design gives you more functional space. Other than a place to park your car, the garage seems to be the receptacle of your home’s leftovers—holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, memorabilia, and anything else that wouldn’t fit in a closet. Add to that the usual garage items—tools, sporting goods, bikes—and you can amass a mess.
By spending a little time doing smart garage design, you can make the most of this afterthought space. Remember, you have both horizontal and vertical storage space, so you have many options to organize the clutter residing on the floor. You can hang items from overhead hooks, or, if you have rafters, you can turn them into additional storage.
- Start by taking the measurements of the space and your vehicles.
- List the functions you want for your garage, like parking, storage, music studio, man cave, and workshop.
- Determine how much space you need for the large items, like the vehicles, lawnmower, and snowblower. Be sure to leave at least two feet around each vehicle to open the doors.
- Create zones in your garage, much like you do in a kitchen. Map out the functionality so that you have easy access to what you need. For example, create a workshop in one corner, with a pegboard on the wall, workbench, and tool chest. Designate a house storage area where you can install cabinets. Allocate a place for gardening tools.
- Plan a utility space where you can organize and store items like recycling, non-perishable food, small household tools (so careless hands aren’t digging through your tool chest for a screwdriver or hammer), hardware (picture hangers, screws, hooks), and tape (masking, duct, packing, electrical). Use shelves and pegboard to organize everything you need here. Put labels where you want items to be placed (which helps to determine when someone took off with a tool or the duct tape and didn’t return it).
Finally, don’t forget that your garage doesn’t just have to be utilitarian. Paint the walls and pegboard. Use flooring that is more interesting than run-of-the-mill gray, like stained concrete, garage floor tiles, epoxy coating, and even porcelain or hardwood tiles—or just paint the garage floor!
Your garage is part of your home. Make better use of the space with design and planning for garage organization.