Creating more garage space takes planning because of the huge number of different types of items you may be storing in one space, and the even larger number of storage options available.
In this guide,3 professional organizers: Mary Hoff (Lotus Organizing & Design), Donna Jumper (JumpStart Organizing) and Lisa Mark (The Time Butler Professional Organizers) share their tips to help you create more space in your garage.
The number one mistake people make in garages? "Usually there is just too much of everything and it becomes a dumping ground for all kinds of things," says Jumper. "Sorting is critical when organizing a garage and paring down sports equipment."
Before you plan storage, you've got to know what you're storing -- and how much you're storing. Follow our 5 steps to garage organization with tips from professional organizers on how to declutter and organize your garage into zones.
Assess Garage Storage Space
Use your garages architecture to your advantage. Mark: "Most garages have a huge amount of vertical space and ceiling space. A good storage system definitely allows one to use that space to the best (and safest) advantage."
- Triple measure the space(s) before moving in any storage solutions. Nothing is more frustrating than moving a shelving unit into a space that is a just a smidge too small.
- Brush up how to utilize storage spaces like a pro with the Guide to Maximizing Storage Spaces.
- Don't store anything that weighs a ton too high -- eventually you'll have to ease it down and that may be dangerous.
Re-Purpose Household Storage
Mark is a big proponent of using what you have. "Garage organization is all about using the space to the best advantage. If that means purchasing additional storage and the client can afford to do so, then I'm all for it. I often find, however, that we can use what clients already have before we need to consider purchasing anything additional."
Is there a shelving unit collecting dust in your basement? Use it!
- Clean off anything you're re-purposing before you begin loading it down with items.
- Don't store items in cardboard, recommends Mark, "cardboard doesn't hold up all that well to the elements or against animals that might gain access to the space"
- Do they have a finished garage?
- Do they want something that is built in or portable?
- Should it look like furniture?
- Or is wire shelving OK?
Once you have settled on a look and feel, establish a budget and buy the best product you can in your price category.
- If you are not spacially-inclined and a professional organizer is out of your budget, many stores like Home Depot, Lowes or the Container Store will work with you to plan your space.