Garage design ideas- where to put what

Shannon01March 24, 2010

I am really great at organizing and downsizing. The problem with our garage is that we have big things and don't know where to start on where to put things.

We have a few large tools like table saw, air compressor and whitewater kayaks. We have a yakama skybox and bikes. We have three stalls, a double and a single with a wall separating them.

We have a shed for the lawnmover, pressure washer and shovels and large tools.

What our garage needs is some cabinets and then the ability to fit these larger items along with the cabinets. We need to probably hang the boats in the ceiling along with the skybox. The bikes could hang high also. We have really high ceilings.

We are just stumped at where each thing should go so that we can open our car doors and actually get in them while inside the garage.

We got a brand new car and the old shelves were too close and we scratched the front fender while trying to get car into garage. They have been removed since.

I am not sure if those garage cabinet organizer folks come out and do plans without charging or if so for a small fee. Has anyone used this sort of service? We are total DIYers and plan to build what we need to save money. Just don't know where to put things to maximize the space.

Any ideas?

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Park the cars, open the doors, and see how much room you need to get out of the car and leave the garage by your preferred exit. Mark this space off with masking tape ... that is the forbidden zone.

How much room do you have to spare, and where is it? Tell us this and we can make better suggestions.

Put the things you use most often close to the exits, and on the easy to reach shelves, just like kitchen designers do.

Things to consider ... what can hang on a pegboard system - extension cords, hand tools, and ??? if it were on the dividing wall. You can buy pegboard in 4x8 sheets and hang it on 1x2 spacers for near-instant storage. Shelves above head level on the divider wall could hold smaller bins of lightweight things.

To store the larger power tools, all you need is a sturdy shelf that is deep enough for them, preferable high enough you don't break your back getting them out to use.

Under that shelf ... Big labelled bins (rubbermaid) for out of season camping, decorations, summer/winter bedding, whatever.

Lightweight things like kayaks ... my neighbor's are hanging from the ceiling, with the bikes they use almost daily hanging on the wall by the door.

HINT: Measure commonly available storage bins and build the shelves to hold them with a couple of inches for sliding space so you don't waste space.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 10:40AM
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ADDING: Plan storage for the big things first, then work your way down to the little stuff.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Anyone have any clever ideas for how to hang kayaks and skyboxes safely. Also, we have the hard top to our 4-door jeep that we want to store. All these items will go on the walls somehow. On the ceiling is out of the question due to safety and garage door issues. Car won't fit in garage with skybox and we just fear it accidentally falling onto car. Secured to wall is much safer for us.

We have seen some of the typical straps and such but are looking for some better ideas. I have been surfing trying to see what is out there.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:36AM
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I grew up with pegboard in the garage of my parents and every relative. Its wonderful, but painting takes many coats! ( i think ceiling paint would of been better)
I would build plywood shelves and build it to the size of your items.

I am not sure about your skybox, but it could go lengthwise on a shelf with it leaning against the wall. Can Bungee's hold it in place? If not, you will need some sort of brace. I bought furing(sp?) strips and screwed them to the 2x4's so my large (my kids'toys)items would stay on the shelf. I just riped them out last summer, as my kids' were outgrowing them. They lasted though for over 15 years.

Not sure if this would work for your other items, but we have 'lids' for air conditioning units. I used bike rack holders to hang them up on the walls. Look for openings in your items, to see if they could be used (safely) to hang it from. You will need support on the bottoms.

We also have custom made cabinets, but you could try old kitchen cabinets for some of your items.

I'm an organizer at heart, and I built my house around my stuff!

good luck!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 2:44PM
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Skybox holder:,1657.html

I looked at my neighbor's garage and their kayaks are in some sort of net that in hanging from hooks into the studs of the ceiling, far enough away from the roor that it can open and close without bashing them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 8:15AM
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Also, consider humongous shelves (deep, widely spaced, etc.). You might need a handyman to make them out of 2x4's and plywood, but some things that are light might be able to be lifted up to shoulder height for storage, and having shelves will make it easier to "stack" things that aren't shaped for stacking.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:16PM
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We used some of the old, kitchen base cabs when we remodeled.
The top doubled as work bench with extra wood on top. Neighbor built 3 tall cabs for paints, tools garden chemicals etc. Hubby put peg board on remainder wall space. Also put planks on ceiling rafters in garage if possible, gives lots of storage.
Wish we'd thought of raising all cabinets off the floor so we could hose floor down easier!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:40AM
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