Our garage is a mess! The last house we lived in, there was no garage. So we were excited when we moved two years ago into a larger house with a garage. How wonderful for winter weather! We would not have to go out and defrost and clear the snow from the car. How wrong we were! Last year we were dumped on with snow, the worst winter in decades, and our car was outside in the driveway. What about our garage? It was a being used for storage, both organized and unorganized.
We really did try to organize our garage. We built shelves along the walls for boxes and plastic totes. Along another wall we had some metal shelves for home business items. There was also a work bench to keep tools organized with a cupboard above it that came from the kitchen remodel. But everything was still a mess, there just wasn't enough room. The motorcycle was in the garage, so that was good, but it took up floor space requiring the rest of the garage to be even better organized if we hoped to fit a car in as well. Also, we were sloppy recyclers. We were really good at recycling milk jugs, cereal boxes and cardboard, but for some reason people just opened the door and threw it into the garage to be gathered and taken to the recycling center once a month. I know that we had recycling bins at one time, but who knows what happened to them?
So enough was enough, we did not need another winter with our car outside. My husband is a "do it yourself" kind of guy, which is really great, but we needed some help to get our garage organized, something that didn't cost a lot of money. We did not need the fancy large cabinets that are really nice but out of our budget. Also, it is the garage, rough built shelves worked great, we just needed creative ways of finding more space.
With a little research, we discovered some GREAT garage organizers to help us get more out of our limited space. Obviously, this was a universal problem that someone had put a considerable amount of thought to and had done something about it! There are many different items available to hang most anything on your wall or ceiling.
If you have wall space that is not used up by shelving, you can get some great wall garage organizers. They come in different forms, but are basically like a peg board or wall slat system that is used in department stores. Once you have the wall system in place, you can purchase different types of brackets, hooks and shelves to fit most any need. There are hooks for hanging gardening tools to help organize your rakes, hoes, shovels, etc. There are special shelves and baskets available to fit other sporting goods or other miscellaneous items. You can get large hooks specially designed to hang bicycles or garden hoses, or really small bins for organizing different hardware items such as screws, nuts and bolts.
Now, I don't really have much extra wall space for special hanging needs, though I could used some of these specialty hooks to help better organize some larger tools and bikes. And such hooks are available without having to purchase an entire wall system. Perfect for what I need.
The main accessible space that I have is the ceiling and I discovered some really neat systems to hang items. Some garage organizer systems are full metal shelves that hang. The shelf can come in varying sizes and depths. Sizes can vary from as small as a 2' x 6' to as large as a 4' x 8', with drop down depths varying from 12" to 45". These shelves are perfect for seasonal items such as camping supplies. Some shelves, such as I have described, you have to access by ladder, other systems are available that work on a pulley system for easy access.
Another great garage organizer system that I found was tracks that hung from the ceiling. The tracks have an "L" shape. You position two sets of tracks the distance apart that you need so that you can hang plastic totes between them. For us this is perfect. All of our Christmas supplies are already kept in green plastic totes. We just hang the tracks 30" apart, label our totes and hang them by their lips on the tracks! Economical and we can keep using storage container that we already have. Also great for hanging plastic file containers. After all, where are you supposed to put those files that you are encouraged to keep for seven years? Many of these systems also come with special hangers for bikes and ladders.
Well, it did not take too much to get our garage organized. After all, we had been trying but were short just a little space. By using garage organizers to better organize some wall space for those awkward items like large tools and ladders, and then ceiling space for specialty items that only need to be accessed seasonally really helped. Though I have to say, that my favorite garage organizer gadget is my bike pulley!
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