Category: Home Ownership article

Garage Upgrade Ideas

From spring cleaning to renovation projects, use these ideas to optimize your garage space.

Whether you just moved into a new home, are knee-deep in spring cleaning or are considering a home renovation project, you may be thinking about how to make the most of your garage space.

80% of homebuyers list garage storage as one of the most desirable features in a new home.1

 

From adding a functional workspace to reclaiming your parking spot, these tips and garage storage ideas can help get you started.

Where Do I Start?

As with any home improvement project, the best place to begin is with cleaning. First, sort all of the items in your garage into one of five categories:2

  1. Keep
  2. Upcycle
  3. Throw Away
  4. Recycle
  5. Donate

With the items you’re keeping or improving, start thinking about organization and consider which items should be stored together.

60% of people report feeling less stressed in a clean environment.3
80% of people report feeling more relaxed in a clean environment.3

 

Next, move everything out of the garage so you can clean and sweep the entire space, especially the nooks and corners you can’t usually reach. You may also want to consider giving the walls and/or floors a fresh coat of paint.4

How Do I Make The Space Multipurpose?

The right storage is the ticket to a multipurpose garage. In most cases, investing in a variety of storage options can help make the most of your space. Additionally, you’ll want to consider how often you use your gear and tools, and make sure the things you need most frequently are easily accessible.5 Depending on your space and needs, here are a few options to consider for a multipurpose garage:

Wall-mounted Storage
Keep the floor clear of clutter by installing wall-mounted storage. Tool tracks, hooks, pegboards, magnetic strips, wall panel systems and shelves can make great homes for items large and small.6 Hang bikes, paddles and surfboards on wall-mounted racks.7

Ceiling-mounted Storage
For items that you don’t use often, such as holiday decorations, ceiling-mounted storage can be a great solution. If your garage has a high ceiling, try hanging racks to hold storage bins, ladders, seasonal sporting equipment and more.7
Functional Workstation
To make your space more versatile, bring in a freestanding table with drawers or some low cabinets topped with a sturdy counter to use as a workstation. The drawers or cabinets can hold your tools and supplies.8 Upcycle jars to store screws, nails and other small items.9

Locked Cabinets
If you have chemicals like paint, pesticides, motor oil, antifreeze or gas in your garage, it’s wise to invest in a locked cabinet. This will keep potentially toxic items out of reach of children and pets.10
How Can I Improve The Lighting In My Garage?
LED lightbulbs are an eco-friendly choice for garages of all sizes. They produce light with about 90 percent more efficiency than standard compact fluorescent lighting or incandescent lightbulbs, potentially lowering your electric bill.11 LED lightbulbs cost more than other options, so you’ll want to factor that into your garage remodel budget. Since they last about 25 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs, however, you’ll likely save money over time.12

Garage Storage Solutions

1. Repurpose Old Trash Bins
If your garage contains large bags of sand, soil, winter salt, birdseed or other similar materials that seem to spill everywhere, try storing them in trash bins with lids instead of in their original packaging. This will make it easier to move and store them without making a mess, and you can even leave a cup in the bin to act as a scooper.8
2. DIY a Ball Cage
Avoid having footballs, basketballs and soccer balls strewn all over your garage with a DIY container. All you’ll need are two wooden squares affixed to the wall and a few bungee cords.6
3. Give New Life to an Old Filing Cabinet
A filing cabinet makes a great home for large tools. Simply remove the drawers and lay the cabinet on the ground with the openings facing up, then fill with rakes, shovels, brooms and other items. You can also add small wheels to the bottom, or apply a new coat of paint and hooks on the side to make it even more functional.13
4. Utilize Vertical Wall Space
Especially for families, bikes can take up valuable room on the garage floor. Utilize a free wall and try putting up a vertical bike rack – there are several on the market that are easy to install – to keep bikes safe and out of the way.7

 

If you utilize your garage in a strategic way, it can really add to the square footage of your home while still leaving room for your vehicle.

Whenever you increase the value of your home, it’s important to make sure your insurance has you covered. Here are four questions to ask your insurer after an upgrade.

 

 

  • Housing Preferences Across Generations, National Association of Home Builders, 2016.
  • How to Organize a Garage in 5 Steps, The Spruce, 2018.
  • Can Cleaning Make You More Empathetic? New Research Says Yes, The Clorox Company, 2018.
  • Garage Storage and Organization, Lowe’s, 2018.
  • Garage Cleaning Tips for the Overwhelmed, Houzz, 2016.
  • 14 Genius Garage Organization Ideas, Popular Mechanics, 2016.
  • 14 Garage Organization Ideas That’ll Give You Your Parking Spot Back, House Beautiful, 2018.
  • Ideas for Garage Storage and Organization, Better Homes & Gardens, 2018.
  • Clever uses for Everyday Items in the Garage, HGTV, 2018.
  • Tips for Organizing a Garage, DIY Network, 2018.
  • Learn About LED Lighting, Energy Star, 2018.
  • LED Lighting, Energy.gov, 2018.
  • 15 Garage Storage and Organization Ideas, HGTV, 2018.

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