First Time Garage Owners (Part 2)

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4 Tips for Storing Stuff in Your Garage


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When you first have a garage you never realize how much space you now have.  Sure, you need to park your car in there, but there is still room for more.  This means all that stuff you had in storage might now fit into the garage, or at least give you room to better organize what you already have.  And it means you can now do something with the extra space you now have.

(I went from a tiny apartment, where to save money on storage fees we stored everything in the bedroom closets, up high or under the clothing.  All of that now goes in the garage making it easier to get to things such as clothes and shoes rather than trying to dig through everything.)  This article is a helpful guide to setting up your garage for the first time, in using it for storage as well as parking your car in it.  It gives you some options on how you want to set up your garage, and still be able to use it too.

Standing Storage Racks

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Depending on what you are storing and how often you want access to it, standing storage racks could be a method for you to try.  These racks are metal and depending on the type you choose, can be sturdy and hold a lot of weight.  You can find them at most hardware stores, and they range in size, shape and sturdiness.  I recommend something thick and solid with the shelving set where you want it.  The best are the tall ones with three shelves, one on the bottom, the middle and the top or near the top.  This gives you plenty of room to store stuff, allowing you to put the items you access the least at the very top and out of the way.

There are racks of various sizes and shapes, allowing to organize by height, by weight.  You can get steel shelves like the type used in the backroom of retail stores.  These are built to last, but can stretch your wallet too.  Metal shelving can run as little as a $100 for a sturdy size rack to $500 for something strong, and big.

Ceiling Storage Racks

These creative storage solutions offer a way to keep your items out of the way since you might not use them often.  If you have some strong wood beams in your garage this is a solution that will organize and store items out of the way, freeing up space in your garage.  They attach to the beams above your vehicle and allow you to store small boxes, totes and luggage in places that you never thought of.  To get them down though, you will need to move the car out of the garage, so there is a small downside to the solution.

The plus side though is it puts things out of the way, and out of harm from your car if you pull in too far.  The have a slant to them so nothing store in them can slide out.  (This is of course if they are installed correctly.)  Getting a set of these can run $100 to $300, with $140 being the average that I’ve seen.

Colored Storage Totes

This is my current solution, although after the holidays that could change.  After years of searching through totes to find the right holiday decorations, I started to get colored totes to keep track of what was what.  I use orange and black totes for Halloween, Purple for Easter, and Red and Green for Christmas.  For anything else that is not holiday themed I use either clear or blue totes.  All of these totes are stackable, making them secure when they are stacked together.  They are all the same size so there are no variations, although that does happen if you don’t get them all at the same place.  I suggest sticking to the same size as the colored totes, or create separate stacks of totes.  I stack all my holiday themes together, with items that I keep in storage and hardly use, or touch stacked on the bottom.  You can even label your totes if it helps you keep track, such as when you have a lot of seasonal items.  We have indoor and outdoor decorations, so we took a black marker and wrote and O and an I on specific totes to keep track of what is going where.


This is where it can get a little tricky.  It all depends on the size of your garage.  If you have a wide garage you can place all the totes on one side of the garage and still allow room to get out.  If your car is longer than it is wider such as mine, you place the totes towards the front of the garage, so you pull the car in with them in front.  Be sure and know your measurements so you don’t hit the totes when you pull in, damaging the contents in them.  Make sure any totes that are labeled are facing where you can see them.  If your car pulls into the garage close to the totes, be mindful of the heat from your engine as it could also damage the contents.

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