Optimize, Maximize, and Otherwise, “-ize,” Your Space!
You’ve got a garage and you want to make the most of its space? Well, this is the article for you! Garages are not just for storing cars (although that is their main intention, of course), they can be used for anything from storage, to as a workspace, or even a great spot to hang-out.
You may be aware of how your garage CAN be used in a wide-ranging manner, but sometimes when you look at that space you might feel intimidated.
It’s normal to stare at your garage and be overwhelmed by the possibilities, that’s why this piece is here with plenty of advice on how to get the most out of your garage’s space! Read on for all the tips you could need to make the most of your garage.
The #1 Thing to Consider: Are You Parking a Car? A Motorcycle? A Boat?
When the garage first came about, the main idea was for it to be a carport. Therefore, the first thing to consider when considering utilizing your garage space, will it, in fact, be holding a vehicle?
This is important because if you have a smaller garage and need to cram two cars into it, that may very well end up being the sole purpose of your garage as nothing else can fit! Now, if you have a big garage and are only parking a motorcycle or small car in there (or even storing a car like a collectible one) then you’ll have a good deal more footage to work with and make your garage more than just a place to park a car.
Now, should you have to keep a big ol’ boat in your garage, that is perfectly fine too, it just limits other possibilities for your garage. There is nothing wrong with that, however.
Garages were designed to hold your vehicles, and if that is all you can use your garage for, then you’re all good! That said, should you want to utilize your garage in all the other fun possible ways, there is a lot more you can do!
Make Small-Item Storage Tidy with Cabinents
Arguably the worst thing you can do when it comes to storing things in your garage is to just throw a bunch of junk in a pile. We’ve all seen those garages where it’s just piles of junk that you have to carefully stepover lest you trip on something sharp and rusty–ending up with a nasty scratch AND a need for a tetanus shot.
Instead, you can install cabinets on the wall or even add some movable ones on wheels (more on that in a second) so that everything you put in your garage has a place. Instead of keeping your hammer and tape measure, “Somewhere in that 5-foot high pile,” you can have an exact spot you store your tools as well as anything else small and extra.
A lot of small stuff makes one big mess, so if you keep things organized from the start, you’re ahead of the game.
Keep Large Items Moveable and Easy to Access
To keep your garage space malleable and easy to use, it might be smart to consider cabinets that are on wheels. Being able to move around everything can be a Godsend for may reasons.
For example, perhaps you have a child and they purchase a car. Your garage up until this point has only had one car in it and a lot of cabinets holding useful items are sitting in the middle of the garage.
It is a LOT easier if these cabinets can easily be rolled into the corner as opposed to having to be emptied, moved, and refilled so that your son or daughter now has a place to park their car each night.
Yes, you could always make your kid park outside on the curb, but few of us want to be THAT kind of parent! Plus, with moveable cabinets, when its the time of year you’re getting all your pool-gear versus the winter holidays it is handy to be able to shift what is easier to access. Speaking of seasonal items…
Utilize Storage of Seasonal Stuff Appropriately
One big downfall of garage storage is we will sometimes put something away in them and forget it, for years…upon years…upon years. Next thing you know, you’re rooting through your garage and find a box of ornaments themed for the hottest boy bands of the year 2000.
That, or a grill you haven’t touched since the iPhone was invented. You know who you are. So yes, simply put, you need to make sure to stay on top of more seasonal and time-sensitive items so that you can be sure they aren’t just taking up space in the garage that could be more appropriately used for items you’re actually USING.
Use Workbenches and Work-Spaces
When you are doing tasks that can be messy, such as cutting wood or metal, that is generally something you shouldn’t do it the kitchen or living room. Few people would like wood-dust in their meals or sparks igniting a fire on their carpet. However, having a dedicated workroom for these kinds of tasks isn’t always possible.
That is why garages are the perfect space to have a workbench and a workspace. Between the easy-to-sweep tile floors and less delicate items being in the garage (besides what might be in storage), you can do those heavy-duty projects without worrying too much about any kind of messes or too many safety hazards.
Install Fridges and Freezers
Most kitchens have space for a single combination fridge and freezer. What if you want to install just a fridge or a nice deep freezer with lots of space? Well, garages are well-known as a great spot to put your extra fridge or freezer for all that food you don’t want to toss-out of dethaw just yet but will get to eventually.
It is practically an unwritten rule that if you have an extra fridge or freezer you need to put in the garage, it just makes sense. Plus, if you are the kind of person who hunts, you can take care of cleaning the animals you’ve caught at your workbench and then easily get the meat in your garage-freezer without having to carry messy animal flesh all through the house.
Heck, even if you don’t hunt having an extra freezer is a great way to store a ton of extra ice cream (or frozen food, but ice cream is the best) or a fridge to store a lot of cheese and produce. Basically, having an extra fridge or freezer is useful, and your garage is a stupendous spot to place these extra appliances.
Don’t Forget Vertical Space
The focus so far has been on maximizing your floor-space with moveable cabinets, tossing-out old seasonal items, and stuffing your garage-freezer full of goodies.
One thing you don’t want to disregard is your vertical space, though! Installing the right kind of wall can turn your tool cabinet into a tool shelf that is as useful to have as it is impressive to look at.
That, or tall shelves which can reach up to your ceiling to hold those aforementioned seasonal items is pretty handy when it comes to clearing-out your floor space so that everything is easy to navigate and access. You don’t have to stuff your garage to the gills, but making the most of vertical space is always a smart decision.
Create a Hang-Out Zone
It may be possible at the end of the day you don’t actually have that much stuff you need to store. Perhaps besides a car or motorcycle, your garage feels kind of…barren.
Well, if that’s the case then you could always make your garage a fun hang-out spot! It sounds a little odd, but as long as your garage stays mostly warm in the winter and cool in the Summer it can be a fun place to have friends–especially if you lack a living room in your house or a spouse/child is always hogging it.
Getting a nice rug, some chairs or even a couch, and taking advantage of a garage-based fridge to hold drinks or snacks results in a home-within-your-home you can relax in. It’s basically a room in your house that lets you escape the stress of your house!
Plus, if you’re the kind of person who throws big parties, it makes for another whole room you can have guests drink and relax in along with your kitchen, dining room, living room, or bedroom if it is THAT kind of party (no judgment).
One Last Note: Remember the Importance of Cleaniness
One last thing to keep in mind is that garages sometimes can be a little dingy if we don’t keep up with cleaning them. As tempting as it can be to ignore that wood-dust, bottle caps, or oil-stain from a car, if you want to truly make the most of your garage you should keep it as clean as any other room in your house.
Sweep it, mop it, and otherwise show your garage the love it deserves. Do that, and you’ll truly be getting the most out of your garage’s space by also making it a pleasant, “Space,” to be in
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