Any time is a good time to organize your garage to improve its functionality, but fall might be the best time. To help get your storage game dialed in before winter weather hits, we’re taking you through our top 7 fall garage organization tips that you can start today!
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
Our garage serves a lot of purposes. On any given day, it might be a space for woodworking, bicycle repairs, or potting plants. Oh, and if we’re lucky, we also park our car in there! Since the garage needs to act as an efficient workspace when the weather is rough, we also need to be able to keep it relatively clean. This presents a bit of a challenge during Chicago winters when salty sludge tends to cling to everything!
So we tackled our garage blues early this year, and we’ll be much better prepared with a garage designed to stand up to the nastiest weather while remain functional. We found every last organizational tool online at Lowe’s, filled our virtual shopping cart, and I proceeded to act like a child on Christmas morning when the delivery pulled up. Lowe’s to the rescue! Below, I’m sharing the 7 (plus!) ways we’ve prepped for our home’s workhorse for the inevitable winter season.
1| Store Less Stuff
Storage solutions are great, but the easiest way to make more storage space is to store less stuff! It seems simple, yet it remains to be a challenge for us, and maybe you, too? Consider this a friendly reminder to donate or recycle items that are stealing your valuable garage space. Eliminating clutter makes for easier storage and provides easier access to the things that get used frequently.
To make the process of donating unneeded items even easier, we cleared out an entire cabinet so we have a dedicated space to store items until we have enough stuff for a run to the charity shop. (Who else loves an empty cabinet?) We’ve also gotten into the habit of passing things that Lucy has outgrown along to our friends and neighbors with younger kiddos. When we get to keep things out of a landfill and our friends get to save money, everyone wins!
2| Think Vertically
When we reorganized our indoor workshop, we were blown away by the quality of our Gladiator products. This inspired us to outfit almost an entire wall with GearWall panels to allow for tons of modular vertical storage. It’s… beautiful.
Using these bike hooks, we were able to get all of our bicycles up off the floor and within reach:
We also used an assortment of hooks and baskets to hang our outdoor power tools and other gadgets. When organizing the wall, we placed large items near the bottom. Our most-used items are near eye level and rarely-used things are higher up on the wall. The goal is to be able to grab things quickly and easily and the GearWall makes it simple!
3| Look Up!
In addition to the huge amount of vertical wall storage that the GearWall panels allow, we also installed this Fleximounts overhead storage system in the rafters, which, game changer!
This kit offers 32 sq. ft. of deep storage for things we don’t need to access often, but still need to have on hand. It’s currently occupied by our tile saw and the plastic sheeting that we use to protect surfaces during painting and demo. Over the winter, it will likely hold our patio umbrella and outdoor rugs. This clever solution stores an unbelievable amount of stuff!
Pro tip: If you’ll be installing the kit above an area where you park a vehicle frequently, ensure there is enough vertical clearance for rear hatches and roof mounted antennas.
4| Increase Brightness to Increase Productivity
Shorter days will be upon us soon and nothing kills a productive day of projects quicker than running out of daylight! To ensure that we can keep working long after the sun goes down, we installed plug-in LED shop lights throughout the garage.
While we were at it, the one switched light in the space was replaced in favor of this hard-wired LED light. In case we need more concentrated light, this portable Craftsman work light will lend a helping hand! We always say, ‘lighting changes everything’. In this case, even we can’t believe how additional light has improved the usability of the garage! We now have a task light for every quadrant of the garage, including above the workbench. This will come in so handy as the days get shorter.
5| Group Similar Items Together
We’ve always found that the easiest way to access tools and supplies is to store like items together. In the case of the garage, we’ve organized most of our bicycle-related items on the left side of the GearWall. Our pump, hitch mounted bike carrier and helmets all have a dedicated spot to keep them up and out of the way:
6| Store it Behind Closed Doors
In addition to storing like items together on the gearwall, we’ve done the same in our new closed storage cabinets. We’ve swapped out our former open shelving system in favor of two 36″ x 72″ x 24″ Jumbo Gearboxes on the right side of the workbench. These two cabinets contain power tools, car parts, and the covers for all of our outdoor furniture. The elimiation of visual chaos is mind-blowing, like a huge sigh of relief.
To the left of the workbench, we’ve installed one 36″ x 72″ 18″ large Gearbox that holds outdoor and plant-related items like soil, fertilizer and grass seed. We try to avoid making wood cuts inside the closed garage, but it’s sometime inevitable in the winter. Shifting things inside closed storage will keep everything protected from sawdust as well as winter sludge.
7| Wheels + Reels
Heavy items that can’t be stored vertically can benefit from wheeled and/or folding storage. We upgraded to this folding miter saw stand to allow for easy storage under our DIY lumber racks. (There are also a few photos of our garage from waaaaay back in that link. WHOA. We’ve come a long way!) To keep cords off of the floor, we also mounted this retractable cord reel to the central ceiling beam. It’s unbelievable how happy this gadget makes me.
Bonus| Add Some Quirk!
Every room needs a little quirk, a chance for your personality to shine through, and the garage is no exception. If you’re an avid DIYer, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the garage, and we follow this general rule: Add a thing that makes you smile. The quirkier, the better!
Our Lowe’s Picks for an Organized Garage
1. Gladiator Jumbo Gearbox | 2. Kobalt folding miter saw stand | 3. Lithonia plug-in LED shop light | 4. retractable cord reel | 5. portable Craftsman work light | 6. GearWall panels | 7. Gladiator vertical bike hook | 8. Gladiator accessory starter kit | 9. Fleximounts overhead storage system