March 2019 - I Love My Garage!

The garage is one of my favorite rooms in the house. It’s the last place I see when I leave in the morning and the first I see when I come home.  It’s my creative workshop - a home for all projects from refinishing furniture to building my latest Pinterest creation. My garage makes me happy - but I had to work to get it there.

In order to really love your garage, you need to create a sense of order.  You have to be able to find what you are looking for, when you are looking for it. The garage must serve you functionally, but also have enough of “you” in it to make it feel like home morning and night.  

Here are some simple tips to get your garage in shape enough to make you smile when that door goes up after a long day.

1. Create zones for storage and make sure everything has a home.

Yard tools - I like using track wall systems for rakes, shovels and all the other things that go with taking care of a yard. Utilizing wall space is one of the most important ways to save space in a garage.

I like the Gladiator wall system sold at Lowes and the Rubbermaid Fasttrack system from Home Depot or Lowes.  These wall systems must be screwed into studs, enabling them to hold just about anything you can imagine.

Check out these examples of the     Gladiator System     in my garage!

Check out these examples of the Gladiator System in my garage!

Gladiator System   in my garage

Gladiator System in my garage

And here’s a     Rubbermaid Fasttrack System     in a client’s garage.

And here’s a Rubbermaid Fasttrack System in a client’s garage.

Toys - Depending on the age of your kids, you may have lots of toys to store in the garage.  Corral like items together, label and store in a way that makes it easy for the kids to both get what they want and put it away.     

Look at this great garage closet from Tidbit

I also like the Trofast shelving system from Ikea for toy storage.  You can customize the container sizes for your needs and it is reasonably priced.  Make sure to label the containers to help maintain the organization

Client garage - I found these racks at a local bike shop

Client garage - I found these racks at a local bike shop

Bicycles - These can take up a lot of space in a garage. I like to use free-standing bike racks to keep the bikes in one area.  This also helps remind the kids where their bikes belong at the end of the day.

In the winter months, when the bikes are not being used, I hang them to make more room in the garage.  Gladiator and Fasttrack both make vertical and horizontal bike hooks for their wall systems.

I use this hook I found on Amazon.  My goal was to hang as many bikes as possible in the least amount of space and this did the trick.

(Yes, that is a wine rack that I put on casters and attached my miter saw. Pro tip - Sometimes you just use what you have :))

Tools - Be creative with the space you have.

My Garage Closet

My Garage Closet

I love using pegboard wherever I can. It is inexpensive, easy to install and can easily be cut to any custom size.

Pegboard in client’s garage

Pegboard in client’s garage

Metal pegboard   in Dad’s shop

Metal pegboard in Dad’s shop

I was looking for an easy way to house cords.  This is pieces of pipe with flanges screwed into the door.  I used S hooks and bungee cord rings (similar bungees) to hang the extension cords.  This freed up a 3 foot section of my wall system.

My garage closet

My garage closet

Shoes - I do not have a mud room.  When you enter my house from the garage you go directly into the kitchen.  So I created my own mud room. We keep all of our shoes in the garage. This really does cut back on the dirt that is tracked into the house.

The shelves are inexpensive melamine with upright tracks and brackets.  This ClosetMaid ShelfTrack system is similar.

There is a container of dog food and garbage containers from Ikea that house garbage, plastic grocery bags, paper grocery bags, reusable grocery bags and dog toys.

There is a recycling bin to the left of the door and a shelf I found on the curb.  The shelf holds dog treats, sunscreen, lunch bags and I screwed hooks to the side to hang umbrellas.


Seasonal Storage - Rearrange your garage as necessary for each season.  

In the picture above the plastic drawers on the right hold hats and mittens.  In the spring their contents will go in the bins on top and the drawers will hold flip flops and sandals.

In the spring, the sleds go in the attic and I bring down my garden art and flower pots, the outdoor cushions go out and the bikes come down.

After owning a home in Iowa for 18 years, I finally talked my husband into purchasing a snow blower.  It is one of the best purchases we have made - especially this year! My biggest concern was where we would put the snow blower.  We have a two stall garage and no shed. So, I built this stand to house the snowblower and lawn mower. In the summer the mower is on the bottom and in the winter the snow blower is on the bottom - problem solved :)

2. Don’t let your garage become a dumping ground for things you no longer use. Put a box for donations somewhere in your house or garage.  It makes it much easier to get rid of things you no longer want if you have a place to put them. As soon as the box is full take it to your nearest donation drop off center.

3. Lastly, be conscious of what you bring into your garage.  The more you expect your garage to hold, the more you have to keep organized. Just like decluttering your house - only keep what you use, what you need and what you love.  And for me - I love A LOT of things in my garage :)

Let me know if you need help organizing your garage or any other area of your home.

Anne Ahmann, owner happy.healthy.home.

Anne Ahmann, owner happy.healthy.home.

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