Small Garage Ideas: 7 Tips to Make Your Space Feel Bigger

A small garage definitely makes it a challenge for a homeowner to get a satisfying level of functionality out of their space.

The constraints of a small garage don’t necessarily mean you have to make compromises with either of a garage’s two primary functions, however.

Parking and storage in a small garage are two functions that can co-exist – it just takes a little more ingenuity to make things work efficiently.

To get the most out of your garage’s limited square footage, use these small garage ideas and tips.

small garage ideas

Exactly how small is a small garage?

By most people’s standards, the definition of a “small garage” would be a garage that holds either one or two vehicles. A 1.5-car garage size, which is less common, would also qualify.

But just because a small garage’s description says it’s meant to hold one or two vehicles doesn’t necessarily mean those vehicles can fit in the space comfortably.

The garage’s actual dimensions, the sizes of vehicles, and the contents inside a garage also need to be taken into account.

Common 1-car garage sizes range from 12 feet wide by 20 feet deep to 16 feet wide by 24 feet deep. That ranges from 240 to 384 square feet (calculated using the room’s interior dimensions).

2-car garages typically range from 18 feet wide by 20 feet deep to 24 feet wide by 24 feet deep (360 to 576 square feet).

Older 1 and 2-car garages are often smaller than the same types of garages that are built in new homes today. One reason is that back then, having a covered space for a parked vehicle was the main priority and less consideration was given to using the garage as a home storage space.

1-car garages in old homes are also more common because families typically only owned a single vehicle in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

It doesn’t help that vehicles keep getting bigger

When you look at some older small garages, it makes you wonder how the large vehicles from a few decades ago ever fit inside them.

That’s something to consider these days in relation to your garage’s size because vehicles just keep getting bigger.

The growing sizes of cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks is largely due to relatively low fuel prices and consumer demand for vehicles with lots of convenient features.

That can leave little room to spare when parking inside a small garage. Here are some small garage ideas that will help make things easier for you.

1. Get rid of the clutter

It would seem that an obvious way to get more functionality out of any garage would be to limit the amount of non-essential items (better known as clutter) that are kept in the space.

“Removing junk” ranked as the top answer from people who were asked how they could enjoy their garage more, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.

A Braun Research study found that a third of homeowners were unsure what was occupying their garage’s storage space, however. And although 75% of those surveyed wanted to have a tidier garage, almost a third of them rarely or never organized the room.

Every square foot is crucial in a small garage, which means things like old furniture, broken appliances, leftover building materials you’re not sure you’ll ever use, and old yard tools you replaced with newer versions years ago have no place there.

Taking the time to declutter the garage is worth it because it simply makes no sense to park expensive vehicles you drive regularly outside, while junk you haven’t touched in years sits inside your garage.

2. Maximize your wall storage space

fitness equipment in small garage

This small garage uses slatwall to keep the space organized and is used as a home gym.

If your garage feels too small for your needs, it might seem like the solution is to undergo a construction project to make it larger or move to a home with a bigger garage.

In many cases, such drastic measures can be avoided if you let a professional like Garage Living help you to maximize your small garage’s storage space.

One of the best small garage ideas you can use is to have a slatwall storage system installed that includes PVC wall panels and hanging accessories.

Slatwall is superior to pegboard because it’s more durable, is easy to clean, offers more storage versatility, and can handle higher weight loads. Slatwall also has a decorative functionality that gives garage interiors a nicer, finished appearance.

With a slatwall storage system that allows the vast majority of items kept in a garage to be hung up, floor clutter becomes a thing of the past. Items like yard and hand tools, bikes, sports equipment, ladders, and power cords can be kept well-organized and grouped with like items.

Wall-mounted tire racks are an additional wall storage solution that will free up the space a spare set of tires takes up on a garage floor.

3. Take advantage of your ceiling space

Overhead storage racks are another type of effective vertical storage system for a garage. Not all small garages have ceilings that are high enough to add storage racks, but if yours can accommodate them, you should absolutely take advantage of that unused overhead space that is being wasted.

Bulky things like plastic storage bins, patio furniture, spare tires, and out-of-season items that sit on a garage floor can be the difference between being able to park inside a small garage or having to park in the driveway.

Choose heavy-duty storage racks that can handle a lot of weight and are properly anchored to your walls and ceiling for safety. It’s smart to invest in racks made with high-quality steel and a power-coated finish, which will prevent rusting and last much longer.

