Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place

Finding Space Harmony within Your Garage
Do you find yourself doing a “dance” every time you step foot in your garage? Shimmying past bikes, hopping over boots, sliding into your car through a narrowly opened door? If you’d rather save your dance moves for date night, maybe it’s time for a garage storage makeover.
Here at Imagine Storage Solutions, we have encountered all types of garage storage dilemmas: limited space, too many toys, hoarder purgatory. You name it, we’ve seen it. We’d like to share our experiences with you to help you get started with your own garage storage makeover.
Here’s a proven approach:
  • 1. CLEAN IT OUT. Pick a weekend when you know the weather will cooperate. Consider renting a storage pod, especially if your project requires longer-term storage.
  • 2. SORT IT OUT. Make three piles: Keep, Donate and Trash It. Be diligent. If the kids can’t part with some of their toys, provide incentive. Let them know there are children out there that would love to receive the gift of a well-loved toy. Remember if you donate your items to a charity, it can be itemized as a tax write-off. Lastly, if you haven’t used something in a year, pitch it. You won’t miss it. The 50-50 Rule applies: most likely only about half of what you have in your garage right now is necessary and of value to you.
  • 3. PLAN IT OUT. Take a look at your newly cleaned space. Imagine how you want to use this space. Consider all the planes of your garage: ceiling, walls and floor. Consider the traffic flow from the car to the house, from the work bench to the refrigerator. How does your garage space get used? Most flat and long items such as ladders, rakes, shovels and brooms are best suited for wall hanging. Larger items like bikes and luggage are best stored in a ceiling rack. Using a sheet of graph paper or a simple software program can help keep your dimensions in perspective. Start to layout your garage zones keeping ease of access to your cars as a priority.
  • 4. ENVISION YOUR ZONES. Categorize what gets used often versus items that are more seasonal. Place your zones appropriately, allowing frequency of use to determine locations. Here are some ideas for your zones:
  • a. Workbench Zone – If you are fortunate enough to have a workbench zone, you’ll want to keep it organized. Space is a premium in these areas. Use clear, small bins for hardware, hooks for tools, wire bins for lubricants and chemicals, and cabinets for blades and other items that need to be locked away. We recommend the HandiWALL® slatwall system because it is flexible. It can easily accommodate additional shelves, hooks, and cabinets as you add to your tool collection. Considering storage systems that grow over time is a smart investment in your livelihood or hobby.
  • b. Garden Zone – In different regions, gardening is a seasonal past time. Shelving and cabinets to store pots, baskets, and liners are a great way to optimize your space. Large hooks are necessary to store weed-wackers, chain saws and other small yard appliances. Smaller hooks and bins can be used to store gardening tools, hoses, extension cords and trellises when not in use. Fertilizers and pesticides are best stored higher, and/or enclosed in a cabinet away from children and pets.
  • c. Toy and Kids Zone – Many garages fall victim to the smallest members of a household. Toys and sports gear can take up precious garage space. There are very clever accessories to keep balls, rackets, fishing poles and more in their place. The HandiNET is a novel way to keep soccer balls, basketballs, footballs and volleyballs at bay. The net attaches to the wall, pulling the balls up against the wall keeping the space open and passable. When it comes to kids, the garage may have to do double-duty, especially in the absence of a mudroom. Placing hooks for coats and backpacks, and mats for boots and shoes, by the garage door becomes a must.
  • d. Recycle Zone – Installing a recycle bin on the wall is a great space saver. Think of separate bins for your different types of recyclables. e. Clean-up Zone – Life is messy. Clean-ups are inevitable. Think of creating a clean-up zone with spray cleaners and de-greasers that help with the projects that take place in the garage. A paper towel dispenser is convenient, too. If you work with chemicals often in your garage, you may want to install an eye wash station in case of an emergency.
  • 5. START YOUR STORAGE TRANSFORMATION. Installing a slatwall system is certainly a DIY project for any handyman or woman. With proper planning, it’s easy and fast. But if you prefer having the hardware installed by a professional, look into finding a local installer or handyman. Slatwalls do not have to cover the entire wall. They can be installed around cabinetry, or installed in smaller “picture frame” areas to ease the budget or accommodate a sleek design. Also, consider labeling your bins and storage areas. It serves as a reminder for the “organizationally challenged” members of the family.
  • 6. SAFETY. SAFETY. SAFETY. It is worth another mention that you can never be too careful in the garage. Many garage accidents are preventable with a little planning. Again, chemicals, fertilizers, anti-freeze and driveway salt should all be well out of the reach of children and pets. Blades and other sharp items should also be stored and, if possible, locked away. Also be aware of items that can topple onto children. Ladders and bikes especially should be well secured on hooks or pulley systems.
  • 7. DON’T FORGET THE FLOORS. There are excellent garage flooring options available that won’t break the budget. Corrosive materials like oil, antifreeze, and salt can damage your concrete garage floors. Protecting from stains, corrosion and wear is wise choice. Options include tiles, mats and polyaspartic rapid-set liquid coverings. The colors and designs are limitless and the result is a durable and attractive floor.
So if you’re tired of “dancing” around the garage, consider these steps and recommendations. We wish you best of luck creating storage harmony within your garage.

No comments:

Post a Comment