Garage Living Naples will open its new showroom at Ultimate Garages – 3101 Terrace Ave, Unit #16, Naples, Florida.
Join us at Ultimate Garages for our grand opening event on Saturday, November 16, 2019, 6 pm – 10 pm. Tickets are $125.
Ultimate Garages is southwest Florida’s only exotic and classic car country club! Throughout this Formula 1 themed event, you will have the opportunity to experience live music by The Valerie Tyson Jazz Quartet, live art, and our one-of-a-kind Formula 1 racing simulator.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Neighborhood Health Clinic, which provides hope and healing for those in need in our community.
Garage Living is the industry leader in custom garage interiors. We can transform your dusty unfinished garage into a world-class showroom. Choose from 15 floor coating colors. Our polyaspartic floors are superior to cheaper epoxy floors. Five lines of custom cabinetry and custom storage solutions using slatwall and storage racks will keep your garage organized.
Contact Thierry Graber, owner of Garage Living Naples at 239-300-9717 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.
A garage disaster doesn’t just happen overnight. It is the result of months and sometimes years of neglect when it comes to garage organization and maintenance.
Your garage gets used several times each day. It’s a useful and valuable part of your home. So why is it routinely overlooked when it comes to home improvement?
An Impulse Research survey found that 24% of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open because the space had too much clutter and a shabby overall appearance.
Is your garage a disaster?
We recently came across a messy garage that was a complete disaster. If your garage is disorganized and cluttered, the examples below will look familiar.
The garage pictured below is shown almost entirely as is. Nothing was staged, although we did have to move a couple of items in order to get decent pictures.
1. Finding items in your garage is a headache
As you can see, navigating through this garage presents a big challenge.
Some of the bigger items, like the ladder, trash can, and wheelbarrow aren’t difficult to find quickly. Finding smaller items like hand tools, empty leaf and trash bags, or hose attachments? That’s gonna take a minute or two.
Finding things when the garage gets this disorganized doesn’t just mean navigating around the clutter. You’ll often have to move things just to get to the items you’ve located, which wastes more time.
From the garage’s entrance, you’ll see the classic example of a cleared path through the floor clutter. Just behind the wheelbarrow and hose on the ground, the makeshift path leads to the home’s exterior water connection on the garage’s back wall.
2. Things are stored in the garage that shouldn’t be
Storing the wrong things in the garage is one of many ways you run out of storage space quickly and items get damaged.
These two suitcases stored on open shelving on the garage’s back wall are good examples. Textile-based products aren’t suited for long-term storage in a garage environment that experiences major shifts in temperature and is moisture-prone.
Another reason you don’t keep textile or paper-based products in the garage for a long time is because mice find them a great place to make a home.
See those small dark spots to the right of the suitcases? Those are mouse droppings. We definitely wouldn’t want to see what’s going on inside of those suitcases.
Other examples of items you shouldn’t be storing in the garage include:
3. Your garage lighting needs an update
The garage has two light sources that provide a decent amount of light for the room. While they’re functionally fine, their “presentation” leaves a lot to be desired.
The light fixture above is missing its plastic casing and is attached to two thin pieces of wood that are screwed into the upper styrofoam panels. It doesn’t exactly look well-anchored.
The light’s power cable is exposed and similarly attached to a couple more pieces of thin wood attached to the ceiling. If you look closely, you’ll see that they’re not mounted flush against the styrofoam boards.
The garage’s original light is the single incandescent bulb to the right, which oddly has its electrical cable exposed instead of hidden behind the drywall.
Along with the fluorescent bulbs being used in the ceiling light, the garage isn’t being very energy efficient…and we haven’t even mentioned the insulation issues yet!
4. Garage clutter prevents vehicle parking
Parking in the garage is clearly not an option here. All of that clutter has relegated the owner’s vehicle to 24/7 driveway parking.
It’s never done intentionally, but allowing clutter to take priority over indoor parking is very common. 20% of the 1,500 respondents to a recent Garage Living poll said they were unable to park in their garage.
A U.S. Department of Energy study found that 25% of people with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all because of clutter. A third can only park one car.
Parking in the driveway under a tree (as this homeowner must do) can lead to damage from:
tree sap, leaves, and berries that fall on the vehicle over time
bird waste can eat through your vehicle’s clear coat and paint if it’s left on the vehicle too long
dead branches falling in windy weather
5. The garage floor needs a complete overhaul
Another garage disaster sign is a damaged garage floor. Pictured above is your standard cement floor that’s marred by scuffs, stains, pitting, cracks, and spalling (when a concrete surface crumbles or flakes away).
Because it’s so hard to clean the garage, you can tell that it hasn’t been swept in some time.
In addition to a good decluttering and some new storage systems, a fresh Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating would do wonders to improve this garage’s appearance and floor durability.
6. Lack of proper storage
Analyze any garage disaster and you’re sure to find that poor storage and organization systems are being used.
Pegboard panels like the one shown above are found in a lot of garages and can be useful in keeping tools off the garage floor.
This pegboard looked to be the standard 1/8″ thickness, which doesn’t allow heavier items to be hung up, however.