4. Increase parking space in a small garage with a car lift

car raised on car lift in small garage

A 4 post car lift in this 1-car garage doubles its parking space.

If you have two vehicles but your garage is only built for a single car, the solution to keep both vehicles parked inside is to get a car lift.

Once again, the height of your garage will determine whether or not a car lift can fit in the space. If your garage door opens at a height that’s too low, a high lift conversion would be needed to reconfigure the height at which the door opens.

2 post car lifts and 4 post car lifts are used in residential garages, but it’s the latter type you’ll want for parking purposes.

4 post car lifts allow vehicles to be driven onto ramps and hoisted up so another vehicle can be parked beneath it. This makes it ideal for maximizing a garage’s vehicle storage space. 2 post residential car lifts are suited more for someone who prefers to do their own car maintenance in their garage.

5. Choose the right cabinets for your small garage

A cabinet system is another great option for storage in a garage, but it can be a tricky thing to fit into a small garage.

Chances are it would have to be installed at the back of the garage if the room is deep enough, instead of along the side walls. And you might be limited with how big the cabinet system can be. Even a small cabinet system with a single stack of drawers, a few cabinet doors, and a small countertop can be quite functional, however.

It’s worth the extra cost to get storage cabinets that are made with sturdier, longer-lasting North American-made steel. Many cheaper cabinet models found online and in big-box stores are manufactured with inferior materials that don’t last.

Our GL Signature cabinet system comes with a shallow depth option that is perfect for smaller garages. Working with a garage remodel specialist like Garage Living also gives you more design and color options for a cabinet system that will enhance your garage’s décor.

6. Update your paint, lighting, and flooring

blue car parked in garage

Lighter wall, ceiling, and flooring colors help make a small garage feel bigger.

Repainting a small garage and choosing specific colors can create the illusion that the room is bigger than it is.

Lighter colors help make a room look and feel larger. The effect is even more pronounced if you paint the walls and ceiling the same color or paint the ceiling one shade lighter than the walls.

Using a glossier paint that reflects lighter better than flatter paints will also help create the illusion of a larger space. Take these aesthetic small garage ideas into consideration if you’re having slatwall installed. Garage Living offers eight slatwall colors to choose from.

Lighting upgrades are another way to make a small garage look larger. Adding a number of smaller lights (such as pot lights) to a ceiling instead of having a single overhead lighting fixture will provide better light coverage and make the room feel bigger.

Many garage remodel projects involve giving the flooring an upgrade with a new floor coating. Ask your garage design consultant which coating color will work best to complement the rest of your interior décor and make your garage feel a little bigger.

7. Tidy up on a regular basis

Having the right storage systems in place will make it easier to keep a small garage organized.

You have to commit to regularly tidying up the room so that clutter doesn’t start piling up, however. If you neglect maintaining the space, it doesn’t take long for that 1-car garage to become a no-car garage.

A quick monthly cleanup should suffice and you can give it a more thorough cleaning that involves washing the floor and wiping down any surfaces a couple of times a year.

Ensure the right things are taking up your garage storage space. Here are a few things that should not be stored in a garage:

  • unused or partially used paint cans
  • food or wine
  • old electronic equipment
  • clothing and fabrics
  • old photos, paper, and cardboard

Upgrade your small garage

Hopefully these small garage ideas have shown you that you can still get plenty of functionality and enjoyment out of a room that doesn’t offer an ample amount of square footage.

Garage Living has transformed many small garages into organized, stylish spaces that make more room for parking, storage, and even hobbies like working out in a home gym.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to start your garage remodel project.

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Garage Wall Ideas: 17 Ways To Improve Your Wall Space

garage wall ideas After years of looking at your unfinished garage walls, you’ve decided that it’s finally time to consider some garage wall ideas to make improvements.

Along with a grey concrete floor, dim lighting, and an unfinished ceiling, those unattractive walls are a nagging reminder that your garage doesn’t look all that different from how it looked when the builder completed work on the home.

And if your garage lacks any decent storage systems there’s probably floor clutter to contend with, which only hurts the garage’s appearance even more.

Try these 17 garage wall ideas 

The walls in most garages have a vast amount of untapped storage potential. And just as they’re underutilized for storage, homeowners don’t take advantage of this sizable amount of square footage to give their garage a more modern aesthetic.

Giving your garage walls some TLC with some wise upgrades can dramatically impact the entire room’s functionality and appearance.

When you’re contemplating how to reinvent your garage wall space as part of a remodeling project, you could look at the walls as a blank canvas. With the right design choices, those walls can transform into something beautiful and unique that also reflects your personality.

Let’s look at 17 popular garage wall ideas that cover everything to do with storage, finishing, and decorating the walls in a garage.

1. Add garage wall insulation

garage wall with insulationYour first step with the walls in a garage should be to add insulation to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Without garage insulation, your home loses a lot of heat when it’s colder outside and makes your air conditioner work harder when the weather is hot. Don’t forget about making sure your garage doors and ceiling are properly insulated, too.

The most common types of insulation for garage walls are fiberglass batts (pictured to the right), spray foam insulation, and blow-in cellulose insulation.

If your garage already has insulation installed, have a professional inspect it to determine whether an upgrade is warranted. Was it properly installed? Is it the right R-value? Does the insulation have water damage? The latter issue can lead to mold problems and make the insulation less effective.

Wall and ceiling insulation is even more important if you’re someone who enjoys spending a lot of time in the garage with a hobby. If you have a heater or some type of cooling system in the garage, insulation helps make the room easier to keep at a comfortable temperature.

Insulation also has soundproofing benefits. That can limit the noise that is audible in the rest of the home from, say, a power tool being used in the garage.

2. Drywall the garage

Insulation for the garage is a great investment, but the sight of exposed insulation and framing studs isn’t exactly visually appealing.

Get the garage one step closer to having a more finished look by hanging drywall. In addition to covering up a garage’s unattractive construction features and things like electrical wiring and a central vac system’s piping, here are three more reasons to install drywall in a garage:

  • drywall is cost-effective
  • it improves a home’s energy efficiency
  • drywall gives you more flexibility when it comes to decorating your garage walls and adding storage systems

Hanging drywall isn’t rocket science, but it is physically demanding and there is a definite skill to installing it correctly so that the wall has a seamless look without joints, tape, and screws showing.

Two other garage wall covering alternatives to drywall are fiberglass reinforced panels (FRP) and wallboard panels. Keep in mind that these products are used only for covering and finishing walls and aren’t designed to accommodate hanging storage systems.

3. Paint the garage walls

Once your garage drywall is hung, you’ll want to dress it up with a fresh coat of paint. This is where the decor of the garage can really start to take shape.

If you’re doing a top-to-bottom remodel with a garage makeover professional, the paint color chosen for the walls will be influenced by the colors picked for a new floor coating, slatwall, and cabinetry. Even the colors of your vehicles can be factored into your garage color choices to visually complement them better.

Many homeowners choose lighter garage wall paint colors because they reflect light better, make the room look bigger, and make us feel more comfortable. Neutral colors like beige, tan, and grey are also popular.

If it’s done tastefully, pops of bolder colors on a garage wall (whether it’s from paint or the color of a cabinet system, for example) can add visual interest as well.

4. Have a slatwall storage system installed

items hung on garage slatwall

Slatwall panels provide versatile hanging storage space and give garages a cleaner, finished look.

With a garage’s walls being invaluable for storage and interior design upgrades, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a product that took care of both those needs?

There is such a product and it’s called slatwall. Our slatwall panels and hanging accessories are the best wall-mounted garage storage solution available and give garages a clean, finished look.

This complete wall hanging system involves installing PVC slatwall panels in your garage that are sturdy, easy to clean, and waterproof.

Using a wide variety of hooks, racks, baskets, bins, and shelves, this wall hanging system helps to keep your garage organized and maximize its storage space. Rearranging your stored items is easier with slatwall than it is with other types of wall storage systems, such as pegboard.

Eight slatwall colors are available that allow you to customize your garage’s design. There are several more ways that slatwall can be used as a decorative garage wall feature:

  • it can cover the entire garage wall and be used in corners and awkward spaces
  • slatwall can be combined with open drywall space
  • another slatwall color can be incorporated into the wall design for decorative effect (like the blue slatwall strip below the grey slatwall in the first photo)
  • ribbon lighting installed on the slatwall creates a unique, more inviting look  

5. Add garage wall hooks or track rail storage kits

Perhaps the most common type of garage wall storage system are hooks that are screwed into the wall studs or drywall. 

Wall-mounted track rail storage kits are also popular and involve installing thin rails a few feet long horizontally on the wall and hanging up items using the included accessories.

The benefits of these two types of garage wall organizer products is that they’re cheap and easy to install yourself.

They do have some drawbacks, however. Unlike slatwall or pegboard storage, you’re unable to change their location since they’re permanently anchored in the wall.

That creates problems when your storage needs change and you want to rearrange where your things are hung. Sure, you can just remove the storage systems from the wall and reinstall them in another spot, but then you’re left with holes and repair work.

Different brands, styles, colors, and brands of these products also tend to get bought over time. That results in a patchwork of storage accessories attached to the garage walls that don’t have a cohesive look and add to the room’s visual clutter.

6. Install garage wall shelving

garage wall wire shelvingOne of the garage wall ideas commonly used for storage is built-in shelving or freestanding shelving units. Often, these two storage systems are of the DIY variety and made with wood.

While they are functional, most DIY garage storage systems don’t look very good. Painting or staining the shelves (and frame if it’s a freestanding unit) can help, but unless you’re a carpentry expert, these projects usually end up with that low-end DIY look.

If you do want to use a freestanding shelving rack, spend a little more to get a sturdier product that looks more professional and can hold more weight than one of those flimsy plastic shelving units.

Another option for your shelving needs is wire shelving that can be mounted to the walls of the garage. 

7. Add tire racks

If you live in a northern climate that gets enough snow to warrant having snow tires, tire racks are a smart buy.

A spare set of tires stored on your garage floor, even if they’re all stacked on top of one another, takes up space that could be put to better use. And if you have multiple vehicles with a second set of tires, that space they’re occupying adds up.

Wall-mounted tire racks provide a dedicated space where an off-season set of tires can be kept, freeing up more room on the floor

If you store your spare tire sets at your local garage or a tire specialist store, the fees you’re paying could be invested in tire racks that would pay for themselves in a short amount of time.

8. Use pegboard wall storage

pegboardFor years, when people thought of garage wall ideas, pegboard would be one of the first things to come to mind. 

Pegboard storage was originally used for merchandising in the retail industry and someone eventually came up with the logical idea that the product could be useful for keeping residential garages more organized.

The design of pegboard (a hardwood sheet with evenly spaced holes) made it ideal for giving home owners more flexibility for how they stored their belongings on the garage wall. It was particularly useful for storing tools in a garage workshop with a variety of hooks and hangers.

Pegboard now looks somewhat dated, however, and has been surpassed by slatwall as a product that gives you a nicer aesthetic, more storage versatility, and the ability to handle higher weight capacities. 

For a more durable pegboard product, you could spend a little more to get pegboard made with galvanized steel.

9. Invest in a custom cabinet system

wall-mounted garage cabinets

This custom cabinet system is completely wall-mounted, giving it a distinct “floating“ look.

Storage cabinets are another smart way to make better use of your garage walls. It’s worth it to spend a bit more for a premium cabinet system that can be customized to match the rest of your interior decor.

The cabinet system pictured above was customized to make it completely wall-mounted, which gives it a “floating” look that really stands out. Garage Living also customized the design by adding drawers below the lockers on the left.

High-quality cabinet systems will last longer, are built with a higher grade construction materials, and simply give a garage a more impressive, professional appearance than any of the low-cost cabinets you’ll find online or in a big-box store.

Cabinets afford you more garage storage options and provide space to keep things organized, hidden, and locked up. Hand tools, power tools, cleaning supplies, car care products, and gardening supplies are ideal for cabinet storage.

And custom cabinets can do more for your garage than just give you more storage room. They can be used for a garage workshop and include specialty options like adding a sink or mounted TV.

10. Hang metallic trim or sheets

For garage wall ideas that have functional and decorative uses, some homeowners favor hanging metallic trim or sheets on their walls.

These products are made with aluminum or stainless steel and commonly have a rugged diamond plate design. The trim can be installed in any number of locations around the perimeter of a garage.

Some people cover their entire garage walls with decorative metal sheeting or may opt for a more subdued look and just add a strip of the trim in the middle of their walls.

Others choose to add metal trim with different styles to the top of their walls as a crown molding or use it for a wall base. 

The eye-catching trim adds visual interest to a garage’s walls, which is why the material also works so well as a backsplash in a cabinet system’s design. 

Metal corner guards are another way the material can be used on a garage’s walls. The guards are decorative and also help keep corners protected from scratches and scuffs. 

11. Add garage baseboard

Let’s get a little deeper into the benefits of a garage baseboard and some additional wall base options. Installing a high-quality wall base in the garage:

  • covers up the gap between the wall and floor for a seamless wall-to-floor transition
  • provides an extra decorative touch that helps complete the look of the room
  • keeps drywall protected from water damage
  • cuts down on drafts
  • helps to keep out pests

You’ll want to stay away from using wood or polystyrene wall moldings because of the excess moisture levels found in most garages. The water that collects on a garage floor from rain and melted snow is another reason to use a more resilient type of wall base.

Vinyl and rubber wall bases are often used, which are sometimes referred to as cove base molding. They typically come in rolls with an adhesive backing. Although this type of wall base product is affordable and easy to install yourself, they don’t necessarily give you all the benefits listed above. 

Garage Living offers a premium wall base solution by applying a Floortex™ baseboard coating to your wall base for striking, unique look. 

The baseboard coating is the exact same mix that we use on your garage floor, which takes the concept of a seamless transition between the floor and wall to a whole new level!

Because Floortex™ coatings completely seal the base of a wall, you get a superior level of protection from pests, drafts, and water damage. Our versatile coatings can also be applied to the steps in a garage.

12. Install wall lighting

garage with wall lighting and baseboard coating

This remodel shows what design touches like adding perimeter wall lighting and a baseboard coating can do to give a garage a unique, high-end appearance.

Wall lighting in the garage traditionally hasn’t been very commonplace. That’s something that is slowly changing as more homeowners evolve their thinking and embrace the fact that the garage deserves to look as nice as the rest of their home.

Adding lighting to the garage walls can help supplement your main overhead lighting, but will more likely be used for decorative effect and to make the room look more inviting.  

Some of Garage Living’s remodeling projects have included adding LED ribbon lighting below slatwall panels to give the wall an even more distinct and appealing appearance. The lighting turns on when the garage door opens and can also be activated with a remote switch. 

A number of other wall lighting ideas could include installing sconces to give the room more ambiance and a different look.

13. Create a mini workspace with a folding workbench

A wall-mounted folding workbench can be useful for a few reasons:

  • if your garage is small and you don’t have the room to set up a larger workspace
  • maybe you will only use a workspace occasionally and don’t want to dedicate too much space to one
  • if your budget can’t accommodate buying a new cabinet system with a work countertop

A workbench that stays folded against the wall until it’s needed gives a garage some extra functionality without having much of a footprint in the room. 

Be sure to invest in a reliable product that is sturdy enough for your needs, has secure safety mechanisms to prevent the workbench from being lowered unintentionally, and provides you with enough surface space to work.

14. Protect your car doors with wall bumpers

wall bumperWe all know how expensive it is to get any sort of auto body repair or touch-up work done, so wall bumpers may be a smart addition to your garage walls.

Wall bumpers will help protect vehicle doors from dings and scratches that occur when entering or exiting your car or truck.

They’re very practical for small garages, especially some older single car garages that are so narrow you wonder how in the world they fit the huge cars made during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. 

The protective bumpers are ideal even for larger garages that have several vehicles being parked in the space.

15. Have overhead storage racks installed

Most of the space in the upper areas of garages is underutilized. To maximize the room’s storage capabilities, you need to take advantage of every possible part of the room, including the upper walls and ceiling space.

Overhead storage racks take care of this. They’re installed on the wall studs and ceiling joists and provide convenient room to store:

  • bulky items
  • things you don’t use regularly (like storage bins with holiday decorations)
  • out-of-season items you don’t want taking up floor space

Our adjustable overhead storage racks are made with heavy gauge steel that can safely support up to 600 lbs and have a powder coated paint finish, so they’re built to last a long time. 

16. Hang garage wall art

performance garage with ferrari wall art

This garage owner’s passion for Ferraris is tastefully reflected in the art on the left-hand side wall.

If you’re going to the time and expense to have your garage remodelled, you’ll want it to reflect your personality.

This can be accomplished a number of ways by adding framed photos or some other type of artwork that reflects one of your passions, whether it’s a car brand, a favorite sports team, or anything else.

For example, the garage pictured above utilizes the Performance theme from Garage Living’s Designer Series. The homeowner drives Ferraris and has a deep passion for the auto brand.

The Ferrari images on the wall, along with the red wall paint and red and black cabinet colors, gives the garage a bold look that beautifully complements the owner’s luxury cars and shows off their love for the automaker. 

The key is to not overdo it with your garage wall artwork. You don’t want the wall to look too busy with a bunch of photos hung up, as that can make the room feel visually cluttered.

17. Add a wall-mounted hose reel

Wall-mounted hose reels are the last of our garage wall ideas. If you have a water connection in the garage, a hose reel installed on the wall is the best way to:

  • keep garden hoses organized
  • extend the life of your hoses
  • keep hoses off the garage floor where they’re a tripping hazard

Invest in a high-quality hose reel, such as the rust-proof aluminum alloy hose reel sold by Garage Living that comes with a 10 year warranty.

This versatile hose reel can be mounted either perpendicular to the wall or parallel to your wall and is the only hose reel on the market specifically designed to allow for either left or right-hand rewinding.

Transform your garage walls and interior

We’ve been making garage interiors across North America look beautiful for a decade-and-a-half and can transform your space with many of these garage wall ideas.

Garage Living will work with you to design a one-of-a-kind garage that looks incredible, operates more efficiently, and improves your home’s comfort level. 

Schedule a free 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 you may be struggling with your sports equipment storage managment

The main reason many garages can’t manage both their sports gear storage needs and general storage needs is simple – they’re using the wrong storage systems.

Or, even worse, there are no practical storage systems being used.

A family of five who all stay active with recreational and organized sports can accumulate dozens of pieces of athletic gear of all sizes.

Take the above photo, for example. Between balls, rackets, bikes, baseball and tennis gear, and winter sports gear, a garage can quickly get overwhelmed by all of the things a family uses for their sports.

Smart, efficient storage systems are essential to help you keep everything organized, easy to find, and clean.

If your garage floor is not exactly a “sports gear-free” zone, here’s a complete guide explaining the do’s and don’ts of sports equipment storage for your garage.

Ditch or donate outgrown and worn-out sports gear

It’s common sense and a simple, fundamental organizing principle that having less to store makes organization easier.

Garages are filled with thousands of pieces of worn-out athletic gear. Kids will sometimes outgrow their sports gear in less than a year.

These things aren’t just needlessly occupying valuable garage space, they could be of great use to someone else, including the less fortunate.

Start your cleanup effort by donating old items that still have some life left in them to any charity that recycles old sports gear.

Another option is to sell your old gear to a used sporting goods retailer like Play It Again Sports.

Add a slatwall storage system

Once you’ve pared down your collection of sports equipment, it’s time to choose the best way to store everything.

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

The key to keeping a garage floor clutter-free is to make use of the available storage space on your walls.

Slatwall panels accomplish this by giving you wall-to-wall storage possibilities using a variety of hanging accessories. Set up zones that keep your sports gear, yard tools, and other items separated and tidy.

This maximizes storage space, keeps things securely in place, and optimizes your garage’s organization capabilities so everything is easy to find.

sports equipment storage messy garage

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

sports equipment storage tidy garage

AFTER: The garage makeover included a new floor coating and slatwall and cabinetry were installed for easy-to-manage storage. Floor clutter be gone!

The storage versatility of slatwall

The beauty of slatwall storage is that its versatility enables your wall panels to essentially be blank canvasses with a limitless number of storage configurations.

Having an ample amount of storage versatility means that you’ll enjoy lots of freedom when hanging your items. Adjusting and moving things around as your storage needs change is no issue.

For example, when one sport is done for the season, its gear can be moved to a less accessible area and replaced with easier to reach equipment for whatever sport is in season.

Making your storage systems as convenient to use as possible can save you hours of time that would otherwise be wasted searching for misplaced items over the course of a year.

Add cabinetry and overhead racks

Supplementing your garage wall storage with a couple of other storage systems will set your garage up as a highly functional space for storing sports gear and a lot more.

A cabinet system can be incorporated into your garage design in order to give you more storage options.

Cabinets can be used to store sports equipment, tools, and valuables or hazardous materials that you need locked up. Visual clutter is eliminated because everything is hidden in drawers and behind cabinetry doors.

Using overhead racking also expands your ability to store things in the garage and, like slatwall, takes advantage of an underutilized part of the garage.

In this case, it’s the garage’s ceiling area that can have heavy-duty racks added for storing bulky and out-of-season items.

The drawbacks of DIY sports equipment storage

Plenty of garages rely on DIY storage systems to store their athletic gear. That may be cost-effective but also has some drawbacks.

First and foremost is the aesthetic downgrade most DIY storage systems add to a garage space.

