If you answered “a car”, then congratulations! And if you’re able to say “cars”, then pat yourself on the back.
You’re a rare find. According to the US Department of Energy, 25% of people with a two-car garage don’t park any vehicles inside.
Storage or parking?
For many homeowners, the garage is used for storing extra stuff and junk.
Meanwhile, your second-most important expense (after your home) is sitting in the driveway, or worse, parked on the road.
Leaving your vehicle in the sun, snow, ice, and rain can be hard on the body’ finish. It’s also easier to break into and steal when it’s parked in the driveway or on the street.
When you don’t park your vehicles in the garage, you’re wasting valuable square footage in your home, too.
A typical two-car garage that holds zero cars.
Garage storage wars
What could possibly be more important to store in the garage than a vehicle? A random sampling of neighborhood garages usually reveals that people are using their garage for storing some of these items:
recycling and garbage bins
stuff for the next garage sale that didn’t sell at the last one
bicycles and sporting equipment
seasonal holiday decorations and an artificial Christmas tree
stuff that has needed fixing for years
a freezer or an extra fridge
stuff that didn’t fit in the house and isn’t affected by cold temperatures (and some stuff that is)
camping gear and picnic coolers
What’s missing from this list? The most important thing – vehicles!
The garage purge
If this is your garage, the first thing you need to do is walk in there and take stock of everything. Does it really belong there? Can it go somewhere else, get donated, given away, or thrown out?
If the answer is “no!” it’s time to look at solutions to get your garage organized and maximize your storage space.
Get rid of paint cans
Everyone holds onto old paint cans for touch-ups or simply for reference, but they take up valuable space. Old paint shouldn’t be stored in a garage because they don’t keep well in environments that experience temperature fluctuations.
Use your phone to take a photo of the label of paint you may need in the future. Be sure to include the color code and put a dab on the paint lid for reference.
Gather up all of the empty or partially used cans and take them to a hazardous waste disposal location near you.
If you were to empty all the contents out of your garage, you’d be surprised how even a single-car garage is quite big. That’s because it’s more than just the floor space.
Look up! There’s tons of space to install overhead storage racks. It’s not the solution for storing everyday use items, but it’s great added value when you can tuck things up and out of the way for a whole season. Picnic coolers, seasonal tires, and patio furniture can be stored safely and off your floor.
Now look at the walls. That’s added storage, too. A slatwall system will take most of the “stuff” sitting on your garage floor and allow you to hang it up.
Hanging racks, shelves, and bins come in many different configurations so you can hang small tools, gardening equipment, sports equipment, or even your bikes.
Custom garage cabinetry can hold many types of things behind closed doors. Everything from an artificial Christmas tree to car cleaning and maintenance supplies to power tools to recycling bins are perfect for cabinet storage.
Garage cabinetry and a slatwall system helps to maximize the storage space in this garage.
Now your vehicles have a proper home!
Once you’ve gotten rid of the clutter and your upgraded storage systems are in place, the garage is ready to welcome your vehicles into their rightful home.