10 garage hacks for organization

In addition to keeping the snow drifts off your car’s windshield, the garage is an essential repository for all of the stuff in your life that has no other place to go. All of that stuff, however, can easily turn your garage into a haphazard jumble where you can never find what you’re looking for, and you’re constantly in danger of being buried under an avalanche of hockey pads and extra paper towels. Take control of the situation with these expert tips and transform your messy garage into an oasis of tidy, stylish organization.

1. Cabinets

Cabinets are essential for keeping your kitchen and bathroom organized, so why not the garage too? Take advantage of your garage’s unused vertical space while keeping clutter behind closed doors with cabinets in a range of sizes and shapes. Companies like Closets by Design offer bespoke options in a range of finishes, or you can use modular kitchen cabinets from a hardware or home furnishings store.

2. Shelving

While it doesn’t have the same clean look as a wall of cabinets, modular shelving like the Bror system from IKEA is an equally effective option that’s more budget friendly and much easier to install. For a DIY approach, you can build own wall-mounted shelves from just 2x4s and particle board using these easy-to-follow plans.

3. Painted floors

A concrete floor may be stylish in a loft, but the oil stains, paint spills, and other marks accumulated over years of use in your garage can make it feel more industrial than industrial-chic. The most straightforward option is simply to paint your garage floor grey or off-white, but before you get your rollers out it’s best to know what you’re getting into. Before you can start painting, your garage floor will need to be thoroughly cleaned (to remove any oil or rust stains) and etched to allow for the paint to adhere.

4. Interlocking tiles

If you’re not interested in all of that scrubbing and sealing, a simpler option might be to invest in one of the many varieties of garage floor tiles at your local big-box hardware store. These are available in a lot of different colours and patterns and can be installed with minimal tools plus a bit of basic prep. Worth noting: If you’re doing this in the winter (or on a rainy weekend) make sure you’ve got somewhere to store all of your garage stuff out of the weather.

5. Magnetic shelving & bin shelves

In addition to shelves for your bike helmets and ski gear, what about all of the small stuff that might get otherwise get lost? Purpose-built shelves, like this ingenious hack that repurposes IKEA magnetic knife holders to organize jars of nuts and bolts, will keep them neatly organized and within reach. And if you’re looking for another storage hack to keep from constantly tripping over the recycling, this DIY hack demonstrates how to turn a few pieces of wood into a clever mounting system for your blue bins.

6. Pegboards

There’s a good reason that pegboards have been standard issue on garage workshops for so many years: they work! Traditional wooden pegboards are a great, easy option for hanging everything from hammers to folding chairs.

7. Slatwalls

For a sleeker, more contemporary look, opt for one of the many slatwall systems on the market. Another benefit to systems like these is that they’re available with a huge range of accessories built to store everything from winter tires to gardening tools.

8. Cardboard tube bins

Using a few cardboard concrete-forming tubes and some simple metal fasteners, you can easily create a storage system for everything from rakes and shovels to baseball bats and skis. For a clean and modern look, add a couple coats of white paint before mounting them to the wall.

9. Put the rafters to work

The overhead space in your garage is just as usable as the walls, so don’t let it go to waste! Whether it’s a DIY wooden shelf like this one, a prefabricated set bought online, or even a rack made out of PVC pipe, your space will look tidier as a result.

10. Upgrade your door

Now that the inside of your garage is completely transformed, why not give some love to the outside? An upgraded door does wonders for not just the look of garage but your entire home. If you’re ready to take the plunge there are plenty of out-of-the-box options, as well as DIY solutions for more of a challenge.

Jeremy Freed is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. His writing about fashion, travel, food and design appears in Sharp, Harry and re:Porter magazines, among many others.

Jeremy Freed is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.

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