Saving Space 1: Making Your Garage Work for You
If you were to look up the definition of garage it will say that it is a building used to house a car, truck, etc. and it will say a place used to repair vehicles. But a home that has a garage has many more uses for it than just storing your car. In fact, some people don’t even park their car in the garage as they have made a different use for the space instead. Before you decide what you want to do with your garage you need to figure out which type you have.
An attached garage is one that is attached to your home or a part of it. Most of these have a doorway that leads right into the house, but not always. Sometimes you still need to come out of the garage and go into the house a different way. Since they are attached they are right next to the house, typically blending in with it.
A detached garage is one that is a separate part of the house, it will sit apart from it. Sometimes this type of garage is farther behind the house with a long driveway, or it could still be next to the house with a side door, and another side door into the house. It could be in front of the house and you walk behind it to get to the house or it could be further to the side. There are many different designs for a detached garage and they can get quite elaborate in detail.
Your personal garage whether it is attached or not is all for you to use as you see fit. Some people use it strictly for storage and others use it as a work station. Some even use theirs as extra living space. (Before you do this yourself be sure and make sure it is zoned properly and that you have the right permits.) No matter how you use the space the better organized it is the better you will be able to make use of the space. Here are several examples of what you can use the space for and how you can improve it.
What the garage was actually designed for is to store a vehicle, more if it is a double or triple door garage. Even a garage that is meant to hold one car or truck has extra room in it, as you have to be able to get out of the vehicle and exit the garage, which means there is extra space that you can use for storage without impeding your car. Consider the corners of the garage, you can easily place storage containers there, or even build a corner cabinet that can hold automotive supplies. Overhead steel racks are a great way to store boxes, especially if you drive a car where you have plenty of head room in the garage. A large rack can easily hold several boxes allowing you to place seasonal decorations, luggage, camping gear and more. Depending on the garage door there is generally space to the side of it, and rolling storage containers make a great addition, allowing you to place garden tools or a rolling toolbox out of the way. Consider building cabinets, even if they are higher as it makes use of the space.
Workshop / Hobby Shop
If you have a large driveway and there is no need for you to park your car in the garage, it can be a great place for a workshop, hobby shop or craft area. You will want to build or have someone build cabinets, drawers and maybe even racks so you can store everything you want to use, keeping it organized in a way that works for you. A large table can easily fit, since it was built to hold a car. Or if using it for woodwork you can place all types of saw tables where they work best for you. If you prefer to rebuild cars this is a great place to store the equipment, even those large items that can pull an engine out. For a hobby shop or craft area, consider rolling storage containers that will give you better access to what you want to have close at hand. Tools have rolling cabinets and they make use of them when working on cars so why can’t you with crafts?
When storing seasonal boxes, it is best to put the items that are packed away into color coded totes or containers. These can be found in most bulk stores and you can pick the same colors for the holiday they belong to, making it easy to find later. (Of course this only works if the right items are packed into them so watch what the kids if they do the packing.) You can choose orange and black for Halloween, brown for Harvest, and red and green for Christmas. If you want to use plain cardboard boxes, consider using color coded tape to seal them with or even labels in the holiday colors saving you time the next year. Keep like items together, such as camping items and sports equipment.