Compare that to Garage Living’s 5/8″ thick slatwall panels that have a rigid cellular foam PVC construction and are capable of holding items weighing up to 50 lbs.
Slatwall hanging accessories also make it easier to reorganize your hung items and provide more hanging stability, since they’re anchored over a larger surface of the panel than a pegboard panel’s metal hooks.
To the right of the pegboard is a wall-mounted storage tower that’s not terribly practical. The items stored there were covered in dust and the open shelving isn’t tall enough to even stand up the yellow oil container that’s lying on its side (and leaking oil on the manual that’s underneath it).
For smaller items like hose attachments, power tools, oil cans, cleaning supplies, automotive supplies, and other easy to lose items, cabinet storage would make more sense if the garage has the room.
7. Existing storage isn’t used effectively
The homeowner has the right idea by making use of a part of the garage that’s traditionally underutilized for storage – the walls.
Unfortunately, that pegboard is mostly empty, probably because it’s difficult to access with all the clutter in front of it.
A stepladder and about a dozen shovels, rakes, and other yard tools that are currently leaning against a wall or sitting on the floor could be hanging up and reducing the amount of floor clutter.
With a sturdy slatwall system, even heavier things like the bike and push mower pictured above could easily be hung to free up some floor space.
There’s DIY shelving along the back wall that’s only being used to approximately 30-40% of its full storage capacity.
And those two empty hooks pictured to the right look awfully lonely.
8. Wall storage space is being wasted
A significant portion of both side walls aren’t being used at all for storage in the garage.
That’s a huge wasted opportunity in any garage space and especially in small garages where space is at a premium.
Wall-to-wall slatwall on both garage walls would give the homeowner a wealth of storage space and get quite a bit of the floor clutter off the ground.
The narrow width of the garage makes for a tight fit for the owner’s car, but parking indoors is definitely doable.
While garage cabinets wouldn’t work on the side walls of this garage, a cabinet system with a smaller footprint like GL Signature Shallow cabinets might be ideal for the back wall.
9. Interior garage aesthetics aren’t a consideration
It’s not just a garage’s functionality that suffers when it’s neglected, its appearance does, too. A cluttered garage is an eyesore that probably makes you wince every time you open the garage door.
Things like an old, beat-up floor, haphazardly stored wood, and drywall that’s dirty and scuffed detract significantly from a garage’s interior appearance. Storage systems that don’t stylistically complement each other also stand out in the wrong way.
At least this garage has drywall, though. A lot of garages look even more unfinished with their wall 2x4s exposed.
Also exposed in the garage is quite a lot of wiring. Those two large holes in the wall on both sides of the electrical panel pictured in the next example aren’t exactly helping in the looks department, either.
And you can bet that if you’re wincing whenever you view your garage disaster, your neighbors are as well when the garage door is open.
Don’t forget, curb appeal is all about the attractiveness of your property. A messy open garage has as much negative impact on how others view your home as a poorly kept yard or a roof in need of repair.
10. Safety hazards
The dangling wood pieces shown in our previous example are a clear safety hazard. There are a few more safety issues in the garage that should also be addressed.
A couple of years after moving in four years ago, the homeowner decided to have the home’s outdated fuse box replaced with a circuit breaker panel.
For some reason, the electrician left the panel uncovered. Things could get really dicey if a roof leak occurred above the panel.
The styrofoam boards on the ceiling look to mostly be held in place with little more than strips of sheathing tape that’s keeping everything held together. Did we mention there’s a light fixture attached to one of those boards?
Then, of course, there’s the fact there are tripping hazards all over the place.
11. Lack of insulation
Proper insulation for an attached garage can make a big difference to a home’s energy efficiency, both during the summer and winter.
This garage could definitely benefit from a lot more than just the ceiling-mounted styrofoam insulation boards that have numerous gaps where they meet the walls. No wall insulation is being used and the homeowner was unsure whether or not the old garage door was insulated.
The room above the garage is most directly impacted by the lack of insulation. The homeowner says the floor there is noticeably colder during the fall and winter.
Sound from the garage door opener is more noticeable to anyone inside without the sound dampening benefits of more insulation.
An HVAC duct runs through the garage in the top right of the photo. Depending on the thickness and insulation effectiveness of the ducts, a hotter and colder garage might impact the efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling system.
12. Not enough task space
We’ve already established that a garage disaster severely impairs the room’s functionality. That includes simple tasks like merely finding things quickly or being able to store things with ease.
It also means finding room to do any tasks is a pain.
In this garage’s case, a small foldup workbench is set up to cut some wood.
There’s very little space around the bench to work and nowhere to even put the leftover pieces of wood and tools other than on the workbench itself.
With an organized garage, a dedicated workbench could be installed with ample storage room that keeps all your tools within close reach.
A tidy garage can also be used as a multi-purpose room that allows you to do things like work on craft projects and use the space for your workouts.
13. Bulky seasonal items are stored on the floor
The homeowner has a small yard that doesn’t provide much room for a shed, which would be helpful for supplementary storage for his bulky patio furniture.
