Is a Garage Fridge Practical? Everything You Need To Know.

fridge in garage

It’s a hot summer day and you’re in the garage exercising or working away on a project. A cold, refreshing beverage is calling your name, so you open your garage fridge and grab a beer, soda, or water.

Having a fridge in the garage is undeniably handy in such a scenario. Is it practical or even responsible to have a second fridge running in your home, though?

There are differing opinions on the subject. Environmentalists think it’s wasteful. Experts who study food waste (which is a major issue in the U.S. and Canada) believe it contributes to the problem. A lot of homeowners love the convenience of having two fridges, however. 

Get all the facts you need to know about garage fridges and whether or not you should be using one.

Do you really need that garage fridge?

Owning a second refrigerator is quite common. An estimated 23% of 35 million homes in the U.S. have two fridges, with the second appliance usually being located in the basement or garage.

If you’re considering buying an extra fridge for the garage, moving an old fridge out there, or debating whether or not to get rid of that extra fridge, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are the temperatures in my garage suitable for the fridge I want to buy or currently have? 
  2. Do I spend a lot of free time in the garage and love having a nearby fridge to store beverages?
  3. Is an additional fridge and/or freezer used regularly for storing extra groceries that won’t fit into my main fridge?
  4. Could the space my garage fridge is taking up be put to better use?
  5. Do I really need to have a full-sized fridge loaded up with more beer, bottled water, and soda than my family can drink in the next few months?
  6. Can I justify the extra expense of running a second fridge?

The pros and cons of having a second fridge in the garage

To further help you decide on the practicality of running a fridge in your garage, here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros:

  • An extra fridge is handy for staying well-stocked on groceries and reduces the number of trips made to the grocery store.
  • Having a garage fridge that can hold bottled drinks is super-convenient and lets your main fridge be used mainly for food items.
  • A cooking enthusiast will appreciate having room to store their leftovers.
  • If you entertain frequently, an extra fridge is ideal for keeping prepared dishes you’re serving and for leftovers.

Cons:

  • Having an extra refrigerated storage space can cause you to overbuy when food shopping.
  • Food in the second fridge is more likely to go to waste because it’s forgotten about.
  • Running a second fridge in your house adds to your electrical bill.
  • A second refrigerator uses up space in the garage.
  • Owning a second fridge doubles the chance of future fridge maintenance costs.
  • Operating an additional fridge can create garage condensation issues from the extra moisture produced by the appliance.
open fridge with drinks and condiments

There are pros and cons to running an extra fridge in the garage. (Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

Why regular fridges aren’t ideal for most garages

Regardless of what decision you make after weighing your pros and cons about using a second fridge, there are a few important things you should know.

Unless you live in a climate with consistent year-round temperatures and they fall within the manufacturer-recommended range of temperatures for running the appliance, using a regular fridge in the garage is a bad idea.

Just for starters, operating a fridge in an inhospitable climate that doesn’t comply with the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines will probably void your warranty.

High temperatures and regular fridges = a future repair bill

Regular fridges are made to operate at room temperature. High temperatures cause a fridge in a room without climate control to run all the time without a break because it’s constantly struggling to keep the interior cool.

This extra stress the appliance is under increases the amount of electricity being consumed. It also turns the fridge into a major repair bill (and eventual complete breakdown of the appliance) just waiting to happen.

Fluctuating temperatures can cause the drip pans in these appliances to fill up with water quickly. When it gets hotter, condensation will also form on the outside of the appliances and evaporate. In both cases, that means extra unneeded moisture in your garage.

A regular fridge’s freezer doesn’t enjoy your cold garage

It might seem illogical, but very cold temperatures in a garage with a regular fridge can play havoc with the appliance’s freezer section.

Some refrigerators only have one thermostat in the fridge section, especially older models. When the temperature in a room drops, the temperature control unit is fooled into thinking the temperature in the freezer is fine.

Although the fridge compressor should turn on to lower the freezer section’s temperature, it may fail to do so. The next thing you know, the malfunction could leave you with nothing but a freezer that’s full of spoiled food when the room’s temperature rises.

A garage refrigerator kit might help

One way that a regular fridge could be used in the garage is to buy a garage refrigerator kit for between $20 and $40.

The kit lets you connect a heating pad or coil to the fridge’s thermostat and essentially trick the appliance into thinking the temperature in the room is higher than it is.

Buy a kit that is made by the appliance maker specifically for your fridge model.

It’s worth keeping in mind that buying a refrigerator kit for an old fridge may not be worth it. As we’ll explain next, old fridges aren’t energy-efficient. Therefore, it might be wiser to invest in a new garage-ready fridge that won’t cost as much to run.

Old refrigerators aren’t energy-efficient

The saying “they don’t make ’em like they used to” has a lot of truth. This writer has witnessed one of the most impressive examples of this – and it actually involved a fridge!

I’ve spent a lot of time at my best friend’s cottage over the years, which his family has had for several generations. One of the things that I was always fascinated by was the fridge running in the cottage.

It was a Viking fridge that my friend believes his grandfather bought in the 1950s. Back then, they called them “iceboxes”. And it still worked, summer after summer, surviving through many decades of Canadian winters in a cottage that isn’t winterized.

That’s impressive. Now, as quaint as this may be, that old beast was probably responsible for the lion’s share of the cottage’s electrical bill.

Old garage fridges are far less energy-efficient than modern fridges (and that’s in an ideal setting). When you factor in that they work a lot harder in hot weather and are rarely cleaned or serviced, that lack of energy efficiency is exponentially worse.

And let’s face it – a lot of old fridges aren’t exactly “lookers”. Remember the good ’ol 70s and those lovely fridge colors like avocado green, brown, and orange?

Here’s what it costs to operate an old refrigerator

energy star logoWhy is it probably time for your old fridge to be sent off to the appliance graveyard?

A fridge manufactured before 1990 could potentially be costing you between $250-300 a year to run in a garage.

To find out what your old fridge is costing you to operate, use this Energy Star calculator.

Replacing the fridge with a newer model may involve an upfront expense now, but you’ll save on electricity costs in the long run. It’s better for the planet, too.

ice buildup in fridge

An old fridge may last a long time, but you’ll occasionally see sights like this that indicate it’s not working properly. Old fridges are far less energy-efficient than modern fridges, too.

The best choice for running a fridge in the garage

If you’re still set on having that second refrigerator running in the garage, what you need is a special type of fridge.

To prevent problems, buy a garage-ready fridge that can function efficiently when it gets bitterly cold and also stiflingly hot in your garage.

A refrigerator designed to run in a garage has better insulation and components that can handle temperature changes. This special design does make them a little more expensive.

If your garage fridge is going to mostly be used for keeping canned or bottled beverages cold and not for overflow food storage, a mini-fridge makes more sense for you.

Remember to keep the fridge out of direct sunlight and plug it directly into an electrical outlet instead of using an extension cord.

Make sure you buy the right appliance

outdoor fridge

Outdoor fridges are also constructed with electrical components that can handle changing climates and temperatures, as well as moisture.

The appliances are built with thicker insulation and their exteriors are constructed with materials that will withstand exposure to the elements.

Don’t make the mistake of buying an outdoor fridge for use in your garage, however. These appliances are meant for areas like an outdoor kitchen.

Like a garage-ready fridge, outdoor fridges cost more than regular fridges in terms of the amount of cubic feet of space you get per dollar. There’s no point in paying more for a fridge with a weather-resistant exterior that is always going to be in a covered space.

Install a garage fridge inside a cabinet system

Garage Living helps our clients make their garages an extension of their living space. Adding extra amenities to the garage like a fridge is one way we make this happen.

Our garage cabinet systems can be designed to incorporate a garage-ready mini-fridge under the countertop like the one pictured below and in the top photo.

You can view additional photos of this Ferrari-themed garage remodel by viewing the Performance Garage gallery.

A mini-fridge won’t even feel like it’s taking up space in your garage because it’s recessed into the cabinet system’s design!

Other traditional indoor living space amenities that can be added to a cabinet system design are a TV and a sink with a faucet.

two ferraris parked in garage with red cabinets

This garage’s cabinet system was designed to include an under-counter mini-fridge.

Insulation will help with climate control

Adding or upgrading your garage insulation is a wise investment, whether you have a second fridge running in the room or not.

Garage insulation helps to regulate the room’s temperature so it doesn’t get such extreme temperature swings.

Along with extending the life of your garage fridge, you’ll boost your home’s energy efficiency.

A garage fridge is convenient. So is indoor parking.

Having a fridge that is specifically designed for use in the garage is convenient.

Being able to park your vehicles in the garage and having a well-organized space is even more convenient.

Update your garage’s appearance and optimize its functionality by scheduling a free design consultation with Garage Living.

