Practical ways to make your garage more useable

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

Maximise the space and usability of your garage with these practical tips and tricks.

Once you have a well-prepped shell, turning your garage into a stylists dream is just a few steps away. It’s also fun and affordable with these hints and ideas.

Start by deciding whether you’re going to do it yourself or use a professional garage organising system (where the manufacturer will probably offer free space planning). Either way your first step is making sure your cars will always fit comfortably and maximise space.

TO do this, hang a tennis ball from the ceiling so that it taps the windscreen when your car is in the right spot, ideally allowing you to walk between the garage’s back wall and your car or cars. Protect your car doors too, by attaching pieces of scrap carpeting to walls in places where the doors might hit them. Do the same for the bumper if necessary.

Before buying any storage solutions, take down your garage's dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches, and receptacles, (as well as how much space your car/s take up). Apply the following rules of thumb:

  • Things you use together, eg paint tins and paint brushes should be kept closer together.

  • Bulky items such as wheelbarrows and lawn mowers should be kept in corners where they won’t be bumped by your car.

  • Keep frequently used items in easier to reach spots and rarely used ones in the harder to reach areas.

  • Keep as much as possible off the floor as it frees up space, keeps things cleaner and makes cleaning your floor easier.

  • Use shelves, cupboards, slat walls and peg boards to hang and store as much as possible.

  • While shelves are less expensive and easier to access (you don’t need space to swing doors open) cupboards can protect from dust and are lockable. Consider sliding doors on cupboards if space is an issue.

  • Store like items together and keep them visible- all camping gear in a clear plastic tubs, nails and screws in glass or plastic jars.

  • Decant any messy garden fertilisers or chemicals into neat storage containers – and label them clearly.

  • Use a lockable cupboard for chemicals and products you want out of the way of children.

  • Once you have found a place for each of your tools, draw outlines around them so they are always put back in the right place.

  • Use a magnetic strip to hold screwdrivers, wrenches, and scissors.

  • Hang bicycles from the ceiling or up against a wall.

  • Hang your fishing rods and ladders from a ceiling rack to keep them out of the way.

  • Store any bulky pet in food tightly sealed plastic containers, to keep it dry, fresh and invader-free.

  • Invest in a wall-mounted, fold-down work table if space is an issue or add a set of caster wheels to a worktable for a mobile option.

  • Instead of buying a workbench with drawers, shelves behind it can hold your gear at half the price.

  • Use an adjustable, padded work stool that tucks out of the way when not in use.

Safety tip:

Gas cylinders should never be stored in garages (or inside the home for that matter) as they are a fire and suffocation hazard, so find somewhere else for them.

Safety tip:

Do keep a fire extinguisher in the garage. You never know when you may need it.

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