The three patio chairs are stacked, which saves space and the patio umbrella could have the heavy base detached to make the umbrella less awkward to store.
The large patio table is still in the backyard since there’s no room for it in the garage. One storage option would be to leave everything but the umbrella stored outside during the winter with covers in place to protect them.
Smaller overhead storage racks could work at the rear of the garage to create storage space for some of the bulky items, although the garage’s low ceiling might prove to be problematic.
That orange bag on the floor to the right of the patio chairs is a camping set that, like the suitcases, should probably be stored indoors. We’re not sure if the mice have set up shop there yet.
14. The garage door is outdated and needs maintenance
This garage door has a few surface flaws, including a noticeable scrape on the left-hand side.
It’s a bit stiff when being opened and closed and left a very slight gap between the ground and the door when it was pushed all the way down.
An adjustment or replacement of the door sweep might close the gap and getting the door serviced is something that’s probably long overdue.
A full garage door replacement is also worth considering. Garage doors also have a big impact on curb appeal and a more stylish, modern-looking garage door would provide a visual upgrade to the rather plain door currently installed.
Did you know that garage door replacements consistently have one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement project?
15. Junk occupies valuable floor space
With any garage disaster, there’s bound to be a lot of unnecessary junk and clutter occupying a sizable amount of space.
This garage is no exception. As pictured above, the box from a recently purchased TV sits on the garage floor.
Although it’s smart to hold onto the original packaging of electronic products for a year or so in case something goes wrong with them, this box should be stored somewhere indoors, where pests and moisture can’t damage it.
Below, this old stereo hasn’t been connected to electricity in ages. Its speakers are M.I.A. and the AC cord is heavens who knows where. The homeowner has meant to get rid of it for a while and just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.
To the right is a long-forgotten box of tiles. We’re pretty sure all messy garages have at least one box of dusty tiles sitting around somewhere inside of them.
Rely on a pro to fix your garage disaster
When your garage ends up looking like the garage featured here, it’s overwhelming. Where do you start?
The easiest solution is to consult with a garage makeover professional like Garage Living. We’ll work with you and provide a solution to your garage disaster woes.
With thousands of garage makeovers under our belt, you can bet that we’ve seen our fair share of garages in need of serious help. Time after time, Garage Living has succeeded in turning disorganized, visually unappealing garage spaces into genuine home showpieces.
Garage Living is a totally professional, reasonably priced, customer-dedicated garage and work/storage space company. My garage upgrade by Garage Living included flooring, a workbench, storage cabinets, and overhead hanging storage.
Every detail was meticulously addressed by the professional, respectful, and totally competent team. I now have the showplace garage of the neighborhood, and I have recommended Garage Living to many friends, neighbors and associates. If you are thinking of upgrading your garage, call Garage Living for a comprehensive estimate.
Have you ever thought “I’m embarrassed to open my garage because it’s so messy”?
Is the garage your “shame place”, “the dumping ground”, or “the home eyesore”? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
An Impulse Research survey found that 24% of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open.
Considering the average garage door opens and closes approximately 1,500 times annually, that’s alot of potential embarrassment to endure if your garage is a disaster zone.
That’s why the garage’s interior, in addition to its exterior, should be a big part of anyone’s plans to boost their curb appeal and home value.
Look beyond the obvious with your curb appeal and home value
When we think of curb appeal, it’s your property and exterior home features that immediately come to mind.
There are many things vying for your attention and time to keep looking their best. Your front door and porch, roof, rain gutters, house siding and masonry, windows, exterior lighting, driveway, lawn and landscaping, fences, and garage doors all require varying degrees of maintenance.
But if you look beyond the obvious when considering what has a positive impact on your curb appeal and home value, you’d realize that your garage’s interior shouldn’t be overlooked, either.
Like it or not, we’re all constantly being judged by others every day. Our homes are, too.
A clean, beautiful garage makes a strong statement to neighbors, passersby, and visitors about the high standards you have for your home’s appearance.
Braun Research surveyed 500 realtors and 88% of them believed that maintaining an organized garage reflected an owner’s pride in their home.
Let’s learn more about why it’s so important to improve how your garage looks and functions. We’ll also provide a few suggestions about what steps anyone can take to boost both their curb appeal and home value.
52% of homeowners want a garage their neighbors envy
A Thompson’s Company study found that 52% of homeowners their garage to be envied by their neighbors.
Despite that stat, most homeowners still overlook the garage when it comes to making home improvement upgrades.
It seems that garage upgrades fall into that “I’ll get it done someday” category. A Peachtree Consulting survey backs that up. It found that more than 50% of homeowners planned on reorganizing their garage within the next two years.
But according to a Wall Street Journal survey, only 11% of homeowners say they’re satisfied with their garage and wouldn’t want to improve it.
Why wait until “someday” to make positive changes to your garage? As American author and entrepreneur Janet Daily once said, “Someday is not a day of the week”.
It all starts by clearing out the clutter
A home organization study done by Moen (North America’s top faucet brand) found that the garage was the most cluttered space in homes. 50% of homeowners surveyed by the National Association of Professional Organizers also named the garage as the most disorganized area of their house.