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Garage Storage Cabinets: Smart Organization Meets Modern Style

garage storage cabinets

Two things that most garages lack is a satisfying level of organization and visual appeal.

A few hooks on the walls and some DIY shelving don’t exactly maximize a garage’s storage capability. They also don’t provide one of the undervalued functions of any worthwhile storage system – looks that add to a room’s aesthetics.

Garage storage cabinets can upgrade the functionality and visual presentation of this hardworking home space.

Here are several ways your garage can benefit from what a cabinet system offers, as well as what to look for when buying garage cabinets.

Types of garage storage cabinets

Not all garage cabinet brands and types are created equal. That’s why it’s worth doing a little homework so you make a buying decision you’re happy with long after your cabinets are installed.

Garage cabinet systems come in modular, custom-fit, and semi-custom types. Here’s what those terms mean:

  • Modular cabinets (the type sold in big-box stores) are mass-produced and have a pre-determined design. The individual cabinet sections are mixed and matched to create a system that assembles relatively easily.
  • Custom-fit cabinets are built to order and are a more personalized cabinet solution. Things like cabinet colors and sizes are customizable and more add-on features are available. Professional installation is typically required.
  • Semi-custom cabinets are a hybrid of modular and custom cabinets. Consumers have more design flexibility than what modular cabinets offer, while having more limitations than what is available with a fully custom-fit design.

3 essentials for your garage storage cabinets

You can go big or go small with the design of a garage cabinet system, depending on your budget, available space, and how the cabinets will be used.

Pay close attention to a few key details about the garage storage cabinets you purchase:

  • Construction materials: look for cabinets with high-quality raw materials that are made in North America. Many types of cheap steel manufactured overseas are heavily recycled and rust quickly.
  • Metal thickness: steel or aluminum cabinets with flimsy shells aren’t built to last in most garage environments. Remember that the lower the number of a steel gauge, the thicker the sheet metal is.
  • Build quality/craftsmanship: prioritize buying cabinets with a high quality of craftsmanship. Cabinets with issues like doors and drawers that don’t open and close smoothly or that are poorly welded are cheap for a reason!

With the basics of cabinets explained, now it’s time to look closer at how they can improve a garage.

Get your garage organized and keep it tidy

Smart garage organization systems like slatwall and overhead racks work wonders to maximize a garage’s storage space. They accomplish this by utilizing the commonly underused wall and ceiling spaces in garages.

Cabinets function as a complementary storage system to these effective garage organization solutions. When has having more storage space and storage versatility ever been a bad thing? “Never” is the correct answer!

Getting a garage organized by creating a home for each item with a variety of storage systems makes the room more valuable to you in a few different ways.

Most importantly, having a tidy garage allows it to be much more functional for your family. Leaving your vehicles parked in the driveway because there’s no room for them in the cluttered garage becomes a thing of the past.

Having additional room in the garage also means more opportunities for things like using the garage as a gym or workshop.

The average garage can hold a lot and many of those items, like hand tools, are small and easy to lose. Don’t underestimate the value of using effective storage systems that makes things easier to find and put back.

Set up your storage systems properly and you’ll drastically cut down on the amount of time that is wasted searching for misplaced items.

Garage storage cabinets add visual appeal

red garage storage cabinets

Matte red GL Custom Steel cabinets with black frames work perfectly in this Ferrari-themed garage (featuring the Performance theme from Garage Living’s Designer Series).

Having a higher level of organization in the garage with the help of a storage system like cabinets is a win for any homeowner.

If your cabinets can improve the garage with a professional, upscale look that makes your home stand out in your neighborhood, that’s a definite win-win.

Garage Living knows that cabinets play a major role in determining how a garage will look. We work with our clients to ensure the styles and color choices of their garage storage cabinets bring out the best in the rest of the room’s décor.

Our Designer Series collection of exclusive design themes was created to guarantee that all visual aspects of a garage remodel complement each other effectively. With the Performance theme, for example, the red and black colors of the cabinets blend beautifully with the red, black, grey, and white colors in the decorative Carbonite Floortex™ floor coating.

Garage storage cabinet systems can include additional decorative touches that provide visual upgrades:

  • Aluminum backsplashes in a variety of styles
  • Sleek countertops made from stainless or galvanized steel or butcher block
  • Attractive door and drawer hardware

Cabinets also give you ample space to keep stored items hidden. That eliminates visual clutter and helps to preserve the organized appearance of a garage.

