How a Garage Transformation Boosts Your Curb Appeal and Home Value

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 a lot 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.

curb appeal and home value suv in garage

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.

That doesn’t mean making a “lateral” storage move with most of that stuff that’s gradually swallowed your garage floor space over the years. Renting a storage unit isn’t the answer.

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. Choosing the right garage makeover professional who can show you which storage systems work most effectively and can successfully execute a redesign plan. 
  3. 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?

curb appeal and home value white car in garage

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.

curb appeal and home value open garage door

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.

Schedule your free in-home design consultation with us today.

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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 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 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 in-home design consultation with us.

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Garage Storage Mistakes: 9 Things You’re Probably Storing Wrong

What room in homes would you think is commonly the most cluttered?

According to a recent home organization study done by Moen, it’s the garage. Numerous other home organization studies and surveys also find this to be the case.

In a National Association of Professional Organizers survey, 50% of respondents said the garage was their home’s most disorganized area.

Among 1,500 homeowners who recently participated in a Garage Living survey, 20% said they were unable to park in their garage.

So why does this happen?

garage storage mistakes items hanging in garage

Garage storage mistakes (and how to avoid making them)

It typically comes down to five main reasons that garages become cluttered and less functional:

  • simple garage storage mistakes
  • a garage space is too small
  • garages being treated as a home’s go-to overflow storage space
  • a reluctance to part with our belongings
  • we tend to buy more than we actually need

In this blog post, we’re going to highlight nine common garage storage mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

Fixing even just a few of these issues will produce immediately noticeable results and enable you to start making better use of your garage again.

1. Bikes

One of the more common garage storage mistakes is leaving bikes on the floor. Doing this takes up garage floor space and poses a safety hazard.

Leaning or freestanding bikes with their kickstands engaged also puts them at risk of damage from vehicles entering and exiting the garage. It doesn’t take much for a car or truck weighing a few thousand pounds to damage a bike’s gears, frame, tires, or wheel rims.

It’s smarter to hang your bikes on the garage walls, which saves floor space, stores them securely, and protects them from damage.

Add slatwall panels to your walls and hang the bikes with sturdy hooks that allow bikes to be stored horizontally or vertically. You can also add hanging accessories to keep all your cycling gear and accessories organized in one area.

If you own a large garage where having enough floor space is a non-issue, a grid bike rack is another option for holding multiple bikes safely.

2. Yard tools

Yard tools are responsible for another one of the most frequently made garage storage mistakes.

Are your yard tools stored leaning against a wall, on the floor, in a low-quality tool caddy, or hanging on rusty hooks or nails? If so, a slatwall storage system is a better way to keep everything organized and easy to find.

And you might not think of them as tools, but your step ladder or extension ladder are, indeed, considered tools. Instead of unsafely leaning your ladders against the garage wall, get them up off the floor and hang them vertically or horizontally on the wall.

An additional benefit of slatwall is that it gives your garage’s interior a more finished, modern look.

You may use your garage as a workshop, meaning most of your hand and power tools are stored in the space. A garage cabinet system is perfect for keeping your tool collection organized.

garage storage mistakes tools hanging on slatwall

Slatwall provides versatile storage that can hold ladders, yard tools, hose reels, sports equipment, and much more.

3. Sports equipment

If you or other members of your family are physically active, sports equipment and gear stored in the garage can become a struggle to keep organized. The more kids you have participating in organized sports, the worse the problem gets.

It goes without saying that rolling objects like balls, skateboards, and scooters pose a major safety hazard to anyone using your garage and don’t belong on the floor.

Once again, off-the-floor storage using slatwall is the best way to go in order to fix the problem. Any good slatwall system should present you with a number of hook, rack, basket, bin, and shelving hanging accessory options to serve your storage needs.

Garage Living carries slatwall accessories that range from:

  • ball racks that adjust to hold balls of various sizes
  • specialized racks for holding golf, hockey, tennis, and fishing equipment
  • deep mesh baskets for general sports equipment storage (or for gardening, cleaning, and automotive supplies)

4. Anything inside an old garage fridge or freezer

You know that 30-year-old garage fridge that serves as your beer cooler or a place for storing extra household food items? It’s probably time to send it off to the appliance graveyard.

Older appliances are notoriously poor performers when it comes to energy efficiency, especially fridges and chest freezers. How inefficient are they?

It’s estimated that a fridge manufactured before 1990 could potentially be costing you between $250-300 a year to run in a garage. To get a better idea of what your specific fridge might be costing you to operate, use this Energy Star calculator.

We recommend giving that garage fridge relic the boot. However, if you absolutely, positively must run a fridge or freezer in the garage, consider upgrading to a new energy efficient model.

Even better, get a durable refrigeration appliance that’s specifically meant to be used in environments like the garage that experience widely fluctuating temperature shifts.