To make any garage truly envy-worthy, the first plan of action is to start eliminating most of that pesky clutter. “Removing junk” ranked as the top answer from those asked how they could enjoy their garage more in that Wall Street Journal survey.
They only end up wasting your money and giving you an offsite clutter-harboring space whose contents will need to be dealt with someday (there’s that word again).
3 steps to transform a dysfunctional garage
In that survey of 500 realtors, 79% of them agreed that garages deserved as much organization attention as any other room in homes.
Transforming a garage from dysfunctional to functional and keeping it well-organized requires three things:
A first step of clearing out the unnecessary items in your garage that haven’t been used in years, are broken, or will likely never get used much.
Choosing the right garage makeover professional who can show you which storage systems work most effectively and can successfully execute a redesign plan.
A dedication to keeping the garage clean and tidy with regular maintenance.
It’s disorganization and not a lack of space that causes 80% of household clutter, according to a Soap and Detergent Association study.
So which storage systems have the biggest positive impact on a garage’s functionality?
The garage is your home’s most useful storage space
Forget the attic or basement – realtors say it’s the garage that’s the most desirable storage space for homebuyers.
The garage is so highly valued by homebuyers for storage because if it’s designed properly, it can be your home’s most useful storage space.
Using slatwall, specialty storage racks, and a cabinet system in the garage will enable you to maximize storage space and stay organized with less effort.
This allows you to get more functionality out of the space, whether it’s for more storage, parking, or setting up a garage workspace.
If you’re one of the 20-30% of homeowners who are unable to use their garage for parking due to clutter, you’re just not utilizing it to its full capabilities. There are numerous other reasons you should be parking in the garage as well.
Yard tools, sports equipment, holiday decorations, bulky storage bins, seasonal items, and many more things can all co-exist in an organized manner when stored in the garage, while taking up literally 0% of your floor space.
The value of a high-end garage interior look
When your garage is open, it’s the only interior part of your home that anyone who’s in the vicinity outside can see.
While people (hopefully) won’t be lurking around outside your home waiting to get a peek inside your living space, you never know who may be looking your way when your garage doors happen to be open.
You could be driving in or out of your garage or just putting out the garbage and recycling.
Your garage’s appearance doesn’t rely solely on how tidy it is. It’s also about what the room’s décor and design elements convey to anyone who sees your garage.
Instead of doing “the quick open and close” with your garage doors because you’re embarrassed about the state of your garage, wouldn’t it be refreshing to actually want neighbors or passersby to peek inside?
Take the garage floor for example. Upgrading it can definitely have an effect on your curb appeal and home value, in two significant ways.
Neighbors and passersby may not fully notice the showroom-quality appearance of a polyaspartic-coated floor from a distance. They will, however, be able to tell that your floor is something more than the standard dull grey, unattractive surface found in most garages.
A durable Floortex™ floor coating will also protect your cement floor for years to come, making it a sound investment.
A garage interior is capable of turning heads by utilizing colors and décor features that can be customized for a bold or more minimalist aesthetic. A garage can even be designed with colors that will accentuate the colors of the vehicles parked inside it.
Anyone who does get a closer look when your garage is opened up will be very impressed with what you’ve done with the space.
Garage doors are your home exterior’s most visible feature
While we’ve been focussing on the garage interior, any blog post about boosting your curb appeal and home value would be incomplete without calling attention to the garage doors.
Your garage doors are one of the most prominent exterior features your home has. They can take up as much as one third of a house’s front façade and are often the first things visitors notice about a home.
Modern garage doors have more color, material, and design options than ever before, which is a major asset when creating a dynamic exterior look for your home that will turn heads.
Here’s one more benefit new garage doors provide – they pay long-term dividends when it comes to raising your curb appeal and home value.
New garage doors have one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement upgrade. Typically, 80-90% of your costs for new doors will be recouped.
Other ways garage upgrades increase a home’s value
New garage doors aren’t the only garage upgrade that pay off when it’s time to sell your home. All of those interior garage upgrades will make your house more enticing to prospective buyers.
After all, who wouldn’t be impressed walking into a room that’s typically disorganized and drab and instead finding an ultra-tidy space with an appealing, modern look?
A nice garage interior may even be the home feature that wins over a buyer who otherwise wasn’t even aware that a garage could be kept so tidy and have such a high-end appearance.
When purchasing a home, 80% of buyers factor in the garage when making their decision, according to the previously referenced Impulse Research survey.
And consider that in that survey of realtors, 82% of them said that disorganized garages have a negative impact on the first impression of buyers looking at homes.
Take pride in your garage to boost your curb appeal and home value
Instead of being embarrassed about how your garage looks to others, why not have the home on your street whose curb appeal and garage are the envy of the neighborhood?
The great impression others will get from seeing your fabulous garage is only the bonus this home improvement project provides, however.
You’ll get even more enjoyment from the pride and satisfaction that comes with owning a garage that’s truly a beautiful extension of your living space.
You can make it happen by relying on an experienced and trusted garage makeover expert like Garage Living to handle your project.
The parents of kids who keep active with sports know the struggle of trying to keep their garage floors free from the untidiness that sports gear can cause.
Leaning bikes, loose balls, discarded elbow and knee pads, athletic cleats scattered across the floor…it never ends.
It’s unfortunate because garages are the perfect room in your home for all of your sports equipment storage needs.
The garage is commonly the last part of the house you’re in before driving your kids off to their game or practice.
And it provides a spacious, centralized storage area for all of your family’s athletic gear, which is better than having it scattered throughout the house.
Why sports equipment storage in garages usually fails
The main reason many garages can’t manage both their sports gear storage needs and general storage needs is simple – they’re using the wrong storage systems.
Or, even worse, there are no practical storage systems being used.
A family of five who all stay active with recreational and organized sports can accumulate dozens of pieces of athletic gear of all sizes.
Take the above photo, for example. Between balls, rackets, bikes, baseball and tennis gear, and winter sports gear, a garage can quickly get overwhelmed by all of the things a family uses for their sports.
Smart, efficient storage systems are essential to help you keep everything organized, easy to find, and clean.
If your garage floor is not exactly a “sports gear-free” zone, here’s a complete guide explaining the do’s and don’ts of sports equipment storage for your garage.
Ditch or donate outgrown and worn-out sports gear
It’s common sense and a simple, fundamental organizing principle that having less to store makes organization easier.
Garages are filled with thousands of pieces of worn-out athletic gear. Kids will sometimes outgrow their sports gear in less than a year.
These things aren’t just needlessly occupying valuable garage space, they could be of great use to someone else, including the less fortunate.
Start your cleanup effort by donating old items that still have some life left in them to any charity that recycles old sports gear.
Another option is to sell your old gear to a used sporting goods retailer like Play It Again Sports.
Add a slatwall storage system
Once you’ve pared down your collection of sports equipment, it’s time to choose the best way to store everything.
The key to keeping a garage floor clutter-free is to make use of the available storage space on your walls.
Slatwall panels accomplish this by giving you wall-to-wall storage possibilities using a variety of hanging accessories. Set up zones that keep your sports gear, yard tools, and other items separated and tidy.
This maximizes storage space, keeps things securely in place, and optimizes your garage’s organization capabilities so everything is easy to find.
BEFORE: This garage was using repurposed kitchen cabinets with mismatched colors. Underutilizing the walls for storage led to floor clutter.
AFTER: The garage makeover included a new floor coating and slatwall and cabinetry were installed for easy-to-manage storage. Floor clutter be gone!
The storage versatility of slatwall
The beauty of slatwall storage is that its versatility enables your wall panels to essentially be blank canvasses with a limitless number of storage configurations.
Having an ample amount of storage versatility means that you’ll enjoy lots of freedom when hanging your items. Adjusting and moving things around as your storage needs change is no issue.
For example, when one sport is done for the season, its gear can be moved to a less accessible area and replaced with easier to reach equipment for whatever sport is in season.
Making your storage systems as convenient to use as possible can save you hours of time that would otherwise be wasted searching for misplaced items over the course of a year.
Add cabinetry and overhead racks
Supplementing your garage wall storage with a couple of other storage systems will set your garage up as a highly functional space for storing sports gear and a lot more.
A cabinet system can be incorporated into your garage design in order to give you more storage options.
Cabinets can be used to store sports equipment, tools, and valuables or hazardous materials that you need locked up. Visual clutter is eliminated because everything is hidden in drawers and behind cabinetry doors.
Using overhead racking also expands your ability to store things in the garage and, like slatwall, takes advantage of an underutilized part of the garage.
In this case, it’s the garage’s ceiling area that can have heavy-duty racks added for storing bulky and out-of-season items.
The drawbacks of DIY sports equipment storage
Plenty of garages rely on DIY storage systems to store their athletic gear. That may be cost-effective but also has some drawbacks.
First and foremost is the aesthetic downgrade most DIY storage systems add to a garage space.
Very few of the DIY storage ideas you’ll find in garages actually look very good. In fact, many of them look downright terrible.
While looking online, I came across one garage that had a beat-up wooden pallet standing upright and fastened to the wall, with a couple of the pallet’s bottom slats pulled off to allow yard tools to be stored.
Then there was the hammock I saw that was hanging in a garage corner to hold balls and baseball gloves. Needless to say, neither were aesthetically impressive. DIY storage projects also tend to have an inconsistent level of functionality and durability issues.
Aim for something higher than just hammering nails into exposed wall studs for hanging things, or storing yard tools between the studs and nailing a 1 x 3 furring strip to hold everything in.
Slatwall storage doesn’t just allow you to store more efficiently, it makes your garage look better while doing so. Durable PVC slatwall panels add a professional-looking finish to your garage interior.
Color-matched screws and finishing trim, along with powder-coated metal hanging accessories that are all the same color create a clean, consistent appearance.
Now that we’ve established which sports equipment storage systems are most ideal for the garage, let’s address storing specific types of athletic and outdoor activity gear.
Essential bike storage solutions
Leaving bikes leaning against the garage wall or with their kickstands engaged in a corner aren’t ideal storage methods.