Why custom and premium garage storage cabinets are worth it

A small, budget-friendly modular cabinet system with a no-frills look that can be installed yourself will be enough for some homeowners.

Others want a higher quality product and someone with expertise to handle their cabinet system design and installation. Garage Living specializes in creating customized garage cabinet solutions with our lines of modular, semi-custom, and custom-fit cabinet products.

High-quality garage storage cabinets don’t just look and function better than cheaper models – they’re built to last, too. Inexpensive cabinets found online and in big-box stores cut corners wherever they can to keep costs down. Those compromises result in an inferior product with a short life…and a long trail of customers with buyer’s remorse.

No two garages have the exact same layout and are used the exact same way by their owners. That’s why a “one size fits all” approach to choosing garage cabinets doesn’t always work well. Everybody has different design tastes as well, so the more cabinet and frame colors you can choose from, the better.

Made-to-order cabinets like the GL Custom Steel model can be customized to fit your garage to perfection, both physically and aesthetically. Because they’re constructed with superior materials and the finest craftsmanship, they’ll last for many years in your garage. Powder-coated finishes that protect against corrosion and scratches do their share of the hard work to extend the life of your cabinets as well.

Enjoy a safer, more secure garage

Things that can be stored in cabinets are things that are not left on your garage floor. That means fewer tripping and parking hazards and a safer garage.

Some items commonly kept in the garage, such as sharp objects and hazardous cleaning and lawn care products, are better off being stored out of reach or behind locked cabinet doors for your kids’ safety.

From a home security perspective, expensive tools that are stored out of sight inside cabinets are less vulnerable to theft. Your valuables can be even further protected from burglars by adding locks to some of your cabinet doors and drawers.

Cabinets are low maintenance and keep your things cleaner

long row of garage cabinets open

Garage cabinets are very low-maintenance and keep your belongings hidden and dust-free.

Cleaning metal garage storage cabinets involves very little work. To remove dust, simply wipe them down with a clean, dry soft cloth or a light duster.

If a deeper cleaning is needed to remove grease, grime, and dirt build-up on the cabinets, the powder-coated finish is resilient enough to handle using some water or a neutral cleaner product.

Stainless steel doors can also have a stainless steel cleaner applied to remove fingerprints and dirt so the cabinets are restored to a “just like new” state.

Another way that cabinets cut down on your cleaning work is they keep everything being stored inside them virtually dust-free. With no items sitting out in the open for dust to collect on, the air quality in your garage will be a little better.

Get the best garage storage cabinets available

Don’t settle for anything less than the best garage storage cabinets to improve the functionality and appearance of your home’s most useful storage space.

Garage Living’s five lines of North American-made cabinets look stunning and can be tailored specifically for your everyday needs and design taste.

Schedule a free design consultation with us. Our design consultants will work with you to create a unique cabinet system that exceeds your wildest expectations.

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From Garage To Classroom: Create An Effective Home Learning Space

2020 has thrown a lot at us. One of the biggest challenges for parents and their kids has been adjusting to at-home learning.

Parents have needed to find a workable balance between being full-time teachers (or part-time educators supplementing their kids’ remote learning studies) and their own parental, work, and household responsibilities.

It’s been a lot to deal with.

With a new school year underway, lots of schools remain closed. Even if schools are open in their area, many parents and students are uneasy about returning to traditional classroom settings. As a result, homeschooling will continue on a widescale level across the U.S. and Canada for the foreseeable future.

So what’s the best homeschooling environment for your kids? If you don’t have a dedicated home study room, using the dining room table, living room, or the kitchen as a classroom may not be the most learning-friendly environment for your little ones.

Here’s a suggestion: create a learning space for your kids in your garage. A garage to classroom setup is smart for a number of reasons and you don’t need a large garage to make it happen.

Your kids’ home learning environment matters

Classroom environments have a big impact on how well kids learn. As an early childhood education expert explains here, an ideal classroom environment will “help children feel safe, secure, and valued. As a result, self-esteem increases, and students are motivated to engage in the learning process.”

Learning in high-traffic areas like the kitchen, living room, and dining room can be too distracting for kids. With families spending so much time indoors right now, the abundance of background noise from things like meals being prepared, ringing phones, and conversations makes it particularly challenging for youngsters to focus on their studies.

Letting your kids do their homeschooling from a desk in their bedroom isn’t ideal, either. Supervising them becomes more difficult, for starters.

