Garage Storage: The Essentials
The garage has all sorts of functions in a home. Storage is commonly used in a garage, and there are many ways you can utilize this space.
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A garage is the perfect home for all sorts of items and activities: from storing sporting equipment to tools and machines, car parking, a home-office, gym or a workshop. If your garage is only used for storage rather than other activities, it may need some shelves for organization.
The Basics of Garage Shelves
Usually garage shelves can be found in two main forms: site-built and prefabricated. Site-built shelves are usually less expensive and allow you to adapt the sizes to the space available. You can find everything that you need at the local home centre, lumber yard, discount store or hardware store.
One of the basics of the garage shelves is made of a simple piece of plywood or a length of 1x or 2x lumber on a set of heavy-duty shelf brackets. This is mounted by attaching the brackets to the studs directly using long screws then by attaching the shelf to the brackets. To strengthen the shelf you can add a brace at each stud.
Other Types of Shelves
Another type of shelves are the floor-supported ones. One method is to run vertical 2x4s every 50 inches and resting them on the floor and attach them to the rafters or ceiling joists at the top. In addition, the 2x4s are run horizontally on edge between the uprights then a particleboard is used to create the shelve. The most commonly used dimensions are 19-25 inches for depth and the spacing between 2x4s is usually on 25 inches but of course, these sizes can be changed to accommodate the size of the items that you are storing.
For storing small items, you should take into consideration the space between the studs. These spaces are great for jars, cans and bottles and also for other small and light items. The small shelves are great for organizing and storing screws and nails.
The best choice when building prefabricated garage shelves is steel shelving. Plastic shelving may be enough for storing lightweight items, but in time you may need something more
resistant for storing heavier items. One disadvantage of the steel shelving is that they cannot be cut to size so they have standard widths, depths and heights. As a result, you have to choose something that fits within your available space.
Adjustability is another important consideration in prefabricated shelving. Prefabricated shelves should be adjustable to at least two different locations within the shelving framework. Also, the pins for adjusting should be heavy duty and have something in place for preventing them from working loose or becoming accidentally dislodged.
Another thing to be taken into consideration when opting for prefabricated shelves, especially those designed for heavy loads – these may require a wall attachment or other support against tipping.
One of the most important storage areas of a home is the garage. Because the space it offers is limited, it should be used efficiently. The garage is a prime candidate for storage improvements. There are many options for improving the storage in your garage.
A Guide to Storage
One of the options is to buy a modular storage kit. This can have parts and components that you can mix and match together and can solve many storage problems. Another option would be to build your own storage solution. If you have too many items that you keep in your garage, a modular storage kit cannot provide you the needed solution. The improvements made to your storage may help you reduce clutter, store seasonal items in a more conveniently way and improve organization.
Cabinets, shelves, wall-mounted racks and plastic containers are the most popular types of garage storage and organization solutions. Cabinets work well for protecting their contents from moisture and dust. Shelves save space more efficiently but the most affordable solution are the wall-mounted racks. Clear plastics containers help you to store several items and allow you to see the contents.
The garage can be a place that tends to be disorganized; however the sooner you get organized, the sooner you can make better use of that space. Organizing your garage can be a tiresome task for many homeowners. When you think about organizing your garage, you should keep in mind that this activity means to find a designated place for everything while keeping your goods available for everyday use. The following five steps compromise a simple system for garage organization.
Sort your garage items.
First of all, sort and categorize all the items in your garage. For this, you should empty your garage and start sorting everything into categories. Separate the tools from sporting equipment, electric tools, and anything else. You will realize how much stuff you have and then you will be able to determine the best ways to organize and store everything. Misplaced items in your garage should be returned to their proper place. Also, you should sort the things that should be in the garage from the things that should actually be in the basement, attic or better, sold at a garage sale. Remember to recycle everything that you decide to throw away.
Separate seasonal items and equipment.
A special rack should be installed to hang lawn maintenance tools and to keep them accessible and out of the way. Also, the items for warm seasons should be stored in a special cabinet. Near the beginning of every season, you should plan this activity and rotate the cold and warm items places in the cabinet. For the other sporting equipment, shelves and drawers should be designed.
Additional shelving and cabinets.
While organizing, you should consider adding additional garage storage space to help you maintain the organization. Shelves and cabinets should be mounted on the walls – the basic principle is to store the items that you use on a regular basis in a way that makes them accessible every time you need them.
Create efficient working area.
Installing a bench or a table would be a good choice if you use your garage as a workshop. A sturdy tool chest and a pegboard are great in storing your tools and keeping them easily accessible.
Relocate trash and recycling bins nearby the garage.
To easily dispose unwanted items from your garage, it is suggested to relocate the trash and recycling bins near to your garage entrance. This way you won’t be tempted to keep certain items because the trash bins are too far away.
Now would be the time to hire a handyman to have cabinets, closets and shelves built right into your garage. Invest in some good storage units as described before and start organizing, sorting and storing.