If you are forced to park your car outside while odds and ends are cluttering your garage, it may be time for a garage makeover.
A well-organised garage should have enough room for your vehicles and leave enough space for storing tools and sporting equipment - and even function as a workshop.
By storing items like rakes, toolboxes and sporting equipment more effectively, you can save space and transform your garage into the organised, flexible and functional area you need.
The first step is to decide how you want the space to function. Then declutter by selling, giving away or throwing out items you no longer need and set up effective storage solutions for those you choose to keep.
To work safely and efficiently, the tools you use should be accessible and organised. A toolbox is great for transporting tools to different areas of your home. For example, if you have spare screwdrivers, hammers and other tools, it’s handy to have them in the toolbox ready for replacing a washer in that leaking tap or other jobs around the house.
However, if you are working in the garage, it’s more convenient to have them at hand.
Magnetic storage panels are inexpensive. They save floor space and allow you to display your tools on the wall. Tools are then stored out of the way and easy to retrieve. Magnetic steel panels are often sold as kitchen knife storage solutions and can be found at most hardware stores.
Another option is installing a pegboard against the wall and then buying the pegboard accessories you need to store your particular tools. It’s advisable to have the pegboard cut to size at the pegboard dealer unless you have a mitre saw at home.
A foldaway workbench is preferable to an oversized, permanent work table in a garage where space is at a premium.
Wall-mounted folding workbenches:
- Save floor space.
- Provide a place to work.
- Include wall storage to store tools.
- Can collapse when not in use.
Foldaway workbenches are available at most hardware stores and can also be easily constructed as a DIY project.
Storing bicycles can be a headache, and leaning them against the garage wall takes up too much floor space.
The solution is to put unused headroom to use with rubber-coated ceiling hooks. They are very affordable and easy to install and use. Simply drill holes into the garage ceiling for each hook to screw into, then suspend each bicycle by one of its wheels so that it hangs vertically.
Many garages double as a garden shed, with spades, rakes, brooms and other garden tools standing in a corner. Getting them off the floor and onto the wall will make your garage look tidier, and the tools will also be more accessible.
Fix a length of plank to the wall utilising screws and wall plugs. Then attach a row of terry tool clips, available from most hardware stores, to the plank. Hang the tools upright in the clips. Be sure to space them so that the rake tines don’t obstruct other implements.
Overhead shelves are ideal for infrequently used items like large crates and Christmas decorations. Sturdy ceiling-mounted storage units can hold up to about 250 kg, but be sure you have the strength to get the stored items down again. If this could be a problem, you might want to consider an overhead hoist pulley system that will give you easy access to boxes, equipment and tools at the pull of a rope.
Once you have all your tools and other equipment neatly stored, you might want to add the finishing touches with a new epoxy floor coating. Epoxy resists chips, oil and grease stains, as well as water and easily wipes clean.
Epoxy paints consist of a two-part application followed by a topcoat sealant and are available from most hardware stores.
- First, patch any holes and cracks on the garage floor.
- Sweep and mop the surface with an all-purpose cleaner, rinse with clean water and leave to dry completely.
- Stir the epoxy paint to mix all ingredients thoroughly. Pour the smaller can of hardener into the paint and stir again.
- Fill a paint tray with the mixture. Brush the coating around the floor perimeter and spread evenly all over the surface until smooth.
- Allow to dry for at least 24 hours, and apply a second coat.
- Mix the topcoat with the topcoat hardener and stir thoroughly until blended. Wait 30 minutes and apply to the floor. Wait at least 72 hours before using the garage.
With these steps, your garage will be well-organised and functional.
Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer