The garage isn’t always the first space that we think of when preparing the home for potential buyers or when selecting a new home. However, it’s an essential part of our lives since it serves as the main storage space for our gear, tools, vehicles, and other items.
The most important thing in a garage is the amount of space it offers. Organizing helps showcase that space and makes your garage an added selling point.
Here are some of the top things you can do that make the biggest difference in opening up that floor space and making your life easier.
Garage Organization – Put the Bikes Up
Outdoor hobbies vary from family to family, but biking remains to be the third most popular outdoor activity, right behind running and fishing. If you’re among the tens of millions of bikers in the U.S., then you may have a few bikes taking up space in your garage.
There are a ton of different systems out for storing your bike, whether it’s on the wall, on a standing rack, or suspended from the ceiling. What matters is choosing one that works for you. Will you put the bike back up on a suspended ceiling system after each time you’ll use it? Does your wall have enough space to hang your bike on it?
Once the bikes are off the floor, you won’t believe how much space that alone can open up for you. One bike rack can mean the difference of storing your car in the garage or not.
Categorize and Label Everything
In my experience, searching for belongings in the garage can take up to half an hour. The garage is a large space that can get out of hand quickly if we don’t keep up with it.
Categorizing your belongings and labeling the bins they are stored in doesn’t eliminate the searching entirely, but it can drastically reduce the time it takes to find them.
Keep Your Tools Together
Tools can end up in different bins across the garage because some of them have different uses. The truth is, there are countless projects that need a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, you name it. This is why it’s better to keep them all together. You’ll only need to go to one spot in the garage when you need a tool, instead of finding the electrical box to grab the pliers, the car maintenance bin for the wrench, and so on.
Store Items in Season Within Reach
When the items you use daily are easily accessible, you don’t need to make a mess of getting out the ladder or moving things out of the way to get to them.
Frequently used items can change depending on the season. For items you use daily or weekly, keep those on the shelves that are easiest to reach and don’t store them up high. For the holiday season, keep the boxes for home decorations within arm’s reach. Then move them back up top once the season changes. This makes keeping up with organizing painless and reduces clean up time.
Put Your Ceiling Space to Use
The best way to de-clutter floor space is by hanging long-term storage and bulky items from the ceiling, like holiday decorations, kayaks, and camping supplies. This opens up a lot of floor space to fit your cars or showcase the available space in the garage to prospective home buyers.
Inspect Your Garage Every 4 Months
The garage isn’t always a high maintenance space, but for many of us, it can get out of control pretty quickly. No matter how frequently you use your garage, it benefits greatly from spring cleanings and other periodic cleanings. Each season has different equipment and belongings specific to that time of year. Rakes in the fall, skis in the winter, pool toys in the summer, and camping gear in the spring are a few examples.
Evaluate your things and see what needs to be tossed out and what needs to be re-organized to allow for better access to them that season.
Plan a Storage Layout with Your Vehicles in Mind
Sometimes using the garage as a storage space makes us lose sight of one of its primary roles – a place to keep the car safe.
When re-organizing your garage or planning the garage storage layout in a new home, always factor in the dimensions of your vehicle and at least two to three feet of additional clearance on each side. This way, your belongings won’t stand in the way of getting in and out of your car.
If You Haven’t Used It in the Past Year, Toss It Out
If you haven’t used any items this year, are you sure you will use it next year? Your periodic cleaning and re-organization is a perfect time to sell, donate, and toss anything you haven’t used in over a year. Doing this one thing makes every other task on this list significantly easier for you.
Clean the Floor
Our standards for cleanliness for a garage floor are lower compared to any floor inside the house. However, garages can quickly accumulate dirt, dust, bugs, oil stains, and trash that falls out of the bins.
Your home’s resale value is helped immensely by keeping it clean, and the garage is no exception. If you don’t have them already, a push broom, pressure washer, and de-greaser are all things to put on your shopping list for this task.
Though this list is extensive and might be intimidating for some homeowners, doing just some of the simple things on it will pay off. Even if it’s simply de-cluttering and moving belongings off the floor.
Michael Nokes works for Optimal Garage Storage Solutions, a garage storage and organization company in Fresno. He enjoys organization, home improvement, and following the latest in business and market news.