And the same reasons medical professionals recommend adults not work in the same room where they sleep applies to students – a lack of separation between one’s work and home life leads to poor sleeping habits and lower work productivity.

Why a garage to classroom setup makes so much sense

A garage to classroom setup can provide the perfect space for at-home schooling. It’s a safe environment that’s a part of the home, while still being removed enough from the distractions in the rest of the house.

As an extension of your living space, a classroom area in the garage can improve how your children focus and learn.

A garage classroom also helps establish more structure for their daily studies. They’ll have a consistent, dedicated learning space and not be studying at the dining table one day and then moving to the kitchen for their school work the following day.

Lots of parents have made the “garage to classroom pivot” to accommodate their kids’ schooling needs.

For some parents, they’re just homeschooling their own children. If local social gathering rules allow for it, other parents are getting together with a few neighbors and friends they trust and feel safe with to create garage classroom “learning pods” for their kids, as this mother in Maine did.

How to create your own garage classroom

“How can my garage handle its normal duties as a space for parking, household storage, and function as an at-home classroom?”, you may be wondering.

It all comes down to how well your garage is set up. Since comfort is so important for a learning space, a clean, finished garage interior with modern design features is essential.

Having some flexibility within the garage so you can add something like a learning space is important as well. Anyone who has a multi-purpose garage space knows that good organization is the key to making the garage function at a high level.

A garage to classroom setup can work quite effectively in a garage of any size. This recently remodeled single car garage was well-positioned to accommodate adding a learning space with minimal effort.

garage before makeover

The unfinished garage prior to its remodel.

black car in garage with student desk and chairs

The garage was transformed into a clean, organized, and modern-looking room. Little effort was required to turn it into a comfortable home learning space.

Here’s how to make your garage to classroom setup successful.

Create enough space in the garage

A lot of garages are too cluttered to park vehicles in, which makes them little more than one-dimensional junk storage spaces.

To free up floor space that will allow a part of the garage to be used as a classroom, storage systems like slatwall panels and overhead racks are invaluable.

These storage systems utilize your garage’s walls and ceiling areas to maximize the storage space in the room, which opens up a range of possibilities for other ways the garage can be used. In the photo above, just look at how much floor square footage is freed up by storing all those bulky storage bins in the overhead racking!

The slatwall panels and accompanying hanging accessories make it a breeze to keep the garage more organized. Items like yard tools, power cords, and sports equipment and toys the kids can use when taking breaks from their learning are easily accessible.

Use cabinetry in your garage classroom

A storage cabinet system is perfect for a garage learning space, but not just for the reason you might be thinking.

Sure, cabinets provide you with room to store and organize things like school and art supplies, lesson books, and other learning materials. Our high-quality cabinet drawers are at a kid-friendly height and have full extension drawer glides to make access easy for your little ones, too.

A cabinet system is also useful for a garage classroom in the following ways:

  • incorporate a mounted TV into the cabinet system for watching digital classroom lessons and educational videos, as well as making Zoom calls with teachers and other students
  • the cabinet doors can be used to display your kids’ artwork, which builds their confidence
  • displaying artwork makes children feel more connected to their learning environment
  • they provide a backdrop for hanging up motivational sayings or educational posters
  • use a cabinet sink for a handwashing station
  • cabinet countertops function as a clean work surface and area for displaying and storing school books
  • under cabinet task lighting brightens up the countertop space
  • tablets and laptops can stay charged with the cabinet system’s built-in electrical and device charging outlets
cabinet countertop with school books

A garage cabinet system provides a clean surface to work on, drawers for storing school supplies, and can incorporate a TV and sink.

Make the garage feel more like a classroom

When you’re used to learning in a school classroom, adjusting to a different full-time learning environment isn’t easy for every child.

To make your kids feel more comfortable with their at-home schooling experience, include a few of the core familiar features of a traditional classroom.

Naturally, that includes desks and chairs. If you’re planning on doing longer classroom sessions, one option is to invest in some ergonomic-friendly desks and chairs that are more comfortable to use for extended periods.

Use some small easel-style or wall-hung chalkboards or dry erase boards, which are great for developing a child’s writing, drawing, and reading skills.

Another garage to classroom setup idea you may want to consider is keeping a clock or other type of timekeeping device visible to the students in the room. Some teachers find that using a timer for work tasks gives students a greater sense of urgency while learning and helps them understand things a little better.