5. Hoses

Garden hoses are another item that belong anywhere but on the ground when they’re not in use. They should be stored on a wall-mounted rack or reel or a portable reel cart.

That keeps them safely and tidily stored, as well as untangled. If your home’s outdoor water connection is in the garage or just outside the garage, storing your hoses indoors on an easy-to-use reel can be more convenient, too.

It also makes them less prone to kinking and cracking from being stored outside in the sun, which extends the hose’s life.

Ask your local Garage Living professional about our high quality garden hoses and hose reels.

6. Junk you’ll never use again

Among the millions of garages in American and Canadian homes sits a ton of junk taking up valuable space. Much of that junk and clutter will probably never find any sort of meaningful use again.

We’re talking about odds-and-ends like:

  • an old kitchen appliance that got replaced many years ago
  • a long-forgotten treadmill or weight bench that’s covered in a thick layer of dust
  • boxes of items you meant to donate and never got around to getting rid of
  • old, dried-out paint cans and partially used cleaning product containers you forgot you had
  • half-used containers of automotive fluids for vehicles you no longer even own

Essentially, many cluttered garages’ main function is being a home’s junk storage space. That’s a pretty big garage storage mistake to be making.

A few years ago, the Self Storage Association released a stat that found approximately 9% of Americans rent storage space, even though 65% of them have a garage.

Your garage shouldn’t be a mere holding space for things you’ll never use. It should be treated as an important extension of your living space.

garage storage mistakes old paint cans

Create more storage space in the garage by clearing out things like old paint cans and other junk you’ll never use again.

7. Bulky items left on the floor

Storing out-of-season and rarely used bulky items like large storage bins on the floor is a very common occurrence in garages.

Unfortunately, they eat up a lot of prime floor real estate. The best solution is to get them (once again) up in the air, where there’s plenty of unused storage space available.

You’ll need a sturdy overhead racking system that’s well-anchored to your ceiling and walls. Once it’s in place, you’ll love how much floor space will open up with all of those bulky things out of the way.

Be sure to label any storage bins in order to make specific items easier to locate.

8. Items that aren’t suited to a garage environment

Certain things aren’t ideal for long-term storage in a garage. For example, your precious family photos should be stored in a dark place that’s cool and dry to keep them well-preserved.

The same goes for any paper-based items like books, financial and medical records, and other important documents. None of these things do well when stored in environments that lack climate control and tend to be damp.

Here are five other things that should be stored in an area other than your garage:

  • electronics
  • clothes and any other textile products
  • wine
  • canned and dry food
  • various types of media (such as vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes)

9. Extra vehicles parked in the driveway

If your family has several drivers and there’s a lack of garage parking space for everyone’s vehicles, there’s no other option but to have the extra vehicles parked outside. Or is there?

In fact, there’s a way to optimize your garage’s storage so everyone’s vehicles can be parked indoors – add a car lift (or multiple lifts).

Not maximizing a garage’s full storage capabilities certainly counts as a storage mistake and most garages underutilize their overhead space.

The elevated storage a car lift provides can effectively double the amount of parking spots your garage has available. A 1-car garage can accommodate a second vehicle, a 2-car garage can hold 4 cars, and so on.

If you have a classic car that’s rarely driven but you’re unwilling to part with it, a car lift is ideal for getting it off the garage floor and freeing up some space, whether it’s for parking or other uses.

We’ll help you avoid some of these garage storage mistakes

A garage with smart storage systems greatly reduces the likelihood of falling into bad organization habits with some of the garage storage mistakes listed here.

Instead, they’ll save you time by allowing you to find things with much more ease. You’ll also spend less time needing to clean the garage up.

Any room in your home that’s a chronic mess just isn’t a room you enjoy using or spending time in. If that describes your garage, we can change that and enable you to reclaim it for parking and functional storage.

Schedule your complimentary in-home design consultation with us. One of our creative design consultants will show you how to maximize the storage and design potential of your garage.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

7 Garage Organization Projects to Take on This Spring

With spring finally here, many homeowners will be turning their attention to organizing what is commonly a house’s messiest room – the garage.

How common? Well, exactly half of those polled by the National Association of Professional Organizers named the garage as their most disorganized home space.

That’s not a surprise, considering the garage has traditionally been a dumping ground for odds and ends that usually end up becoming annoying clutter.

garage organization projects

7 garage organization projects to transform your space

Getting your garage organization projects started can be admittedly be difficult.

Sorting through years of clutter is a daunting task, but it’s worth it for the benefits that come with having a tidy, clean, aesthetically pleasing garage space that actually feels comfortable to enter. 

If you’re tired of having a disorganized garage you can never find anything in and are never able to use for parking, make some meaningful changes this spring.

Get one or more of the following garage organization projects rolling to optimize your garage’s functionality.

Here are seven ways to accomplish your goal of owning a garage space you can be proud of. 