They’re taking up floor space, can fall over, and are more vulnerable to damage from vehicles entering and exiting the garage.
Instead, use horizontal or vertical wall storage to keep your floor clear and your bikes safer.
Two horizontal bike hooks on your slatwall will store one bike flat against the wall. This means they’ll protrude less into the garage space, but take up more of the slatwall space.
Vertical hanging (pictured left) involves a single point of contact with the bike’s front wheel hanging from a vertical bike hook. This creates a larger profile, as the bike hangs perpendicular to the wall. You’ll have more slatwall hanging space at your disposal, however.
All of your biking accessories like water bottles, helmets and gloves, tire pumps and pressure gauges, spare tires, and repair tools can be kept organized and right beside your hanging bikes on the slatwall.
For large families with a lot of bikes and a bigger garage where available floor space is a non-issue, a sturdy bike rack is another bike storage option.
Football, hockey gear, and other sports apparel
For storing equipment from sports that use a lot of padding (like football and hockey), designate a zone on a slatwall panel to keep everything together.
Use a combination of hooks, baskets, shelving, and a dedicated hanger (like our hockey hanger, which can also be used for football gear and jerseys) for the job.
Other miscellaneous sporting accessories like helmets, elbow and knee pads, skipping ropes, and frisbees can be contained neatly inside a mesh basket or individually hung on hooks.
For storing sports apparel or general outdoor apparel like boots, raincoats, and your gardening shoes, angled wire shoe shelves, and garment hooks can be easily hung wherever you need on the slatwall.
Corral those bats and balls
Along with bikes, those pesky loose balls your kids use for their sports are one of the most common garage floor clutter culprits.
Hanging mesh baskets can hold a bunch of your balls together in one place. Garage Living’s mesh baskets are deep so they can hold more and the see-through design makes finding balls easier.
Sports equipment storage isn’t the only thing hanging baskets can be used for. Gardening accessories and tools, cleaning products, and automotive supplies can also be stored in them.
Another option for storing balls is to use a hanging ball rack that’s conveniently adjustable for balls of various sizes.
Baseball bats are another tripping hazard that don’t belong on the floor. Keep your Louisville Sluggers stored safely with wall hooks.
Racket (and racquet) storage
It’s one of the many oddities of the English language that the main piece of equipment used in tennis is typically spelled “racket”, while “racquet” is used for most of the other, well, racquet sports. But I digress…
Instead of hanging your rackets/racquets on a nail (which isn’t recommended because it stretches the strings), opt for a dedicated tennis racket holder for the wall.
Double hooks can also be utilized for securely hanging your badminton, tennis, racquetball, and squash rackets/racquets in the garage.
The perfect golf gear storage solution
Sure, after finishing playing 18 holes you could just leave your golf bag in your car trunk – but that comes at the expense of leaving trunk space for groceries or other storage needs.
And since most golf bags nowadays stand upright on a floor just fine, you might also wonder why not simply storing it standing up in a garage corner won’t work.
That’s an option, but it comes down to (once again) looking for ways to not take up garage floor space and protecting your investment.
A new golf bag and set of clubs can get pricey. We don’t like their chances when matched against a vehicle that’s backing into a garage if they’re in the blind spot of the driver.
The golf rack pictured below is the perfect golf gear storage solution. There’s room for a couple of golf bags and two pairs of golf shoes.
Cabinetry could also be used by storing your golf bag and equipment behind one of the system’s taller locker-style doors.
Skateboards, roller blades, and scooters
Another rolling floor hazard are skateboards, roller blades, and scooters.
Any number of slatwall hooks can be used to keep them safely out of the way such as J hooks, double hooks, or utility hooks. Hanging shelves could also be used.
For a larger and heavier scooter, a couple of horizontal bike hooks will capably support the extra weight.
Any serious angler can accumulate a fair amount of rods and fishing accessories that become difficult to keep organized.
Fishing outerwear like jackets, vests, hats, and waders can be stored on hooks, shelving, or tucked away inside a section of cabinets.
Cabinets could also be used for fishing rod storage and are the best spot in your garage for all of those lures, baits, hooks, floats, fishing line, and other easy-to-misplace small fishing accessories.
Overhead storage racks were made for things like camping gear.
Your camping equipment can even be kept in overhead racking year-round since it tends to be bulkier and some items can be a little trickier to store.
Tents can be stored there separately while cookware, utensils, plates, cups, and camping tools can be kept in labeled storage bins. Because garage cabinets have such storage versatility, your camping gear could also be stored inside of them.
It’s advisable to keep first-aid kits or survival kits stored inside your home, as some of the medical supplies inside them are sensitive to heat and cold.
Sleeping bags should also be stored inside, where they’ll be safe from potential mold caused by excess moisture and pests that may be in the garage.
Cleaning your camping gear and storing it properly will ensure your equipment lasts much longer.
Setting up a section of your garage as a workout space makes a lot of sense if you have the room. You’ll save on gym fees and it’s a lot more convenient using the garage to work out than it is to drive to the gym,
As you can see in the picture below, this garage corner is set up as an easy-to-use workout space and can accommodate all of these homeowners’ sports equipment storage needs.