Increase the garage’s comfort level

A garage with modern design upgrades is simply a nicer space to spend time in, which makes it a more learning-friendly environment.

Aesthetic upgrades like finishing the garage’s walls and ceiling will make a big difference. Upgrading the floor with a Floortex™ floor coating is a game-changer when it comes to transforming the appearance of a garage, too.

In addition to its high-end look, the floor coating is well-suited for use in a garage classroom setting for these reasons:

  • it has a safe, ultra-low level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are chemicals found in many products that slowly off-gas
  • the floor surface is easy to maintain and keep clean with just a squeegee, some water, and a mild floor cleaner
  • Floortex™ coatings deliver heavy-duty floor protection from wear and tear, abrasions, and spills, but are also comfortable and clean enough to walk on in your socks or even bare feet

Feel comfortable in the garage year-round

You can also do a few more things to increase the comfort level of your garage.

If your garage lacks a few features, cold and hot weather make using the room year-round problematic.

To fix this issue, insulate the walls, ceiling, and doors to boost the garage’s energy efficiency. Vapor barrier might be helpful as well, depending on where you live and a few other factors.

A garage heating system or portable air conditioner will help you maintain a comfortable working temperature in the garage year-round.

And if the weather is pleasant, bring in some fresh air by partially or fully opening the garage doors.

Stay safe

With the new normal, hand sanitization has become a part of everyday life. As part of your efforts to create a safe learning environment, you can set up a hand sanitizing station. This will be even more essential if you have a small group of kids attending classes in your garage.

In the garage featured in this blog post, a bottle of hand sanitizer and tissues are kept on a slatwall metal shelf that’s conveniently located right beside the home’s access door. A mini trash bin sits below it. A paper towel rack accessory could also be hung on the slatwall.

An optional cabinet sink that can be used as a handwashing station gives you an additional way to maintain safe health standards in the garage.

garage classroom hand sanitizing station

Hand sanitizer and tissues are conveniently located beside the garage’s access door into the house.

3 final ideas for a garage to classroom setup

We’ve covered a lot in showing you how to make a garage to classroom setup work effectively and here are three final ideas worth considering:

  1. Put down a colorful outdoor rug as a base for the desks and chairs that helps make your classroom area feel like a more defined space.
  2. Don’t underestimate the importance of good lighting for the learning space. Lots of natural light is great and high-quality overhead lighting will reduce eye strain.
  3. A garage classroom will require reliable online connectivity and in many cases is going to be completely dependent on the internet to function. There are numerous ways to boost your garage’s WiFi signal so that your tablets, laptops, and smart TV have a reliable online connection.

Talk to us about making your garage a learning space

If you’re considering your options for homeschooling your kids, we can turn any garage into a learning-friendly space without limiting its functionality.

Schedule a free design consultation with Garage Living.

We’ll work with you to design a garage to classroom setup that gives you the peace of mind that your kids are getting their education in a safe space right in your own home.

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Sports Equipment Storage for Your Garage: A Complete Guide

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.

sports equipment storage on slatwall

Why you may be struggling with your sports equipment storage managment

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 choice is actually quite simple – nothing else matches what a slatwall storage system offers.

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.

sports equipment storage messy garage

BEFORE: This garage was using repurposed kitchen cabinets with mismatched colors. Underutilizing the walls for storage led to floor clutter.

sports equipment storage tidy garage

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

sports equipment storage 2 bikes hanging on wall

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

sports equipment storage soccer ball in ball rackAlong 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.

Fishing equipment

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.

Camping gear

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.

Fitness equipment

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.

Learn more about using your garage as an exercise space by viewing our Fitness Room Garage gallery.

sports equipment storage workout gear on garage wall

Water sports and winter sports equipment storage

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

sports equipment storage hanging hockey equipmentAllowing 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.

All you need to do to get started is to schedule your free design consultation with us.

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Harbor Blue: Garage Living’s Newest Design Color

Garage Living is pleased to announce the launch of Harbor Blue, our newest color that adds a unique look to any garage makeover.

Harbor Blue was created by Garage Living and is exclusive to the company. It’s available when choosing a color for your garage’s cabinetry, floor coating, and slatwall panels.

Why blue is a great color for your garage

Good things come in blue. Blueberries, violets, and cheese. A solid investment is considered blue-chip and of all nature-inspired colors, blue is the truest. That’s just a few of the reasons why blue is the best color.