1. Discard the clutter and organize everything else

A thorough garage decluttering can take some time, especially if you’ve been putting off the task for a few years. Set aside at least a full day and, more ideally, the entire weekend.

Keep focussing on that end goal of a tidy, functional garage space that will make your day-to-day routine easier.

The best approach is to empty the entire contents of your garage and then start evaluating what is worth keeping. Toss, recycle, or donate all of the junk that’s overstayed its welcome.

When you’ve eliminated the unnecessary clutter, group the items you’re keeping together in order to stay organized and get a better understanding of how much storage space you actually require.

garage organization projects, wheelbarrow and garden tools

2. Maximize your garage wall storage 

Now that you’ve streamlined your garage’s inventory, it’s time to give your belongings a proper home with the best garage storage systems.

When it comes to maximizing your storage space, keeping things accessible, and providing flexibility when it comes to your changing storage needs, you can’t do better than a slatwall storage system.

Slatwall panels with hanging accessories are effective for keeping your garage floor clutter-free. They’re perfect for hanging things like:

  • yard tools
  • small hand tools
  • bikes and sports equipment
  • ladders
  • power cords

garage organization projects, woman removing bin from storage rack

3. Utilize your overhead space

Slatwall makes great use of your garage’s underused wall space, but that’s not the only part of your garage that could be better utilized.

You’ll find an ample amount of storage space in your garage’s upper reaches, just waiting to accept those bulky items that are clogging up your floor.

Have your garage makeover professional install some heavy-duty overhead racks in order to maximize your garage’s storage space even more. 

garage organization projects, storage cabinets

4. Stay organized with garage cabinetry

Not everything being kept in your garage is suited to being hung on slatwall panels or stored in overhead racking. That’s where garage cabinetry comes in.

Garage cabinet systems provide a practical alternative to keeping things stored on wall-mounted shelving or standup racks. Cabinet storage keeps dust and grime off your belongings, hidden from view, and allows for valuables and hazardous materials to be locked up.

And if you want to create a garage workshop, you can take your setup’s functionality capabilities to the next level with a cabinet system. It also doesn’t hurt that cabinetry modernizes a garage’s décor.

garage organization projects, car lift

5. Double your parking space with a car lift

One of the main goals of these garage organization projects is to free up space so you can use your garage for parking. And we’re talking about parking comfortably in the garage, not just being able to barely squeeze one or two of your vehicles indoors.

If you’re adding one or more of the aforementioned storage systems, you’re well on your way to being able to do that. But here’s another garage parking solution you may not have considered – a car lift.

Car lifts essentially double your parking space by allowing you to park one vehicle underneath another raised vehicle.

garage organization projects, parked white car

6. Transform your garage floor

A clean garage with stylish décor only makes an organized garage space look that much better. Therefore, don’t overlook the importance of making sure your garage floor adds to the look of the room.

A visually unappealing gray garage floor that’s cracked and stained will detract from the appearance of even the most immaculately organized garage.

To make your garage floor stand out and protect its surface, invest in a high quality polyaspartic floor coating. And if you’ve recently had a new floor coating applied, give it a good sweep and wash this spring to refresh your floor surface’s appearance.

garage organization projects, man using tire rack

7. Add the perfect finishing touches

The last of our ideas for spring garage organization projects involves adding the right finishing touches to further upgrade your garage’s appearance and add even more functionality. Here are some suggestions:

  • have a garage heater installed
  • upgrade your garage lighting
  • add garage wall bumpers to protect vehicles from scratches and dents
  • replace your garage doors to boost curb appeal
  • add a wall-mounted tire rack for storing seasonal tires

Get your garage organized this spring

If you’re feeling the inspiration to take on some of these garage organization projects this spring, there’s no better place to get expert help than Garage Living.

We’ve transformed thousands of garages across North America since 2005. Our experienced team of designers and installers will ensure that your garage makeover is done to your complete satisfaction.

Schedule a free design consultation to get your garage makeover started. One of our design experts will come to your home to discuss your project, evaluate your garage space, and provide you with a complimentary quote.  

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The 2 Simple Garage Storage Solutions You’re Completely Overlooking

garage storage solutions slatwall

What’s the one thing that makes a garage look disorganized more than anything else? Floor clutter.

A messy garage interior is why a quarter of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open, according to an Impulse Research survey.

And you can guarantee that as a garage becomes overrun by clutter, a sharp decline in its functionality will follow.

One day you’ll find that your vehicles are no longer being parked inside your garage because there’s no room for them. Finding anything in your garage becomes a regular headache.

If too much clutter is negatively affecting how your garage is being used, it’s a good bet one (or more) of these reasons is at fault:

  • your garage lacks proper storage systems altogether
  • you’ve had a “just store it in the garage for now” mentality for household items for too long
  • your existing garage storage systems are ineffective or outdated
  • the storage space in your garage isn’t being utilized to the best of its ability

Those first two points are a fairly obvious cause of garage clutter, but you might be surprised at how much of a difference that last factor can have on the tidiness of a garage.

