There are certain tasks that stay on your to-do list for years. You keep putting them off while constantly kicking yourself for not having done them yet. Tackling a messy garage is one of those tasks, but it doesn't have to be a terrible ordeal. With the help of some simple strategies, you can create order out of chaos and make your garage someplace you actually like to be.
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1. Make Use of PVC Pipe
Corralling rakes, shovels, ski poles, baseball bats and other long, thin objects is one of the greatest challenges of garage organization. Head to the home improvement store and pick up some cheap sections of PVC pipe. Attach pieces of pipe to the wall of the garage and slide those yard tools into them between uses. Even a thin section of pipe is large enough to hold items upright.
2. Bungee Extension Cords to Walls
Extension cords, hoses and ropes can become some of the most aggravating items in your garage. No matter how neatly you wrap them, they always become unfurled and tangled. Try screwing sturdy hooks into a section of garage wall. Thread a bungee cord through the middle of each wrapped cord and hang both ends of the bungee cord over a hook. When you need the cord, simply unhook the bungee.
3. Hang Wire Catch-All Baskets
Just as every kitchen has a junk drawer, every garage has at least one area where all the odds and ends seem to accumulate. Rolls of tape, spray cans, random gadgets and the operating manual for your lawn mower don't need to take up valuable work space. Get them off counters and workbenches by hanging a wire basket on the garage wall below eye level. Use this basket to hold all those random items that don't have any other proper storage spot in the garage.
4. Build Corner Shelves
In small garages, every inch counts. The front corners on either side of the garage door are often wasted space. Build custom shelves to make use of that real estate. This could be a manageable project for someone with DIY experience.
5. Create Pockets Between Studs
Does your garage have unfinished walls and visible studs? They may not look attractive, but those studs could prove useful in your organizing efforts. Simply nail a wooden slat across a pair of studs, creating a "pocket" of storage space behind it. Anything you slide behind the wooden slat should stay right where you put it.
6. Organize Metal on Magnetic Strips
There's no reason to leave metal tools all over the place when a magnet could easily be used to organize them. Buy a metallic tool bar to hang on the garage wall or pick up a magnetic knife bar designed for use in a kitchen. It's so easy to organize tools this way, and having them all lined up at eye level allows you to quickly grab exactly what you need.
7. Hang Small Items in Plastic Bags
If you keep loose, small items like screws or assorted craft supplies in your garage, you know how dangerous it is to leave them out in open containers or scattered across a work surface. One clumsy move from you can send them flying all over the garage. Try sorting these items into individual plastic baggies and hanging the bags from nails on the wall.
8. Make Ball Holders
Keeping basketballs, soccer balls and other sports equipment organized can seem impossible when you have active kids running in and out of the garage. If you have a double garage door and there's some unused space between the doors, create some basic shelves for these balls. Nail pieces of wood to the wall that are angled slightly upward so that a ball placed there can't roll out.
9. Hang Bins From Walls
Between recycling bins and storage containers, you may be sacrificing a great deal of garage floor space to bins. If you have some basic carpentry skills, try making wall mounts for those bins. By attaching a wooden cleat to the bin and attaching a corresponding mount to the wall, you can hang multiple open bins on a wall.
10. Create Parking Spots for Kids' Toys
If you have kids running in and out of the garage with their bikes and scooters, you know they have a knack for dumping these things in the most inconvenient places. You'll find a toy car parked behind your real car or a bike sprawled right in front of the door. Instead of scolding kids over and over, give them a visual reminder of where you expect these toys to be stowed. Create "parking spots" on the garage floor with masking tape, with each wheeled toy having its own spot.