How to Organise Your Garage
It is practically an unspoken rule that garages are not used for parking any more, but instead provide a very useful storage space. It is very rare that you will come across a garage that has ever seen a car in it and let’s face it, most modern houses have a severe need for extra storage. It is very rare for a modern house to have large enough cupboards, utility rooms or spare rooms that are not already used for day to day essentials and it is not always that there is a loft that can be boarded and used. Unused furniture, tools, toys – there is never enough space in the house to store it all. Whilst you are waiting for another boot fare to come along or if you move house every few years and are not keen on getting rid of your old furniture, the extra space that a garage provides can prove invaluable.
Unfortunately over time garages have a habit of getting so cluttered that it’s practically impossible to find anything. How many times did you have to go out and buy something that you are sure you put away, but now cannot find. And how many times did you find things in your garage thinking – I wish I found this a year ago when I actually needed it. Unfortunately mess and clutter tend to turn into even more clutter. The more difficult it is to get to anything, the less likely you will actually be to get rid of anything that you have no use for any more.
So why not take a couple of days off or use a weekend to sort out what you have in the garage and organise it all in such a way that getting to things is easy. Here are a few steps that will sort out the mess in the garage once and for all.
- Declutter – be ruthless. Anything you have not used in the last 12 months has to be binned, sold or given away. Old clothes, books and toys can go to charity shops, facebay, eBay or Gumtree. Anything that does not sell and is not needed has to go. Every council has a recycling centre open at least six days a week that will take large and bulky items as well as the usual household rubbish. If some items are too big to fit in your car, some councils offer collections for bulky items free of charge for the first item and as little as £20-£30 for any item after that. This could prove especially useful for heavy items like old fridges and washing machines.
- Change the light bulb to a brighter one and if you can, add another light point. Having good lighting can make a huge difference to how usable the space is. If you do not have the budget for adding an extra light point, there are many movement sensitive lights that are available online that you might want to consider.
- Invest in some heavy load warehouse shelving. These come in different widths, depths and heights and start from £30 per bay. This might seem expensive if you think that an average garage can easily take 6-8 bays, but even one bay can make a huge difference. If your garage has enough height, go for 220cm shelves that will give you a useful top shelf for items that are not used often. Depth is important too. It might be an idea to mix and match and get some shelves that are 30 or 45cm deep and some that are 60cm to allow for bigger items or boxes. Heavy load shelving is normally interlocking and can be fixed to the wall, making it very sturdy.
- Buy a tool organiser drawers for small bits and pieces. Sizes of drawers vary and are a very efficient way to organise small nuts, bolts and screws, but also hammers and drills that you might have. If you are not into diy and do not have any tools, organiser drawers might still prove very useful for sorting anything from sewing bits to medical kits or even small children’s toys.
- Storage boxes are a lot easier to organise than boxes of various shapes. See through boxes make it easier to see what is inside and they can be stacked on top of each other, saving valuable floor space. Go for boxes with the clip on lids if you are using the boxes for heavy clothes, otherwise stacking them might prove tricky.
Use the roof space if you can. MDF boards can be used as shelves between the roof structure beams and can hold a lot of larger items that are not too heavy.