Setting up the Garage Workshop
One of the most important storage areas of a home is the garage. Because the space it offers is limited it should be used efficiently. So the garage is a prime candidate for storage improvements. Of course, you have many options for improving the storage in your garage.
The following five steps comprise a simple system for garage organization.
Sort the items in your garage
First, get a handle on the mess by moving everything out to sort through and categorize what goes and what stays. Large, clear plastic containers can help you do this. They’re great for clearing away the clutter and then using for storage. Be ruthless with yourself during the sorting and purging process. Don’t keep paint from a project from two years ago, and if you have parts to things you no longer have, get rid of the parts as well.
Separate the tools from sporting equipment, electric tools, yard tools, decorations, etc. You will realize how much stuff you have and only then you will be able to determine the best ways to organize and store everything. Misplaced items in your garage should be returned to their proper place. Also you should sort the things that should be in the garage from the things that should actually be in the basement, attic or better, sold at a garage sale.
Remember to recycle everything that you decide to throw away.
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Separate seasonal items and equipment
A special rack should be installed to hang lawn maintenance tools and to keep them accessible yet out of the way. If it is near winter place snow related tools like snow blowers, ice scrapers, snow shovels and also skis, snowboards and sleds grouped together. Also the items for warm seasons should be stored in a special cabinet. Near the beginning of every season you should plan this activity and rotate the cold and warm items places in the cabinet. For the other sporting equipment, shelves and drawers should be designed.
Additional garage shelving and cabinets
Usually garage shelves can be found in two main forms: site-built and prefabricated. Site-built shelves are usually less expensive and allow you to adapt the sizes to the space available. You can find everything that you need at the local home center, lumber yard, discount store or hardware store.
One of the basics of the garage shelves is made of a simple piece of ¾” plywood or a length of 1x or 2x lumber on a set of heavy-duty shelf brackets. This is mounted by attaching the brackets to the studs directly using long screws then by attaching the shelf to the brackets. To strengthen the shelf you can add a brace at each stud.
Another type of shelves are the floor-supported ones. One method is to run vertical 2x4s every 50 inches and resting them on the floor and attaching them to the rafters or ceiling joists at the top. In addition, the 2x4s are run horizontally on edge between the uprights then a particleboard is used to create the shelve. The most commonly used dimensions are 19-25 inches for depth and the spacing between 2x4s is usually on 25 inches but of course, these sizes can be changed to accommodate the size of the items that you are storing.
For storing small items you should take into consideration the space between the studs. By attaching a series of 1×2 strips horizontally to the inside edges of two adjacent studs approximately 6 inches apart, cutting some 1×4 and 1×6 pieces of lumber and fitting them between studs and slipping them on top of the 1x2s you can create some small adjustable shelves. These are great for jars, cans and bottles and also for other small and light items. The small shelves are great for organizing and storing screws and nails.
The best choice when building prefabricated garage shelves is steel shelving. Plastic shelving may be enough for storing light weight items but in time you may need something more resistant for storing heavier items. One disadvantage of the steel shelving is that they cannot be cut to size so they have standard widths, depths and heights so you have to choose something that fits within your available space.
Adjustability is another important consideration in prefabricated shelving. Prefabricated shelves should be adjustable to at least two different locations within the shelving framework and also the pins for adjusting should be heavy duty and should have something in place for preventing them from working loose or becoming accidentally dislodged.
Another thing to be taken into consideration when opting for prefabricated shelves, especially those designed for heavy loads, is that they may require a wall attachment or other support against tipping.
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Create an efficient garage workshop area
You can’t have a great garage workshop without having a place to do the work you enjoy. That’s where a workbench comes in handy. You need something that’s accommodating for what you plan on doing. In other words, the proper workbench is based on your needs.
You might be able to get by with a small bench you find at any local hardware store. This will give you only enough space to do small woodworking projects or minor fixes in your home. That being said, if that’s the extent of the work you’ll be doing, this is the perfect option for you.
However, someone looking for something more intense wouldn’t like that option. You’d need a large work area, especially if you’re going to be sawing wood, using a vise grip or building furniture. You can even consider building your own workbench for your garage.
The most important thing is to make sure your garage is large enough for the bench you want. Otherwise, it won’t fit and you’ll have to park your cars in the street/driveway.
The other very important feature of a garage workshop is the tools. If you have no tools, you have no workshop – it’s as easy as that. However, you don’t want your tools laying all over your garage. Not only is that unsafe for you, but also it can damage your tools.
Toolboxes are a great addition to your garage workshop. Depending on how many tools you have will determine the size of your toolbox. You can get a smaller and portable toolbox or a large organizer with many drawers.
Maybe you want something where you can see all of your tools and make it even easier to find what you need in case of an emergency You can get a pegboard which will allow you to hang your tools on the wall. It’s perfect for easy access and organization.
Obviously, larger tools can’t fit in a toolbox or on the walls. That’s when you need something bigger. You can get ceiling storage that will allow you to store larger items on the ceiling and keep them out of harms way. This will also help open up more space.
Relocate trash and recycling bins nearby the garage
To easily dispose unwanted items from your garage a good idea is to relocate the trash and recycling bins near to your garage entrance. This way you won’t be tempted to keep certain items because the trash bins are too far away.
Now would be the time to hire a handyman to have cabinets, closets and shelves built right into your garage. Invest in some good storage units as described before and start organizing, sorting and storing.