You don't have to be a professional home organization guru to know that a little order goes a long way. So does the ability to be able to create a system that you can clearly see – to save time when you're actively looking for something and to spare you the expense of buying something you already have on hand. If you can remember these two guiding principles, you can bring some order to the assortment of wood that may be taking on a life of its own in your garage.
Sort your wood by size and type. Create separate piles for long sheets of plywood, long boards of 6 feet or more, shorter boards, one-by-twos; and dowels, shims and odd-shaped scraps.
Assess your inventory and measure the area you have in your garage to accommodate it. You might need several types of storage areas, including homemade stalls that allow you to store some pieces of wood standing upright, industrial-strength shelving and plastic bins for the smallest wood pieces. Factor in the type of wood you use most often; this is the wood you probably want within easy reach.
Store the longest pieces of wood – including plywood and long boards – in the rafters of your garage if the rafters are exposed. If you need to get to these pieces often and you have an available corner or cubbyhole in your garage, stand long wood upright, leaning against a wall. Position the bottom of the stack far enough from the wall to keep it from falling over, and brace the bottom with a weight, such as one or more cinder blocks.
Separate your medium-sized wood pieces by size and store them together standing up. To keep them tidy, separate them by using wall brackets, or build your own wooden stalls with two-by-fours to serve as dividers. Your goal is to be able to quickly judge the size of the piece you need, focus your search on that grouping and flip through the wood pieces quickly to make a selection – just as if you were shopping for pictures at a retail store.
Place the smallest wood pieces in plastic containers if there are too many to stack neatly on shelves.
Tips & Warnings
- Anchor any shelves or brackets to the wall studs in your garage for safety.
- Store firewood outdoors to prevent attracting bugs, insects and mice to your garage.
- Observe all safety precautions when lifting heavy loads overhead, using power tools, and handling unfinished wood.