15 Garage Disaster Warning Signs. How Many Do You Have?

clutter on garage floor

A garage disaster doesn’t just happen overnight. It is the result of months and sometimes years of neglect when it comes to garage organization and maintenance.

Your garage gets used several times each day. It’s a useful and valuable part of your home. So why is it routinely overlooked when it comes to home improvement?

An Impulse Research survey found that 24% of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open because the space had too much clutter and a shabby overall appearance.

Is your garage a disaster?

We recently came across a messy garage that was a complete disaster. If your garage is disorganized and cluttered, the examples below will look familiar.

The garage pictured below is shown almost entirely as is. Nothing was staged, although we did have to move a couple of items in order to get decent pictures.

1. Finding items in your garage is a headache

Messy single car garage with clutter and junk.

As you can see, navigating through this garage presents a big challenge.

Some of the bigger items, like the ladder, trash can, and wheelbarrow aren’t difficult to find quickly. Finding smaller items like hand tools, empty leaf and trash bags, or hose attachments? That’s gonna take a minute or two.

Finding things when the garage gets this disorganized doesn’t just mean navigating around the clutter. You’ll often have to move things just to get to the items you’ve located, which wastes more time.

From the garage’s entrance, you’ll see the classic example of a cleared path through the floor clutter. Just behind the wheelbarrow and hose on the ground, the makeshift path leads to the home’s exterior water connection on the garage’s back wall.

2. Things are stored in the garage that shouldn’t be

2 black suitcases on shelf

Storing the wrong things in the garage is one of many ways you run out of storage space quickly and items get damaged.

These two suitcases stored on open shelving on the garage’s back wall are good examples. Textile-based products aren’t suited for long-term storage in a garage environment that experiences major shifts in temperature and is moisture-prone.

Another reason you don’t keep textile or paper-based products in the garage for a long time is because mice find them a great place to make a home.

See those small dark spots to the right of the suitcases? Those are mouse droppings. We definitely wouldn’t want to see what’s going on inside of those suitcases.

Other examples of items you shouldn’t be storing in the garage include:

  • food
  • wine
  • wood furniture
  • electronics
  • paint

3. Your garage lighting needs an update

light fixture on ceiling

The garage has two light sources that provide a decent amount of light for the room. While they’re functionally fine, their “presentation” leaves a lot to be desired.

The light fixture above is missing its plastic casing and is attached to two thin pieces of wood that are screwed into the upper styrofoam panels. It doesn’t exactly look well-anchored.

light bulb on white wallThe light’s power cable is exposed and similarly attached to a couple more pieces of thin wood attached to the ceiling. If you look closely, you’ll see that they’re not mounted flush against the styrofoam boards.

The garage’s original light is the single incandescent bulb to the right, which oddly has its electrical cable exposed instead of hidden behind the drywall.

Along with the fluorescent bulbs being used in the ceiling light, the garage isn’t being very energy efficient…and we haven’t even mentioned the insulation issues yet!

4. Garage clutter prevents vehicle parking

Parking in the garage is clearly not an option here. All of that clutter has relegated the owner’s vehicle to 24/7 driveway parking.

It’s never done intentionally, but allowing clutter to take priority over indoor parking is very common. 20% of the 1,500 respondents to a recent Garage Living poll said they were unable to park in their garage.

A U.S. Department of Energy study found that 25% of people with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all because of clutter. A third can only park one car.

Parking in the driveway under a tree (as this homeowner must do) can lead to damage from:

  • tree sap, leaves, and berries that fall on the vehicle over time
  • bird waste can eat through your vehicle’s clear coat and paint if it’s left on the vehicle too long
  • dead branches falling in windy weather

5. The garage floor needs a complete overhaul

cluttered cement floor

Another garage disaster sign is a damaged garage floor. Pictured above is your standard cement floor that’s marred by scuffs, stains, pitting, cracks, and spalling (when a concrete surface crumbles or flakes away).

Because it’s so hard to clean the garage, you can tell that it hasn’t been swept in some time.

In addition to a good decluttering and some new storage systems, a fresh Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating would do wonders to improve this garage’s appearance and floor durability.

6. Lack of proper storage

wall-mounted red pegboard

Analyze any garage disaster and you’re sure to find that poor storage and organization systems are being used.

