I've got a multi-car garage but only one vehicle can fit in the cluttered space. Which is how I know it is time to get organized and use the garage walls to my advantage. That means investing in some shelving - and lots of it - to house the tools, decorations, cleaning supplies and other odds and ends currently taking up the garage floor space.
Adding shelving units is the ideal way to maximize the space in your garage, and you can build your own to cut down on costs. Here's how:
Get crafty with two-by-fours
Store-bought units can be pricey, so use wood beams to create your own shelves as a budget-friendly alternative. The best part is that you can customize the unit to the dimensions that work best for your garage space.
Find plans online to use as guides for your project. Modern Builds, for instance, drafted a scalable plan for do-it-yourself garage shelving made with particle board sheets, two-by-fours and deck screws. You'll need miter and circular saws, plus a drill to build a shelving unit from those materials. Don't forget a stud finder to locate where it's safe to secure your unit to the wall, as well as a level to ensure your handiwork is perfect. Additionally, avoid installing shelves in places that will make it hard to access the main circuit breaker or furnace if this equipment lives in your garage.
Remember that shelf depth is an important consideration, as shelves need to be slim enough to make sure everything is accessible and to allow room for cars, but also sturdy enough to hold tool boxes and standard storage containers. Popular Mechanics suggested a depth of 16 inches, and three support brackets per shelf to handle the weight.
BobVila.com found a genius way to repurpose old or unused rain gutters into wall-mounted shelving units. Simply secure the gutters to your shelving unit frame, and then you can fill the rounded bases with tubes and bottles for easy access.
Mount storage cubes
You know those storage cubes often used to organize kids' toys, games, DVDs and other household goods? You can mount them on your garage wall as cubby shelving. Keep some as open shelves or use baskets and storage bins in the cubbies to house items that you don't need on a regular basis. Add labels on the outside of the containers to keep track of what's in them.
Suspend the shelves
Create more storage space with plywood shelves that suspend from the ceiling. You can create the entire unit out of wood - or secure a wood plank with chains and hooks. While these shelves are ideal for filling unused space above the garage door, be careful to leave enough clearance for vehicles people walking under and consider how much weight you put on the shelves. Family Handyman suggested 16 inches of clearance for a shelf made to hold standard-sized storage bins, and noted that an average 4-foot by 6-foot shelf can hold about 160 pounds safely.
Add hooks for hanging
Some tools and supplies store better in a hanging position, so feel free to add hooks to your DIY shelving solution. Head to your local home improvement or hardware center to find affordable yet sturdy hooks to hold items like hoses and brooms. Another option is to drill a series of holes along the edge of a wooden board to create a semi-circle that can hold yard tools such as rakes and shovels. Family Handyman also suggested using scrap lumber to create useful brackets on the wall. Attach two of those brackets directly across from each other and you'll have a handy place to hang your lawn chairs.
Every time you press your garage door opener, you'll reveal a beautifully organized space that fits all of your cars, tools, supplies and storage boxes with room to breathe. Show it off to the neighbors - your hard work deserves the praise!