Apr 15 2010
Now that you’ve built your dream home using a house plan from The House Plan Shop, it is time to think about storage options for your new garage. Before you begin, there is one rule to follow: Go vertical! From floor to ceiling, it is necessary to capitalize on vertical storage space keeping the parking area and walking spaces free and clear of clutter and unorganized chaos allowing easy and safe movement about the garage.
First, think about the walls. There is a wide range of storage items and accessories that can maximize your garage storage space in a safe manner. Common organizational items include pegboards and hooks or cabinets. Pegboards give you flexibility when hanging and storing items while cabinets hide your personal belongings away. Both of these options can be arranged to fit any size garage and can even be used together. A slotted panel system is another choice for garage wall organization. It combines the use of hooks, shelves, baskets and cabinets. No matter which method you choose for your walls, make sure each piece or item is securely mounted to the wall and do not store anything that exceeds the recommended maximum weight capacity.
Now consider traditional shelving units. They are available in many different sizes and styles and can easily stretch from floor to ceiling in a given space. Just like wall units, all shelving should be anchored to the wall so they cannot be toppled easily, especially where small children are present. Organizational boxes and bins work well on shelving units. Place open bins on the lower shelves to organize the kids’ sporting equipment and toys in a place where they can access their things easily. Group like items, a box for various balls, a bin for rollerblades, helmets and kneepads, etc. Use bins on the middle shelves as well. This is a good place to group related items like flower pots and gardening gloves, fishing tackle and life jackets, and so on. Plastic storage containers and bins with lids are great for folding and storing seasonal clothing like winter jackets, hats, gloves and boots. Reserve the higher shelves for items that may be dangerous and harmful to children and pets such as chemicals and items that do not hang well on the wall like a leaf blower. (Note: Carefully read labels on chemicals regarding temperatures. Some chemicals are better stored indoors where the temperature is more consistent such as in the basement.)
Finally, it is time to think about the ceiling. Though we do not traditionally use the ceiling for storage in our homes, the garage is one place where you can make good use of the space above. Often, hooks can be installed in the ceiling for hanging and storing bikes, lawn chairs and even strollers in some cases. If there is room above the rafters, consider creating a storage loft for boxed items you cannot part with and other things you access only once or twice a year, like holiday decorations. Usually a ladder or pull down stair is the easiest and most inexpensive way to access the upper level space. Make sure the floor is sturdy enough to support the weight of the items you plan to store and be careful hauling heavy boxes and bulky items up and down the ladder.
With careful thought and extra planning, you can create a highly functional and very efficient storage space in your garage.
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