Pegboard panels like the one shown above are found in a lot of garages and can be useful in keeping tools off the garage floor.

This pegboard looked to be the standard 1/8″ thickness, which doesn’t allow heavier items to be hung up, however.

Compare that to Garage Living’s 5/8″ thick slatwall panels that have a rigid cellular foam PVC construction and are capable of holding items weighing up to 50 lbs.

Slatwall hanging accessories also make it easier to reorganize your hung items and provide more hanging stability, since they’re anchored over a larger surface of the panel than a pegboard panel’s metal hooks.

To the right of the pegboard is a wall-mounted storage tower that’s not terribly practical. The items stored there were covered in dust and the open shelving isn’t tall enough to even stand up the yellow oil container that’s lying on its side (and leaking oil on the manual that’s underneath it).

For smaller items like hose attachments, power tools, oil cans, cleaning supplies, automotive supplies, and other easy to lose items, cabinet storage would make more sense if the garage has the room.

7. Existing storage isn’t used effectively

bike and push mower leaning against wall

The homeowner has the right idea by making use of a part of the garage that’s traditionally underutilized for storage – the walls.

Unfortunately, that pegboard is mostly empty, probably because it’s difficult to access with all the clutter in front of it.

A stepladder and about a dozen shovels, rakes, and other yard tools that are currently leaning against a wall or sitting on the floor could be hanging up and reducing the amount of floor clutter.

2 empty wall hooksWith a sturdy slatwall system, even heavier things like the bike and push mower pictured above could easily be hung to free up some floor space.

There’s DIY shelving along the back wall that’s only being used to approximately 30-40% of its full storage capacity.

And those two empty hooks pictured to the right look awfully lonely.

8. Wall storage space is being wasted

white scuffed drywall

A significant portion of both side walls aren’t being used at all for storage in the garage.

That’s a huge wasted opportunity in any garage space and especially in small garages where space is at a premium.

Wall-to-wall slatwall on both garage walls would give the homeowner a wealth of storage space and get quite a bit of the floor clutter off the ground.

The narrow width of the garage makes for a tight fit for the owner’s car, but parking indoors is definitely doable.

While garage cabinets wouldn’t work on the side walls of this garage, a cabinet system with a smaller footprint like GL Signature Shallow cabinets might be ideal for the back wall.

9. Interior garage aesthetics aren’t a consideration

light and stored wood on wall

It’s not just a garage’s functionality that suffers when it’s neglected, its appearance does, too. A cluttered garage is an eyesore that probably makes you wince every time you open the garage door.

Things like an old, beat-up floor, haphazardly stored wood, and drywall that’s dirty and scuffed detract significantly from a garage’s interior appearance. Storage systems that don’t stylistically complement each other also stand out in the wrong way.

At least this garage has drywall, though. A lot of garages look even more unfinished with their wall 2x4s exposed.

Also exposed in the garage is quite a lot of wiring. Those two large holes in the wall on both sides of the electrical panel pictured in the next example aren’t exactly helping in the looks department, either.

And you can bet that if you’re wincing whenever you view your garage disaster, your neighbors are as well when the garage door is open.

Don’t forget, curb appeal is all about the attractiveness of your property. A messy open garage has as much negative impact on how others view your home as a poorly kept yard or a roof in need of repair.

10. Safety hazards

electrical panel and wires

The dangling wood pieces shown in our previous example are a clear safety hazard. There are a few more safety issues in the garage that should also be addressed.

A couple of years after moving in four years ago, the homeowner decided to have the home’s outdated fuse box replaced with a circuit breaker panel.

For some reason, the electrician left the panel uncovered. Things could get really dicey if a roof leak occurred above the panel.

The styrofoam boards on the ceiling look to mostly be held in place with little more than strips of sheathing tape that’s keeping everything held together. Did we mention there’s a light fixture attached to one of those boards?

Then, of course, there’s the fact there are tripping hazards all over the place.

11. Lack of insulation

ceiling light and insulation boards

Proper insulation for an attached garage can make a big difference to a home’s energy efficiency, both during the summer and winter.

This garage could definitely benefit from a lot more than just the ceiling-mounted styrofoam insulation boards that have numerous gaps where they meet the walls. No wall insulation is being used and the homeowner was unsure whether or not the old garage door was insulated.