Winter sports equipment and water sports gear may be used at completely opposite times of the year weather-wise, but they’re actually quite interchangeable when it comes to storing them in the garage.
Using a variety of hooks and shelves to store your gear works, as will cabinets. Double hooks, J hooks, and utility hooks have so many uses, whether you’re storing a long item like a rake or a canoe paddle.
Skis, sleds, and snowboards are just as easy to store in your garage as a kayak, water skis, and your pool and boating gear.
Don’t forget to dry out your athletic gear
Allowing your family’s sweaty athletic gear to dry out after being worn is essential for hygiene reasons and to prolong the life of the equipment.
No one wants their kid to be the one on the team other players avoid because their equipment smells so funky!
A standalone equipment drying rack in the garage will work, but using specialized wall hanging accessories (like the hockey hanger pictured) will keep your garage floor free for car parking and other uses.
A mudroom is another ideal space for some of your sports equipment storage and drying-out needs.
Don’t hesitate to use a fan to speed up the drying process if items are particularly damp and need to be worn again the next day.
Take care of your sports equipment storage needs
Being the parents of kids who are active in sports is a significant time commitment.
Why not save yourself from the wasted time that comes from looking for lost items by outfitting your garage with better storage systems?
You’ll appreciate the increased functionality that an organized garage provides and it just may make it a little easier to get your kids to their practices and games on time.
Garage Living will get your garage set up to handle any of your sports equipment storage needs.
Under the right circumstances (or wrong circumstances, as the case may be), even the highest-end cars aren’t immune to the misery of a stiflingly hot interior.
When it’s a scorcher outside, entering a vehicle that’s been parked directly in the sun for hours is never a pleasant experience.
Who wants to be greeted by a sweltering car interior that’s filled with a bunch of mini hazards? We’re talking about things like scalding seatbelt buckles, sizzling leather seats, and a dashboard, steering wheel, and gear shift that are uncomfortably hot to touch.
Keep reading to find out why a vehicle’s cabin gets so hot and what you can do to keep your parked car cool this summer.
Blame your hot car on “the greenhouse effect”
So why does the interior of a vehicle that’s parked in the sun feel so much warmer than it feels outdoors on a hot, sunny day?
You can blame it on “the greenhouse effect”.
You’ve probably heard of the the greenhouse effect in relation to how the Earth’s atmosphere traps heat, which enables our planet to sustain life.
The greenhouse effect is also why a car or truck feels like an oven on a hot day. The sun’s heat enters a vehicle through the windows and gets trapped inside, increasing the temperature.
The temperature increase is highest in the first 15-30 minutes after a car is left parked in the sun. The objects in a car’s interior such as seats, carpeting, and the dashboard also absorb some of that heat.
A Stanford University study found that on a sunny day with temperatures ranging from 72°F to 96°F (22°C to 35°C), the temperature was an average of 40°F higher (8°C) inside the cars they tested than it was outdoors.
7 ways to keep your parked car cool
Hot cars aren’t merely uncomfortable, they’re also unsafe.
It’s an unfortunately reality that negligent parents occasionally leave their kids alone in a hot car, with sometimes fatal results. Pets being left in hot vehicles is another issue we hear about all too often.
HeatKills.org is an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of leaving kids and pets in hot vehicles. Their graphic below illustrates how quickly a vehicle’s interior can heat up.
It’s not difficult to follow a few simple tips to keep your parked car cool (or at least cooler), even when it’s intensely hot outside.
1. Park smart when away from home
On a day when it’s unbearably hot and there’s nary a cloud in the sky, finding relief from the heat with some shade when parking will make your car much more comfortable to return to.
Ideally, you’d want to find a parking garage. If that’s not an option, parking beneath some trees on the edge of a parking lot or in the shade of a building can keep your car cooler and be worth the extra walking that’s required.
Keep in mind that parking in a more secluded area of a parking lot may not be advisable if the neighborhood isn’t the safest, especially if you’re returning to your vehicle after dark.
Also take into account where you’re parking, the time of day, and when you’ll be returning to your car. Just because you’re parking in shade at 11 a.m. doesn’t mean you’ll still be parked in shade at 3 p.m.
2. Park in your home garage
Giving a tip to use a home garage as a way to keep your parked car cool may make you think “Thanks, Captain Obvious”.
But are you always able to park in your garage? And have you noticed how many of your friends and neighbors park full-time in their driveways?
Your garage’s main purpose is for parking, but a lot of homeowners don’t (or can’t) use it for that function. Consider these statistics:
A home organization study done by Moen found that the garage was the most cluttered space in homes.
20% of the 1,500 people who responded to a Garage Living poll said they were unable to park in their garage.
A third of homeowners with 2-car garages are only able to park one of their cars in it because of clutter. (U.S. Dept. of Energy study)
When you’re home, nothing beats garage parking as the best way to keep your parked car cool. Even if you come home and plan to go out in an hour or two, parking in the garage is smarter that staying parked in the sun in your driveway.
Aside from staying cooler, there are plenty of other big benefits to making space in your garage for parking.
