Is it Time to Customize and Upgrade your Garage?
Ahh the garage, the place of great joy and great calamity. Is your garage in disarray? Or are you just looking for something new?
So many of us struggle with storage and organization and it shows in most of our garages. Where else are you spoosed to put all that stuff anyway?
My dad is a classic example of this right now, all of his stuff is just in the garage, no rime or reason for it. So I thought I would write an article about customizations and upgrads.
Our Favorite Garage Upgrade
What Kind of Garage do you Want?
I have a single-car detached garage at my home. I also own another house in another town and it has a two-car attached garage. These are very different beasts and require different outlooks on customization, organization and upgrades.
You need to answer this question though…what kind of garage do you want?
Do you just want it to be organized, and clean or do you want something more than that? There are a number of options for upgrades and making a more efficient garage.
The Elephant in the Room
Either way, let’s get the elephant OUT of the room. Do you need to clean, organize and sort?
Most people are in this predicament. They simply have too much stuff and on top of that don’t have the stuff that they need to be stored properly so it’s protected and organized.
There are definite upgrades you can get into, but my recommendation is to first clean, organize and most importantly throw out stuff you don’t use or need.
Organization Probably Needs a Little Joy
I don’t particularly like organizing. I like when it’s done, but the process drains me. If you are anything like me then you need a little something to help you get in the mood. I realize this is a tool, gear and garage website, but sometimes joy is needed. Check out this joy hat, and see if you are inspired to get the organizing done with a little joy instead of dread.
Organization helps maximize you Garage space
If you are going to go down the organization pathway the first thing you need to do is get rid of stuff that you no longer need and then sort out the stuff that you do need to keep. This may take some time and, for some of us it may be a few hard decisions, but you have to ask yourself, “what kind of garage do you want?”
The first thing you should do is get rid of garbage. There’s no doubt that there are some things in your garage that need to either go in the garbage or go to the dump. There are also probably some things that can be donated, or recycled because you will never need them again, or there are broken old electronics.
- Pick a day and make this the only thing you do. Focus on cleaning and getting rid of garbage.
- If it’s just your stuff then get after it, but if it is shared stuff with your partner or family make sure all of the decision makers are there to get the job done. You don’t want to walk away with undecided stuff.
- Usually there are four types of things. Keep, Sell, Donate, trash. Make four piles and start sorting.
- Have you used this in the past year? If your answer is no, then it’s time to get rid of it.
- Sometimes people can struggle with throwing things out, if you are one of these types of people get a friend or family member to help you.
- Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook marketplace actually work and you would be surprised what people will buy.
- Donations are easier these days, think of friends, Value Village and Habitat for Humanity.
- Get some storage bins. Target, Walmart even amazon has great options.
- Label EVERYTHING. After everything is cleaned up you want to be able to keep it that way. Having a system is the best approach. Make sure you label things and create a spot for things that are important.
- Above the overhead garage door is a great place for a storage shelf. We recently just made one for my mom and in the summer she stores her Christmas stuff up there, and in the winter she stores her landscaping tools and outdoor equipment and furniture.
- Consider how often you use things. The broom and hammer probably more often, other things not as much. It is important to have the things you use more often in more prominent places.
- Tools can be a bit of a distraction, we usually don’t always know how to store them and make them the most efficient. Consider asking a person in your life that has a well organized tool shed or garage to help you if you are not sure what to do.
Ok, now that you have cleaned up things, and begun to organize things it’s time to consider what those upgrades might be. Typically upgrades fall into a few categories. They could be an interior renovation upgrade, heating, power, storage and the overhead door.
Interior Renovation Upgrade and Customization Ideas
One of the things that you can upgrade fairly easily is the garage floor. Painting it or doing some kind of epoxy is a great example of something you can do on a weekend, or cheaply get someone else to do. The effects are instant and can really make a garage space shine. Many people opt for doing something with the concrete floor, especially for attached garages.
The overhead door is another really great option for an upgrade. You can upgrade the door itself and get a different colour or exterior finish. You can also upgrade the r-value of the door and get one with better insulation.
The other part of the overhead door you can upgrade is the garage door opener. A garage door opener that works is usually enough for most people, but you can upgrade to a quieter model, a smarter model that connects to your wifi or a faster model for those of us in a hurry.
You can also get a wired garage Best Wired Garage Door Keypad door opener keypad for easy access from outside.
Overhead Storage Solutions
In a garage, there are lots of opportunities for overhead storage solutions.
- Hoist. A hoist is a great idea for heavier things that can be stored out of the way. I used to have two hoists for my PA that I would store. It would connect to the chain attached to the speakers and up it would go. You can get them from most hardware places, personally I like Princess Auto, but you can also get them on Amazon.
- Protip – make sure you are smart about where you install the hoist. Just because it can lift and hold a certain weight doesn’t mean that the screws and structure that the hoist is attached to can hold it. Typically the tear-out amount of a screw is 200 pounds. So make sure you attach it properly for the weight. Or get someone who knows to help you.
- Hooks. Things that hang. Hooks are great for things that you can hang on the walls or from the rafters. So think of bikes, kids toys, ladders, hose, stool with wheels, rope, chairs even summer and winter tires can go up on the right hooks.
- Shelving. Shelving is a great option for smaller things, and things that need to go in bins that can in turn go on the shelves.
- Pulleys and ropes. Many people forget the benefit of pulleys and ropes to get heavy things off the floor and safely stored. They are also cheap and easily installed.
On the Walls
Creating storage and organization upgrades on the walls is pretty easy for most people. Pegboard is a great example of something simple that can be installed and used to organize and store smaller things.
This is one of the upgrades that I am going to be doing this summer, building a workstation/tool bench. I am going to build a bit of storage underneath and a place for me to do my projects. My single car detached garage has just enough room to fit the length of my wife’s car and the workstation in front of it.
There are also folding workstations that you can get now, that fold up against the wall when you park the car inside if your garage isn’t long enough.
A Garage Bar
This may not be one of the first things that you think about when you think about renovating or upgrading your garage, but it could be the next thing you do. The garage at the place we moved into was insulated, sheeted and set up with a TV and stereo. The person before us used it as an extra room for hanging out.
If you want to get serious with it you should run water to the garage, some extra lighting and make sure your wifi extends out as well. Adding a bar so you can drink your favourite moonshine from a distillery like Skunkworks is a great way to give yourself a little extra living space, and a little more fun.
An Inflatable Garage or Extension
Sometimes you need a little more space, or you don’t have a garage at all. You can get an inflatable garage and get more room for additional cars or bikes. If you don’t have a garage or a carport at all these could be helpful.