The room above the garage is most directly impacted by the lack of insulation. The homeowner says the floor there is noticeably colder during the fall and winter.

Sound from the garage door opener is more noticeable to anyone inside without the sound dampening benefits of more insulation.

An HVAC duct runs through the garage in the top right of the photo. Depending on the thickness and insulation effectiveness of the ducts, a hotter and colder garage might impact the efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling system.

12. Not enough task space

workbench with wood and toolsWe’ve already established that a garage disaster severely impairs the room’s functionality. That includes simple tasks like merely finding things quickly or being able to store things with ease.

It also means finding room to do any tasks is a pain.

In this garage’s case, a small foldup workbench is set up to cut some wood.

There’s very little space around the bench to work and nowhere to even put the leftover pieces of wood and tools other than on the workbench itself.

With an organized garage, a dedicated workbench could be installed with ample storage room that keeps all your tools within close reach.

A tidy garage can also be used as a multi-purpose room that allows you to do things like work on craft projects and use the space for your workouts.

13. Bulky seasonal items are stored on the floor

patio furniture in corner of garahe

The homeowner has a small yard that doesn’t provide much room for a shed, which would be helpful for supplementary storage for his bulky patio furniture.

The three patio chairs are stacked, which saves space and the patio umbrella could have the heavy base detached to make the umbrella less awkward to store.

The large patio table is still in the backyard since there’s no room for it in the garage. One storage option would be to leave everything but the umbrella stored outside during the winter with covers in place to protect them.

Smaller overhead storage racks could work at the rear of the garage to create storage space for some of the bulky items, although the garage’s low ceiling might prove to be problematic.

That orange bag on the floor to the right of the patio chairs is a camping set that, like the suitcases, should probably be stored indoors. We’re not sure if the mice have set up shop there yet.

14. The garage door is outdated and needs maintenance

closed green garage door

This garage door has a few surface flaws, including a noticeable scrape on the left-hand side.

It’s a bit stiff when being opened and closed and left a very slight gap between the ground and the door when it was pushed all the way down.

An adjustment or replacement of the door sweep might close the gap and getting the door serviced is something that’s probably long overdue.

A full garage door replacement is also worth considering. Garage doors also have a big impact on curb appeal and a more stylish, modern-looking garage door would provide a visual upgrade to the rather plain door currently installed.

Did you know that garage door replacements consistently have one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement project?

15. Junk occupies valuable floor space

empty TV box

With any garage disaster, there’s bound to be a lot of unnecessary junk and clutter occupying a sizable amount of space.

This garage is no exception. As pictured above, the box from a recently purchased TV sits on the garage floor.

Although it’s smart to hold onto the original packaging of electronic products for a year or so in case something goes wrong with them, this box should be stored somewhere indoors, where pests and moisture can’t damage it.

Below, this old stereo hasn’t been connected to electricity in ages. Its speakers are M.I.A. and the AC cord is heavens who knows where. The homeowner has meant to get rid of it for a while and just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

To the right is a long-forgotten box of tiles. We’re pretty sure all messy garages have at least one box of dusty tiles sitting around somewhere inside of them.

old stereo  old box of tiles

Rely on a pro to fix your garage disaster

When your garage ends up looking like the garage featured here, it’s overwhelming. Where do you start?

The easiest solution is to consult with a garage makeover professional like Garage Living. We’ll work with you and provide a solution to your garage disaster woes.

With thousands of garage makeovers under our belt, you can bet that we’ve seen our fair share of garages in need of serious help. Time after time, Garage Living has succeeded in turning disorganized, visually unappealing garage spaces into genuine home showpieces.

Garage Living is a totally professional, reasonably priced, customer-dedicated garage and work/storage space company. My garage upgrade by Garage Living included flooring, a workbench, storage cabinets, and overhead hanging storage.

Every detail was meticulously addressed by the professional, respectful, and totally competent team. I now have the showplace garage of the neighborhood, and I have recommended Garage Living to many friends, neighbors and associates. If you are thinking of upgrading your garage, call Garage Living for a comprehensive estimate.

— Robert O’Donnell

Stop living with the limitations that come with having a disorganized garage and schedule your free in-home design consultation with us today.

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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.

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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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