The risk of vehicle theft or burglary is significantly reduced and your vehicles will be protected from the exterior elements that can shorten their life. Parking closer to your home’s entrance (via the interior garage access door) is also more convenient.
Simply parking in your home garage is an obvious solution for keeping your car cool, but something many homeowners are unable to do.
3. Use a windshield sun shade
Despite the fact that they do help keep a car’s temperature down by blocking the primary entry point for the sun, some drivers simply hate the look of those windshield sun shades. The hassle of using them is a turn-off for some people as well.
Most sun shades you see in parked cars flatten out with an accordion-style design and admittedly look rather unattractive. Their foil-like, reflective covering doesn’t exactly help them call less attention to themselves, either.
It’s completely understandable that you might not want your luxury vehicle’s sharp looks being spoiled by a cheaper-looking sun shade (or something like this laughably tacky Golden Girls sun shade).
There are more expensive, but much nicer-looking windshield sun shades out there that can help to keep your parked car cool. Some companies even offer hundreds of custom models that allow for a perfect fit and vehicle color match.
Higher quality sun windshield shade models also tout better heat-absorbing materials. This makes them more effective at reducing the entrance of thermal and ultraviolet rays into a car’s cabin.
4. Cover up your vehicle interior
If a windshield sun shade is a total non-starter for you as a car cooling option, covering up the parts of your vehicle’s interior that get the hottest is another way to go.
There are plenty of models of car dashboard covers to choose from. Like the windshield sun shades, shop around for a higher quality product that provides a good fit and effectively complements your car’s interior décor.
Your steering wheel and leather seats (especially darker colored seats) are the other interior parts you’ll want to cover up to prevent them from baking in the sun. If you’re wearing shorts or a dress, your bare legs will thank you.
If you have dark leather seats, it might even be worth using lighter colored fabric seat covers during the hottest months of the year.
For a less elegant method of covering your parked car’s interior parts, even using a blanket or two will help (make sure to use a lighter colored blanket).
5. Tint your car windows
In most cases, window tints are effective at helping to keep a parked car cool.
Better quality tints are designed to allow for a good amount of light to pass through the tinted window, while blocking out the sun’s thermal rays. The latter is sometimes referred to as the “high heat rejection rate” of the tint.
Good window tints also cut down on the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Now here’s where car window tints can get very tricky – there are widely varying laws in the U.S. and Canada for how they can be used.
Some states and provinces don’t allow any tint to be on a windshield, such as Illinois and Alberta. Other have a requirement that tints allow a minimum of 70% of the sun’s light through the windows.
It gets even more complicated if you’re driving outside of your state or province. What’s legal with your window tint where you live may very well get you a ticket when you’re away travelling.
The American Automobile Association has a handy resource here that provides a state-by-state and province-by-province breakdown of vehicle tinting regulations.
6. Crack the windows…or not
A lot of drivers still swear by the old practice of leaving a car’s side windows or sunroof open a crack to keep their vehicle’s interior temperature down.
This does let the built-up heat escape and helps to facilitate some airflow through the car’s cabin, but only a fairly modest amount.
You have to ask yourself, however – is the meager reward of a car interior that’s just a few degrees cooler worth the risk of leaving your car more vulnerable to theft or vandalism?
If you leave your car windows or sunroof open even just an inch, a skillful car thief could potentially get inside the vehicle. ABC News reports that for one thief “a car with a window cracked opened was an unlocked car”.
If you’re willing to risk cracking your windows, once again be conscious of your surrounding area. Park in visible areas close to other vehicles, ideally where there’s a decent amount of vehicle and foot traffic. Parking in view of a surveillance camera also doesn’t hurt.
And let’s not forget the other hazard of leaving your windows slightly open – the risk of a sudden rainstorm making a mess of your car’s interior.
7. Try a solar-powered ventilation fan
The last of our car cooling tips is to try a solar-powered ventilation fan, which you may not be familiar with.
The fan attaches to the outside top of one of your rolled-up window and has an outward facing solar panel that powers it. The fan blows out the hot air from inside the car, while pulling in the relatively cooler air outside the car.
Using two fans set up on the two side front or rear windows should increase the cross-ventilation airflow and decrease the temperature even more.
Higher-powered, more effective models can be purchased that have a larger solar panel that sits on your dashboard and powers the fans.
The quality and reliability of this product seems to vary widely. Some online reviews dismiss cheaper models as too gimmicky and not very effective. Consumers who left reviews for other fan models praise them as ingenious and highly effective.
When all else fails…
Using one of these car cooling methods or, even better, a combination of them will keep a parked car cooler.
But if they’re still not cooling to your satisfaction, there are a couple of other ways to get the heat out of a parked car faster.
If you don’t mind getting some strange looks from passersby, one simple method involves fanning your car door to push out the heat.
Just fully roll down the passenger side window and fan the driver side door about 6-8 times. It might sound primitive, but it’s simple physics and it works!
Start parking in your garage once again
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to keep your parked car cooler and more comfortable to drive.
We can help you to transform your garage into a much more attractive area of your home that makes better use of your space for storage. That means you can use it for keeping your vehicles cooler and safer.