Very few of the DIY storage ideas you’ll find in garages actually look very good. In fact, many of them look downright terrible.

While looking online, I came across one garage that had a beat-up wooden pallet standing upright and fastened to the wall, with a couple of the pallet’s bottom slats pulled off to allow yard tools to be stored.

Then there was the hammock I saw that was hanging in a garage corner to hold balls and baseball gloves. Needless to say, neither were aesthetically impressive. DIY storage projects also tend to have an inconsistent level of functionality and durability issues.

Aim for something higher than just hammering nails into exposed wall studs for hanging things, or storing yard tools between the studs and nailing a 1 x 3 furring strip to hold everything in.

Slatwall storage doesn’t just allow you to store more efficiently, it makes your garage look better while doing so. Durable PVC slatwall panels add a professional-looking finish to your garage interior.

Color-matched screws and finishing trim, along with powder-coated metal hanging accessories that are all the same color create a clean, consistent appearance.

Now that we’ve established which sports equipment storage systems are most ideal for the garage, let’s address storing specific types of athletic and outdoor activity gear.

Essential bike storage solutions

sports equipment storage 2 bikes hanging on wall

Leaving bikes leaning against the garage wall or with their kickstands engaged in a corner aren’t ideal storage methods.

They’re taking up floor space, can fall over, and are more vulnerable to damage from vehicles entering and exiting the garage.

Instead, use horizontal or vertical wall storage to keep your floor clear and your bikes safer.

Two horizontal bike hooks on your slatwall will store one bike flat against the wall. This means they’ll protrude less into the garage space, but take up more of the slatwall space.

Vertical hanging (pictured left) involves a single point of contact with the bike’s front wheel hanging from a vertical bike hook. This creates a larger profile, as the bike hangs perpendicular to the wall. You’ll have more slatwall hanging space at your disposal, however.

All of your biking accessories like water bottles, helmets and gloves, tire pumps and pressure gauges, spare tires, and repair tools can be kept organized and right beside your hanging bikes on the slatwall.

For large families with a lot of bikes and a bigger garage where available floor space is a non-issue, a sturdy bike rack is another bike storage option.

Football, hockey gear, and other sports apparel

For storing equipment from sports that use a lot of padding (like football and hockey), designate a zone on a slatwall panel to keep everything together.

Use a combination of hooks, baskets, shelving, and a dedicated hanger (like our hockey hanger, which can also be used for football gear and jerseys) for the job.

Other miscellaneous sporting accessories like helmets, elbow and knee pads, skipping ropes, and frisbees can be contained neatly inside a mesh basket or individually hung on hooks.

For storing sports apparel or general outdoor apparel like boots, raincoats, and your gardening shoes, angled wire shoe shelves, and garment hooks can be easily hung wherever you need on the slatwall.

Corral those bats and balls

sports equipment storage soccer ball in ball rackAlong with bikes, those pesky loose balls your kids use for their sports are one of the most common garage floor clutter culprits.

Hanging mesh baskets can hold a bunch of your balls together in one place. Garage Living’s mesh baskets are deep so they can hold more and the see-through design makes finding balls easier.

Sports equipment storage isn’t the only thing hanging baskets can be used for. Gardening accessories and tools, cleaning products, and automotive supplies can also be stored in them.

Another option for storing balls is to use a hanging ball rack that’s conveniently adjustable for balls of various sizes.

Baseball bats are another tripping hazard that don’t belong on the floor. Keep your Louisville Sluggers stored safely with wall hooks.

Racket (and racquet) storage

It’s one of the many oddities of the English language that the main piece of equipment used in tennis is typically spelled “racket”, while “racquet” is used for most of the other, well, racquet sports. But I digress…

Instead of hanging your rackets/racquets on a nail (which isn’t recommended because it stretches the strings), opt for a dedicated tennis racket holder for the wall.

Double hooks can also be utilized for securely hanging your badminton, tennis, racquetball, and squash rackets/racquets in the garage.

The perfect golf gear storage solution

Sure, after finishing playing 18 holes you could just leave your golf bag in your car trunk – but that comes at the expense of leaving trunk space for groceries or other storage needs.

And since most golf bags nowadays stand upright on a floor just fine, you might also wonder why not simply storing it standing up in a garage corner won’t work.

That’s an option, but it comes down to (once again) looking for ways to not take up garage floor space and protecting your investment.

