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What is Garage Storage

garage-storage-twoThe Washington Post has an interesting article about what you should store in the garage. HGTV also has an interesting article about what NOT to put in the garage. It seems if you ask 10 different people you are likely to get 20 different answers about what makes up garage storage.

The picture on the right is a half-serious staged shot because of the popularity of a silly picture we had posted of a wine glass in the shower. But there is a point here. While there are countless articles on what you should or should not keep in the garage the real question is what do you need? For example while none of my customers have beer and vodka sitting on a shelf (that I know of), I have a ton of customers with wine fridges and eve keg fridges and everything else planned around them

In my case, a huge part of our storage revolves around bikes. This is something that is somewhat new and not that different. The new part is today we use the bikes much more than we did several months ago. This means not only do we need a way to store our mountain bikes and road bikes, but we need it to be convenient. That said, even before we started mountain biking we had more than 10 bikes in the garage and they were perhaps the most obvious ‘need’ for us.

One of the beauties of things like Handiwall is it creates a flexible wall system that can be used for almost any need — and you can and we do change the layout regularly. While HGTV states that you should not store things you use every day in the garage, we have found that with the proper layout that might not be the case.

We do agree that items like propane, gasoline and other flammable and even paints should not be stored in the garage. It also really is a crappy place for a refrigerator in this part of the country because it will have to work extra hard because of the temperatures. Important papers and yes, even wood furniture, paintings and photos definitely could become damaged. If they are important to you the garage is not a great choice. If they are not important to you then THROW THEM OUT.

Garden tools is another item that can be organized. We have placed a storage section dedicated to rakes, shovels, pots and other gardening things (can you tell this area is not my passion) directly inside the door that goes out to the back yard.

Overhead we have placed several racks for rubber bins filled with items that we don’t use often but definitely need to keep and have access to. This includes things like Christmas decorations and alike. We also keep our suitcases up there — as a small business owner and family of 8 vacations are not something we do often.

Clear to one side we have two shelf units. We use units that are adjustable and a lot of thought should go into the height you place each shelf at.  We reconsidered the heights we had the shelves at and made room underneath it for longer flatter items that were taking up a lot of room elsewhere. We are also in the process of moving to uniform sized containers and the shelf height is being adjusted to a height that is just slightly taller than the bins we are going to use.

We have also made a designated spot for our car batter charger, pumps and our two-year-old’s outdoor  toys. This brings us to the last point about the layout itself. When you design a kitchen, you consider workflow, right? The drawer for the utensils is strategically laid out in proximity to the dishwasher, etc.  If you buy all the best organisational products and pay no attention to layout, you have wasted your money.

Elaborating on this a little more, the bikes and car battery charger is stored close to the overhead door because to use it we would have to pull it out of the garage. Our recycling center is located just to the right of the door to the house. We add items to recycling every day and only take it out twice a week, so proximity to the home was more important than proximity to the door.

Our garden storage area is… You guessed it, by the door that leads  to the backyard. And our shelving unit is clear to the other side of the garage because we just don’t add or remove stuff from the shelves .

Making Garage Storage Practical For You

So chances are your garage is nothing like my garage so you need to do what is practical for you. Where do you start. Two pieces of paper. On one piece draw out your floor plan. On the other piece, divide it into three columns and however many rows you need. Start listing items you need to find a home for, but group them together by category. Then take that group of items and decide on the most practical place  to put it. It really is that simple. The next step is to find the product that will best fit your needs based on the items themselves and the layout you have selected.


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