Re Organize a Garage on a Budget

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Garage organization breaks down when the stuff you have is bigger than the space you have assigned to it. This article describes how to improve garage organization creating: 1) more usable space for active projects, 2) more time at play and work destinations, 3) less cursing, or better, more harmony. Also, this method does not cost much money.

  1. Remove all cars from the garage.
  2. Remove everything from its current storage location.
  3. Put things in piles on the floor according to two methods: a) All like things together [like: 1)fasteners, 2)clamps, 3)glue/adhesives, 4)paint, 5)tools that remove material(drills, saws, sanders, planes), 6)measuring tools, 7)hammers, etc.]; or b) All activity based stuff together [like: 1)gardening stuff, 2)windsurfing stuff, 3)biking stuff, 4)beach stuff, etc.]
  4. Discover the items that you are just storing in your garage for a rainy day like a big desk, or a lightly used washer and dryer pair.
  5. Sell the stored items if, while you survey the piles, it is clear that they should go.
  6. Make the stored items a part of your organizational system using quickly constructed wood or cardboard "compatibility devices." For example: cardboard can be used to protect a wood finish from scaring. This allows quickly constructed shelves to be stacked on top of a stored desk. Or, a stored washer and dryer pair can be stacked with the dryer on top, once you build a 2"x6" frame to support the dryer above the washer control panel. This also makes a nice storage space between the two. Remember to secure the dryer to the wall to make sure it cannot fall on anyone!
  7. Move the stored items into the most constructive place for them to be (least in the way).
  8. Sort your piles, recycling, or dedicating to specific purpose any duplicate items you discover. This may be particularly useful for those who are both gardeners and dog owners, for instance.
  9. Size up the piles.
  10. Size up empty storage areas.
  11. Make more storage areas, recognizing that gravity tends to smear things out. Your best storage ideas will defeat gravity in some way. Here are some examples:
  12. Clone: Reverse tiered garden tool storage. (Note: Upper wood strip is "2 X 4" and lower wood strip is "1 X 4". This provides clearance between the upper and lower layers),
  13. Ponder: Windsurfer and ladder storage,

  14. Copy: Weed eater and electric cord storage,

  15. Look askance: Bicycle storage,

  16. Covet: Empty fruit box wall mounted closet chest of drawers.

  17. Evaluate your budget. All of these were constructed from scrap or $3 lumber save the chest of drawers which was $14.
  18. Find a place for each category of stuff that matches the spaces you can create, with these examples in mind.
  19. Consider visual appeal. I found that interior house paint stores well under a work table. An oil cloth table cloth drapes down to hide the paint containers and a shop vac. I mounted a drill press on that same wipable oil-cloth covered table - just bolted right through the cloth.
  20. Consider how frequently an item is used.
  21. Good luck and be safe.


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