But for your garage? Absolutely! Blue is the essence of inspiration and beauty. It can conjure up images that calm and relax us, or stir our spirit, creating renewed energy.

Blue is where a cloudless sky meets the gently moving water on a warm, summer day. Transfixed watching sunlight dapple on the waves, changing the hue so subtly with every ripple, you can’t help but feel balanced and connected to nature.

The color, Harbor Blue brings to mind blue sky and water evoking a connection to nature.

The inspiration for Harbor Blue

The inspiration for Harbor Blue came from a weekend getaway surrounded by water, docks, and spectacular skies. Blue fit perfectly with the décor requirements of a year-round vacation home that’s meant to be a destination for relaxing. That the condo is located within a lakeside resort, the color choice, Harbor Blue makes even more sense.

The blue accents and trim on the lakeside resort condo’s exterior helped inspire Harbor Blue, the newest color available at Garage Living.

Harbor Blue is a perfect blend of all those blues, from cool slate to deep indigo and it’s the newest color exclusively available for your:

Your garage is an extension of your lifestyle

Our lifestyle is a reflection of who we are from the inside out. Our lifestyle doesn’t stop when we leave the house, (just as the color doesn’t have to stop at the garage door). Likely, we are constantly going through our garage to our vehicle to get to a destination not paying attention to this transitional space.

It’s actually the entryway in and out of our home. Why wouldn’t we want it to be as welcoming and stylish as any other part of our home, one that truly reflects our lifestyle?

Bring style to your garage through color

That’s what led Garage Living to create luxury garage interiors with style, color, custom detail and function in mind. Think of the interior of your home; it requires furnishings, flooring, lighting, and accessories. Just as we appreciate the luxury of a custom designed home, our garages are worthy of the same treatment.

Harbor Blue acts as an accent with gleaming stainless steel custom-cabinetry. This one-of-a-kind entertaining space is more than just a garage.

Incorporating Harbor Blue and décor to elevate your garage

Today, the styles we’re incorporating to our interior design is extending to our transition spaces, like garages. The color schemes that apply indoors can be interpreted and carried through beyond the entry.

Kitchen cabinets are starting to embrace a range of colors. We’re seeing rich, deep blue tones paired with warm brass or cool metal handles and the result is fresh and beautiful. Why not consider that same for the cabinetry in your garage?

Cabinet doors and drawers in Harbor Blue make an attractive and practical addition to the transition between home and the outdoors.

Drawers, locker doors, and stainless-steel countertops and backsplash are complemented by the wide, stainless drawer pulls.

Countertop options for the kitchen and bath range from wood, to solid surface materials and stainless steel. These options are also available to elevate your garage and the look of your entire home.

A qualified designer can assess, design and optimize the space to suit your needs. Choose from modular or customized cabinet options. Storage for sports, hobbies, vehicles and more are designed for your specific lifestyle. It’s like furnishing your home.

Floortex™ floor coating protects your floor

A concrete garage floor is susceptible to a lot of wear and tear. Like flooring in your home, there is an attractive and practical option to protect it for the long term. Garage Living uses Floortex™ – an impermeable, high-performance floor coating that is superior to common epoxy floors.

Not only is it hard-wearing and easy to clean, aesthetically the flooring is available in a variety of color blends. Harbor Blue features a mix of blue tints and tones, resulting in a beautiful and functional surface for vehicles, people and more.

Task lighting

You wouldn’t want to read and write in your home office without proper lighting, so add undermount LED task lighting over a work surface in the garage. It adds functional and practical light (and really brings out the blue!).

Undermount LED lighting.

Walls and accessories — décor for your garage

With the addition of slatwall panels, custom cabinetry and hardware, the garage’s curated color palette nicely reflects the beautiful, serene, and comfortable surroundings of home.

Now that you’re seeing the garage for what it really is — an opportunity to elevate your style, there’s no limit to what you can do. One great way to stylishly show off your organizational skills is with slatwall panels.

Ladders and bicycles utilizing slatwall storage to free up floor space.

Slatwall panels are an excellent option for taking advantage of your vertical space. Garage Living has over 40 accessories to choose from. Whether you need a simple hook to hang framed art or baskets of balls, slatwall panels are designed with style and function.

A welcoming home begins with your garage

Color shouldn’t stop at the garage door, make your whole home an inviting, starting at the point of entry. Adding beautiful color to your garage like Harbor Blue is just one more way to elevate your garage.

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