Making better use of what your existing garage space has to offer is something most homeowners overlook when it comes to finding more storage space, possibly because it’s almost too obvious.

Which garage storage solutions work best?

The key to unlocking your garage’s full storage potential isn’t to make the space bigger with a pricey garage expansion.

You can actually solve your garage storage problems simply by using two spaces hiding in plain sight more effectively – your garage’s wall and ceiling space.

Getting creative and properly utilizing these two commonly underused storage areas can transform any untidy garage into an efficient, organized space.

Here’s why these two garage storage solutions make so much sense.

Solution #1: Slatwall storage

Most garages use some form of wall storage, even if it’s just a few wall hooks for hanging tools. Some homeowners also use freestanding tool storage racks that are kept in a garage corner. While they may keep some of your rakes, shovels, and other yard tools organized, they’re still occupying valuable floor space.

But a garage’s walls have a wealth of storage space just waiting to be properly used, instead of underused.

Nothing beats a slatwall storage system when it comes to maximizing your garage’s wall storage space. This storage system involves fastening cellular foam PVC panels to your garage walls so tools and many other items found in a garage can be hung up.

A variety of specialized accessories are hung in the grooves of the slatwall panels, giving you the freedom to make the most of your hanging space. Along with tools, items like sports equipment, outdoor apparel, and car cleaning supplies can be kept neatly stored and easy to find.

Compared to a pegboard storage system, a custom slatwall system is sturdier and gives you more storage versatility. This comes in very handy whenever your storage needs change and you need to rearrange your wall storage configurations (such as during seasonal changes or if you buy new tools).

In addition to slatwall, another practical way to to use your wall space better is to add other garage storage solutions like a wall-mounted hose reel, sturdy shelving, or heavy-duty tire racks for your spares.

garage storage solutions, sports equipment stored on wall

Solution #2: Overhead storage

An even more underutilized garage storage space than its walls might be its ceiling space. Once again, when used properly, you’d be amazed at how much floor space can be freed up when one or more overhead storage racks are added to a garage.

Overhead racks are designed for storing things of all sizes and are particularly useful because they can handle heavier weight capacities and bulkier items like storage bins and seasonal items.

Another benefit of using your garage’s ceiling space for storage is that it allows you to store items that are less frequently used. That keeps your easier-to-access lower garage storage space available for things you use more regularly.

In addition to heavy-duty overhead storage racks, that unused garage ceiling space can also be utilized to provide you with more parking space.

Add a car lift that takes advantage of your available vertical space so you can keep one or more extra vehicles parked indoors.

Limit what’s stored on your garage floor

Other than your parked vehicles, one of the very few things that deserves storage space on your garage floor is power equipment that’s too heavy for hanging. This would include things like a snow blower, power tiller, riding mower, and most push lawn mowers.

We say “most push lawn mowers” because some electric mowers may be light enough for hanging up. Items weighing up to 50 lbs. can be accommodated by some of Garage Living’s slatwall accessories. If you are able to take advantage of being able to hang up your mower and reclaim a few more square feet of floor space, by all means do so.

While a small number of gas-powered mowers are designed to be stored vertically, most shouldn’t be. The majority of gas-powered mowers, even if they’re lighter, are meant to be stored horizontally (otherwise leaking and engine damage can occur).

With the right garage storage solutions in place, even bikes and larger tools like a ladder or wheelbarrow can be stored on a wall to free up floor space.

garage storage solutions, bin in overhead rack

Expand your garage storage options

You can further expand your garage storage options by replacing that old, repurposed kitchen cabinetry or a flimsy, prefabricated standup cabinet with a garage storage cabinet system made from high quality steel.

Yes, garage cabinetry technically takes up floor space, but its efficient usage of vertical storage space still makes it an appealing storage option. With the ability to add locks to protect your pricier tools or keep hazardous chemicals out of harm’s way, as well as create the perfect garage workshop area, storage cabinets are well worth a look.

Another reason to consider any of these garage storage solutions is to update your garage’s appearance. A mishmash of different storage systems you’ve added to your garage over the years usually results in a disjointed look that detracts from a garage’s aesthetic, even if they’re keeping your space organized.

You can see by these photos how the garage storage solutions and the colors and design elements used in the makeovers nicely complement each other, resulting in clean-looking garage spaces with a cohesive, modern, and stylish look.

Update your garage storage systems

Our clients are consistently amazed at what our garage design professionals can do to maximize the storage space in their garages, in addition to radically improving the appearance of their spaces.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation and one of our design consultants can show you the exciting possibilities for your garage and provide a free garage makeover quote.

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