Whether you use your garage primarily for parking or storage, whether you store a big fishing collection or want to install a garage music studio, and whether it includes one stall or four, some simple garage layout techniques can help you maximize your space for any purpose.
Before you do anything, first take some time to really clean your garage out. Give yourself a day and remove everything from inside it, spray it down and even consider a coat of paint if it is needed. You can also seal any leaks or holes at this time.
Prior to putting anything back, create three piles: Keep, toss, donate (or sell). This will help you get rid of things you no longer need or use – make sure these items do not somehow creep back in. Once you have a clean, open space to work with, you can start to assess your garage’s layout.
Create a floor plan
Next, take a good look at the space you have, then consider what you really want to do with it: More space for your tools? A workout room? Better organization for your bikes and scooters? More efficient overall flow? No matter what your goal, the way you organize your garage layout can make all the difference.
Note the dimensions of your garage, including the size and placement of any windows and doors as well as switches. How many vehicles do you have and how much room do they take up? When you add this up, it will help you better understand how much room you have to work with.
Then, start to look at the major categories of the items you keep in your garage: You can place all of your lawn and gardening tools together, for instance, and all of your seasonal items in one place. As a general rule of thumb, larger, bulky items (such as snowblowers, lawnmowers and large kid toys) should be placed in a corner, if possible, so you don’t have to worry about them when parking or when getting in and out of your car. The more things you can get off the floor, the better, so don’t be afraid to look up.
Plan on placing the items you use the most often close to the garage door itself for easy access. This might include bikes, rakes, games or gardening tools. Review your plan and see if anything is missing, then you can move on to storage solutions.
Storage for success
Good storage solutions make it easy to find things, easy to use them and easy to put them back where they belong. Look into stackable, clear plastic bins with lids, wire bins or wire shelving, hooks for hanging things, and a cabinet for keeping sharp tools, lawn chemicals or anything else you want to keep safe and secure.
Open shelves are typically better than closed ones for good garage layout and function, since you can see what’s on them and will be less tempted to add unneeded clutter. Corner shelves can also give you extra storage room.
You can also examine the potential for overhead storage – obviously, you don’t want to climb up and down every week to get the things you store there, but this can be helpful for larger or more seasonal items that you do not need on a regular basis.
Other considerations for good garage layout
A workbench can be useful for a variety of purposes: It can hold tools and toys, it can include a padded top for seating and it can offer drawers for additional organization and storage.
If your garage contains valuable fishing equipment, workshop tools, bikes or anything else, it will be worthwhile to invest in good locks that include a deadbolt for any windows.
Finally, take into account any special items – a ping-pong table or a flat-screen TV, for example, that you might want to incorporate into your garage layout and determine how they can best fit.
What not to store in your garage
While garages can serve a lot of purposes, there are a few items that don’t belong there, such as paint, propane, pet food/supplies and paper goods. All of these things either present a danger when left in extreme heat or cold or they can attract pests. Make sure everything you have in your garage genuinely belongs there.
Garage sweet garage
Once you have your garage organized, give yourself a few weeks to see if the layout makes good sense and works for you. You can always rearrange areas for better form and function. Once you have the best layout for your garage, make sure you keep it clean and take a few minutes each week to pick up.
From man caves to workshops and from game areas to exercise, a garage extends your living space. The ideal garage layout is whatever works best for you and your lifestyle.