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  • Writer's pictureThe True North Handyman

Garage Storage Hacks, Tips, and Tricks to Save & Create Space

This week I was speaking with a client about creating more space in the garage. Like so many of us, the homeowner had started moving summer stuff back into the garage for the winter was found that space was lacking in a major way.

The patio furniture, the umbrella or gazebo, the planters, the lawnmower and weed-whacker, the fire table, the garden hose... all of these will need a home for the winter.

As many of us will be heading outside over the next few weekends to do the same thing, I thought about how we're all stuck playing Tetris with our summer stuff as soon as the weather turns. So, what can you do about it? You're not going to toss that stuff and buy new next year, so you have to put it all somewhere.

Cue the top garage storage hacks, tips, and tricks...

First things first...

First Steps...

Don't put anything in until you know what can come out. I can pretty much guarantee you've got some odds and ends hanging around, taking up space, that can come out. With space at a premium, get rid of that stuff first. Maybe it's old camping gear you won't be using. Perhaps it's leftover building materials from last years renovations. Whatever the case may be, get that stuff out of the garage (but wait! Don't toss it just yet).

Next, make a plan. Think about everything you need to fit in that space and consider where you're going to put everything. It's always best to be prepared, after all.

Finally, make sure you move anything that will need to come out over the winter to the front. Make space near the entryway to keep this stuff so it's easy to get at when you need it. All of our holiday decorations are in the garage, and I can tell you I always curse when it comes time to dig them out!!

Now, once that's done, it's time to make use of those handy garage storage hacks...

Top Garage Storage Hacks, Tips, and Tricks

When it comes to garage storage hacks, tips, and tricks, these are the best around. And no, you don't need to spend a ton of money or time getting them hammered out.

1. Shelves, shelves, shelves. As far as tips and tricks, shelves are a no brainer. Seriously, a few shelves for storage can make a world of difference. But they don't have to be fancy, or costly. A little hammering and nailing with some of that leftover wood can yield a lot of space. Use what you have, or grab some scrap to get together some quick shelving.

If your garage has bare wall studs, take advantage of all that glorious storage space by installing small shelves between the studs.

Tip: for smaller items, sliding baskets can easily use up the space beneath a shelf - which is great for keeping things organized.

2. Labels are Your Friend. Do you rely on plastic totes to keep your things safe int he garage? A lot of us do. But what happens when you've stored everything away neat and tidy and then need to find something 3 months from now. Repeat after me: label everything.

3. Pallet Project? Have you ever looked at a discarded wood pallet and thought, hmm, storage? Probably not, but you should!

How much space so all the hangable items take up on the floor? Shovels, rakes, brooms, even sports equipment. Think about it.

Rearranging a few slats and adding some hanging solutions from the dollar store can get even more off the ground. That floor space is valuable real estate!

4. Bike Storage. When it comes to storing bicycles, our go-to is usually leaning them up against another item and hoping for the best. Remember, once stable, try not to move or even breath on them.

All jokes aside, a few hooks on the walls or attached to the beams in the room/ceiling can get your bikes up off the floor and out of the way, making a ton of room for other stuff.

Speaking of the ceiling...

5. Go High. Dropdown shelving suspended from the ceiling is an ideal solution for creating more space. And this is especially handy for bigger, bulkier items that don't get used often, like a tent, hammock, or outdoor furniture.

6. Canning Anyone? Start saving those plastic jars right now! Seriously.

By simply screwing the lids to the underside of shelving you create the perfect storage solution for all those small items that make a garage unorganized and a workbench messy!

7. Reuse What You Can. We said not to throw anything away just yet at the beginning. And here's why. There's a good chance some of that stuff you initially saw as junk could come in handy. Plus, reusing it keeps it out of the dump!

For example, old planters or pails can be hung on that pallet for containing and organizing small stuff. Or, use old bungie cords, lengths of rope, or even old chains to secure messy extension cords and hang them on a hook. Old PVC pipe can be cute to organize tools and attached to your tool bench. Anything that saves space, even a tiny amount, is a win.

With a little extra thought and planning, getting that summer gear into the garage can be way easier (and far less headache-inducing).

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