Garages are easily one of the most neglected spaces in modern houses – if you’re lucky enough to have a garage, chances are you’re not using it properly. Sure, you might park the car in there, toss in your tools once you’re finished using them and stack those garden chairs away in the corner for a sunny day – but what if your garage could give you so much more?
Whether you’re tight on space, or just looking to reorganise some bits and pieces, proper garage storage can transform an overlooked area of the home into a functional room.
We’ve got the lowdown on how to take your garage from cluttered mess to an organisational paradise below.
Why your garage makes an excellent storage space
While they might not seem like the obvious choice for handy storage – garages can be cold and dark, and feel full enough already when your car is parked inside – in reality, your garage is a vast reserve of potential storage space simply waiting to be filled.
In fact, garages can work even better as storage spaces than sheds, thanks to their proximity to your home – they’re usually less damp, too.
What can you store in your garage?
The list of potential items you can store in your garage is vast – just make sure they’re stored properly and safely! Some of the most common items found in garage storage are:
- Tools: they’re best stored in a toolbox or on garage wall storage. Everything from the smallest wrench to the largest rake can be stored away in your garage.
- Outdoor appliances: this includes barbeques, power hoses and lawnmowers.
- Gardening supplies: including anything like gardening soil, grit and gravel, compost – just make sure bags are tightly sealed and not leaking.
- Seasonal items: from summer sun loungers to fake Christmas trees, the garage is an ideal spot for items you don’t use regularly.
- Outdoor toys for kids: goal posts, footballs, paddling pools and more.
- More vehicles! Think bikes, scooters, and skateboards.
- Car accessories, tools and supplies (and your car, of course!)
What can’t you store in your garage?
The number one hazard when it comes to garage storage is pests; it’s far easier for them to infiltrate your garage space than your home, so make sure you don’t store anything that will attract rodents or insects.
- Food of any kind, including pet food. If you have the space and want to store food in your garage, consider installing a second fridge or freezer.
- Books: some insects feast on starches and glue found in books.
- Clothing, duvets, rug and any other textiles: they provide nesting, chewing and feeding grounds for insects and rodents alike, and can get mouldy over time.
- Toys: they present similar hazards as clothing, and are prone to mould and mildew.
- Electronics like computers or tablets: they can get easily damaged by the cold, and wires present a chewing opportunity for rodents.
- Hazardous materials.
Garage storage 101
So now you have an idea of what to keep in your garage, how do you store it properly?
It largely depends on the size of your space, exactly what you want to store and your budget, but we have a few clever tricks up our sleeves when it comes to garage storage ideas. Read on for inspiration.
There are a few basic things to have in order when converting your garage to a storage space. Your garage should be:
- Well-insulated and dry.
- Well lit.
- Easily accessible.
Once those ducks are in a row, you can get started with building your garage storage. We recommend taking these first steps before adding in any storage:
- Clear everything out of your garage. Leave the space as empty as you can; Nesta can help by providing a safe space to store your stuff!
- Do a pre-emptive spring clean. Get rid of anything you know you don’t want to keep.
- Sort your belongings into categories: ‘garden, vehicle, DIY and seasonal’ is a good place to start.
- Measure the space. You’ll need dimensions for choosing shelving, cabinets or even boxes. You should also measure the space your car takes up, if you park it in your garage.
With those steps done, you’re good to go! Time for some stellar garage storage ideas.
What type of storage should you get?
From ready-made modular storage systems to low-budget DIY solutions, there are plenty of options out there. We’ve rounded up a few tried and tested garage storage ideas.
Shelving in your garage is a great way of incorporating some extra storage space whilst leaving the floor space free. Built-in or freestanding metal shelves lining the walls of your garage will give ample room for storing smaller items, and make sure to leave plenty of space between the bottom shelf and the floor for tucking larger items underneath, like bags of soil or outdoor appliances.
Garage wall storage
Another clever way of maximising storage space in smaller garages is to make the most of your wall space. Peg boards are perfect for storing tools and smaller items safely (in fact, having your tools stored up high on the wall eliminates any risk of young kids reaching them, too). Slatted walls can also work well; use S hooks, hanging baskets and brackets for storing your stuff.
Alternatively, a simpler option is to drill some brackets directly into the wall – you can use them to hang baskets, tools, rakes and brooms or even store skateboards!
You can also choose to build in vertical garage wall storage racks for bikes to keep them off the floor and free up extra space!
If you’re serious about storage and looking for a long term solution, investing in a cabinet system is a wise move. Opt for a combination of closed cabinets and open shelving for maximum functionality – you can store away delicate or infrequently used items behind closed doors, and keep daily items within grabbing reach on shelves.
Benches and tables
Narrow work benches and tables tucked against a wall in your garage can make for excellent temporary storage solutions and gardening or DIY stations alike – make use of the space underneath by storing bags and boxes underneath.
If your space (or budget) is particularly tight, stacking boxes are a quick and easy garage storage idea. Opt for airtight plastic boxes that stack easily, fill em’ up, and tuck them away in the corner where nobody will trip over them.
How to organise your garage storage
Installing your storage solution is one thing: organising it is another kettle of fish entirely! Follow our top tips for how to organise garage storage and you’re on the right track.
On their own, on shelves, in cabinets, under benches: boxes are a must when it comes to organising your garage storage. Boxes will keep your precious belongings clean and dry, in one place, and best of all – plastic boxes are rodent and insect-proof.
We like stackable plastic boxes best when it comes to garage storage; look for models with clip on lids to stop young kids getting their hands on tools, soil or other hazardous items! Opt for a variety of sizes to store away everything from tennis balls to garden hoses.
Keep items together in their respective categories; gardening supplies and tools stored on and around a workbench, household tools on a pegboard, vehicles on another wall and seasonal items in one corner, for example. It’ll make finding that one thing you desperately need so much faster, and make sure items go back in an organised manner once you’re done with them.
Keep important items within reach
Make sure anything that gets daily use is easily accessible for those using it. Kids bikes and skateboards should be within their reach; tools you use on a daily base shouldn’t be tucked away at the back of a shelf.
Slap a sticker listing the boxes’ contents on each box front – that way you won’t waste any time rooting through them looking for that one elusive item when you simply can’t remember where you’ve put it.
Clear it out regularly
A good spring clean once or twice a year will make sure your garage storage stays neat and tidy, and doesn’t become cluttered with items you weren’t bothered disposing of or storing away properly.
There you have it: knowing how to organise garage storage is actually pretty simple! If you need a little more help on the path towards creating functional, enjoyable garage storage, Nesta is here to help: our storage units provide ample space to securely store your belongings while you get sorted at home.