Picture your garage right now- does it look how you’d like it to? Can you easily fit your vehicle in it? Is it organized? Is it clean? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is probably not a resounding “yes” for several of these questions.
Why is it that we buy a home with the extra couple hundred square feet that could easily serve to store both our vehicles and a variety of personal items- but we cram them with unnecessary junk and don’t utilize the space? You’re not alone. A recent survey revealed that almost three out of every four households in America can only fit one vehicle in their two-car garage. Often, this space can feel either overwhelming or like an aside- or maybe both. However, the truth is, the garage can be one of the most visible and telling areas of the home. It opens up so you neighbors can see in and reveals a lot about what you do with a space.
Not to worry, as one of Utah’s premier home builders we know homes, and we know that the garage is part of a home just as much as any other room. We have 5 tips to help make your garage a space you can be proud of.
First things first; set aside a solid chunk of time to really get serious about picking what you need to keep and what you can get rid of. Consider what items you’re storing in the garage- and if it’s one of these you should definitely reconsider. Your garage will be of the most use to you when it’s properly storing things that belong in that space, and not a catch-all for any kind of item you don’t know what to do with.
You might want to make a rule for yourself when evaluating items. For instance, if you find an item like a book or a coat that you haven’t used in the last 365 days, assume that you aren’t realistically going to use it again. Someone else could get more use out of it, and you’re only adding to clutter by leaving such items in there year after year. Things you will probably want to use your garage for include tools, landscaping equipment, vehicular accessories, and outdoor toys.
Once your garage is cleaned out a bit, you’ll have a fresh start for how you’d like to organize it. Check Pinterest and blogs for organization ideas. Do you want a work bench? Will you paint the walls or add an epoxy finish to the floor? Now that you know exactly what items you have in your garage it will be easier to evaluate what you want to use the space for and what will need the most attention. Depending on what type of projects you’re wanting to do, they could either be D.I.Y. or you may want to leave it up to professionals if it’s too far out of your comfort zone, so pin down exactly how much you’re wanting to spend. Remember, this will be a worthwhile investment!
Now that you’re done with drafting your floor plan, you may find that the room is still a bit tight as far as space. Not to worry, the garage is one of the rare spaces where it won’t look strange to use the walls and ceiling to store things! In fact, there are a large variety of wall and ceiling storage options. For the walls you can purchase pegboards made from wood, plastic, or metal to store your everyday items and tools. Bike racks and hooks for other toys will be your new best friend. Another great idea is having higher shelves for potentially dangerous items such as strong chemicals that children or animals could get into. Get creative!
Everything in your garage needs to have a place. If you find that an item doesn’t have a place in your organization, evaluate the need to store it in your garage. Garages often become a pile of mismatched items which overwhelms us more. Instead, keep the children’s area in its own space, the wall for tools strictly for tools, etc. When your possessions have a distinct home, you will always know where to find them, and it makes it easier to keep the garage clean and organized.
We’re in the home stretch now! There’s one last thing; don’t forget to maintain safety standards in your garage. Chemicals, paint, rodent or pest traps, tools, and more can all be dangerous items to have sitting out, especially if you have children. Find unreachable shelves or lockable cabinets for these items. A fire extinguisher should also be kept and maintained in your garage.
Need some inspiration? Check out our video about our condo garages- you’ll be surprised how much room there is and just how great they can look!
You might also be interested in our post about maintenance items new homeowners often forget.
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