For some of us, garage spring cleaning is a vicious circle. We dutifully clean out the garage every spring, and it looks great. Over the next 12 months, however, things pile up. By the time next spring rolls around, we’re back to where we started.
Break the endless cycle this year by revitalizing your garage after the annual cleanup. With a little planning and a quick trip to the hardware store for a few supplies, you can transform your garage into a well-designed storage facility that STAYS organized.
Plywood and Pegboard
Garage walls offer plenty of storage opportunities. Attach sheets of plywood or pegboard over existing drywall or bare stubs. Then attach wire baskets, hooks and shelves to the board. Because the plywood is attached to wall studs, you can hang relatively heavy items.
Be sure to plan out storage space before you hang the plywood. Lay the board on the floor and mark down where all items, shelves and hooks will go. Some people trace the shape of tools on the board to indicate which tool goes where, or you can write the name of each tool over the corresponding hook or basket.
If you have a number of paintbrushes, attach a magnetic kitchen knife strip to the plywood. The metal at the base of the paint brushes bristles is magnetic. Attach brushes with the bristles pointing down — this helps brushes dry and prevents dust from building up in the bristles during storage.
Look to the Ceiling
Your garage ceiling is most likely wasted space. In fact, it’s a great place for storing lightweight items. Ceiling storage units can be attached firmly to ceiling joists — just be sure they don’t interfere with the opening and closing of the garage doors.
You can store ladders from the ceiling quite easily. Attach two brackets to ceiling joists and slide the ladder onto the brackets. For safety, the ladder ends should extend about a foot past each bracket. You can secure the ladder further by attaching it to each bracket with bungee cords.
A long table positioned against a wall gives gardeners room to pot plants and start seed trays in the garage, with room beneath the table for compost bags, empty pots and fertilizer. If you have a supply of pesticides, paint and hazardous household supplies, consider adding a lockable chest or container for these supplies.
A Touch of Color
Garages are usually seen as plain, utilitarian rooms, but there’s no reason you can’t brighten things up a bit. Sand down and paint secondhand kitchen cupboards and arrange them along the wall. Label each cupboard with the name of the item stored within it, and you’ve got an eye-catching storage system.
Bottom line: get creative, maximize space, and stick to the plan … you’ll save yourself from future spring cleanings!