A new golf bag and set of clubs can get pricey. We don’t like their chances when matched against a vehicle that’s backing into a garage if they’re in the blind spot of the driver.

The golf rack pictured below is the perfect golf gear storage solution. There’s room for a couple of golf bags and two pairs of golf shoes.

Cabinetry could also be used by storing your golf bag and equipment behind one of the system’s taller locker-style doors.

Skateboards, roller blades, and scooters

Another rolling floor hazard are skateboards, roller blades, and scooters.

Any number of slatwall hooks can be used to keep them safely out of the way such as J hooks, double hooks, or utility hooks. Hanging shelves could also be used.

For a larger and heavier scooter, a couple of horizontal bike hooks will capably support the extra weight.

Fishing equipment

Any serious angler can accumulate a fair amount of rods and fishing accessories that become difficult to keep organized.

Fishing outerwear like jackets, vests, hats, and waders can be stored on hooks, shelving, or tucked away inside a section of cabinets.

Cabinets could also be used for fishing rod storage and are the best spot in your garage for all of those lures, baits, hooks, floats, fishing line, and other easy-to-misplace small fishing accessories.

Camping gear

Overhead storage racks were made for things like camping gear.

Your camping equipment can even be kept in overhead racking year-round since it tends to be bulkier and some items can be a little trickier to store.

Tents can be stored there separately while cookware, utensils, plates, cups, and camping tools can be kept in labeled storage bins. Because garage cabinets have such storage versatility, your camping gear could also be stored inside of them.

It’s advisable to keep first-aid kits or survival kits stored inside your home, as some of the medical supplies inside them are sensitive to heat and cold.

Sleeping bags should also be stored inside, where they’ll be safe from potential mold caused by excess moisture and pests that may be in the garage.

Cleaning your camping gear and storing it properly will ensure your equipment lasts much longer.

Fitness equipment

Setting up a section of your garage as a workout space makes a lot of sense if you have the room. You’ll save on gym fees and it’s a lot more convenient using the garage to work out than it is to drive to the gym,

As you can see in the picture below, this garage corner is set up as an easy-to-use workout space and can accommodate all of these homeowners’ sports equipment storage needs.

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

sports equipment storage workout gear on garage wall

Water sports and winter sports equipment storage

Winter sports equipment and water sports gear may be used at completely opposite times of the year weather-wise, but they’re actually quite interchangeable when it comes to storing them in the garage.

Using a variety of hooks and shelves to store your gear works, as will cabinets. Double hooks, J hooks, and utility hooks have so many uses, whether you’re storing a long item like a rake or a canoe paddle.

Skis, sleds, and snowboards are just as easy to store in your garage as a kayak, water skis, and your pool and boating gear.

Don’t forget to dry out your athletic gear

sports equipment storage hanging hockey equipmentAllowing your family’s sweaty athletic gear to dry out after being worn is essential for hygiene reasons and to prolong the life of the equipment.

No one wants their kid to be the one on the team other players avoid because their equipment smells so funky!

A standalone equipment drying rack in the garage will work, but using specialized wall hanging accessories (like the hockey hanger pictured) will keep your garage floor free for car parking and other uses.

A mudroom is another ideal space for some of your sports equipment storage and drying-out needs.

Don’t hesitate to use a fan to speed up the drying process if items are particularly damp and need to be worn again the next day.

Take care of your sports equipment storage needs

Being the parents of kids who are active in sports is a significant time commitment.

Why not save yourself from the wasted time that comes from looking for lost items by outfitting your garage with better storage systems?

You’ll appreciate the increased functionality that an organized garage provides and it just may make it a little easier to get your kids to their practices and games on time.

Garage Living will get your garage set up to handle any of your sports equipment storage needs.

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

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Harbor Blue: Garage Living’s Newest Design Color

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

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

Why blue is a great color for your garage

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

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

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

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

The inspiration for Harbor Blue

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

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

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

Your garage is an extension of your lifestyle

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

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

Bring style to your garage through color

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

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

Incorporating Harbor Blue and décor to elevate your garage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Floortex™ floor coating protects your floor

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

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

Task lighting

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

Undermount LED lighting.

Walls and accessories — décor for your garage

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

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

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

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

A welcoming home begins with your garage

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

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The 2 Simple Garage Storage Solutions You’re Completely Overlooking

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 design consultation and one of our design consultants can show you the exciting possibilities for your garage and provide a complimentary garage makeover quote.

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