The garage is a happening place primarily accommodates precious vehicles and can be used for different storage activities. To properly organize a garage, first the purpose must be identified. Should the space be used to rebuild a car from scratch, the requirements will be much different than to do routine maintenance.
For the purposes of this article, we will discuss the typical garage/workshop, and discuss some efficiency tips and life hacks to make organization both fun and useful.
Inside the Garage
Ideal organization begins with sorting and inventory. Understanding what needs to be assembled will assist with the logical layout. Typical categories include:
(anything that is either cord or battery operated is considered a power tool)
From drills to saws to electric wrenches, these tools are necessary to most forms of maintenance. Even so, the garage owner will have an idea of what tools are used more often that others. Keeping all power tools together, ideally on a raised shelf to prevent tripping hazards, the operator can begin to analyze which tools are used most frequently.
Chances are, for the purposes of garage-based repair, the drill will be used more than an auger. Ensure easy access to the most used tools in order to save time and prevent frustration by creating a smooth work flow.
Screwdrivers and socket wrenches, hammers and pliers, handheld tools can often be the quickest way to solve a tricky issue. With these tools, it can often be tricky to prioritize the necessity. Luckily, hundreds of designs of tool boxes are available. Find a toolbox suited to keep all these tools and spend a few minutes organizing these items.
A good piece of advice is to find a smaller, mobile toolkit and place in it the most frequented, and the most favored pieces. As projects go on, the garage owner will gain an idea of what needs to be used. As time passes, these most popular tools should be placed in the smaller toolbox. After some time, the tool set found therein will be perfectly suited to the most common jobs.
Every garage needs rags, and generally these are best kept in a large plastic container. For those with a great deal of rags or fabric material, two containers can be used (one for clean and the other for used). These bins can generally be kept on the floor and are best suited to being placed near fluids.
From oil to antifreeze to lubricants, the fluids found in a garage are diverse. Ensuring that these containers are closed will assist with air quality and the fluid’s quality over time. Safely stored above ground level, these containers ought to be labelled clearly and be easy to access, ideally in a cabinet.
Small parts like screws, nails, nuts, and bolts, while they seem miniscule, can take a great deal of time to identify, especially during a project. Taking the time to organize into small containers these items will make for easy availability during a maintenance project, improving work flow.
From tires to metal sheets, large parts are best kept separate from the work area until they are specifically needed. Finding a corner of the garage/shop to accommodate these item not only frees up floor space, it improves the flow of the garage and ensures that only necessary products are apparent.
Maintaining a Garage
Keep it Organized
Not only does proper sorting of tools make things easier to navigate, it also makes a garage easier to maintain. Maximizing the use of the given square footage provides more room to maneuver and makes it easier to locate trouble areas that require upkeep.
Clean the Area
While cleaning is not the most glamorous, and garages will never seem to be totally clean, having a wiped down work area with a mopped floor makes work more pleasant. Keeping the surfaces wiped down and free of spills prevents injuries by ridding risks of slips and falls.
Keeping tabs on what is inside the garage is critical to proper maintenance. Instead of getting halfway through an oil change to realize you have an insufficient amount of oil, knowing what is on hand can make a project much easier. Have a checklist of necessary items and replenish them before any are depleted.
Maintenance is more than keeping things clean and in order, it is a way to ensure safety in what can be a precarious situation. A floor free of cords and spills, shelves free of sharps and debris can prevent fire risk and injury. Proper maintenance of the garage is the route to project longevity and general safety.
General Garage Questions
How do I ensure that my garage is safe?
An organized garage is a safe garage. Some of the best ways to keep this space safe are as follows:
- Remove keys from machines before working
- Ensure proper ventilation in the room for improved air quality
- Do not put flammable items in enclosed spaces, and store in cool areas
- Heavier items should be stored lower to the ground, thus preventing potential injuries
- Make sure there is proper floor drainage to reduce the chances of slips and falls
- Ensure to properly use (and not overload) power circuits
- Adequate lighting makes for a safe work environment
Which is the best way to store small parts?
Storing small items adds to efficiency and to a pleasant work experience. While there are many popular ways to store screws, nuts, and bolts etc, there are many DIY methods that provide the same accessibility. To start, find a permanent marker and a series of ten or so small containers. Anything from soup cans to paper cups can work, though a popular favorite is mason jars. Label the container and keep items sorted therein.
When is it time to upgrade?
Depending on the size of the garage, and the nature of the projects being completed, it can be asked when it is time to upgrade to a larger space. Should this question arise, a quick organization tip would be to reassess the surface area of the garage.
Is there anything taking up space that needn’t be there? Are things being stored properly? If the answer is yes and additional space is still required, consider a shed to store large parts that are only rarely used, thus freeing up space for ease of movement and more demanding projects.
What sort of security is best?
Garages, whether they are housing motor vehicles, generally contain a cache of valuables that owners wish to protect. Some simple steps include keeping a limited number of keys and knowing who the key holders are, in order to ensure controlled access to the garage.
An additional step is to get motion sensor lights on the outside of the garage itself. Typically, there are options to add garage features to home security systems. Features including everything from alarms to video recorders can be added to the garage, which is typically only something that is considered if theft is a concern.
Fun Garage Tips and Facts
- Increases Home Value
A little-known fact is that a high-quality garage door can increase the value of a residence by up to 4%. Given that outdoor landscaping and curb appeal typically accommodate about 5% of home value, the significance of a garage door investment is clear.
- Inspiration and Potential
From the Beatles to Microsoft, countless famous endeavors started with the humble origins of a garage. A place where creativity can flow freely, and with enough privacy to encourage anyone to flourish, garages have long been a source of inspiration to those seeking an outlet for creativity.
Whether the project is simple retooling or creating the next great corporation, garages have had a significant hand in facilitating modern culture.
- Growing in Popularity
The word garage itself was only coined in the twentieth century. Prior to that the term was associated with carriages and was generally called a car park. Now that most unattached homes have a garage, with over 80 million Americans having a garage, these spaces have become critical to home economics and culture in general.
Providing shelter for vehicles and a space to create, these highly useful spaces are often used as primary entrances to the home, solidifying the importance of garage security.
The Great Garage
Overall, these highly useful areas have permeated society and become a necessity for most serious car owners, mechanics, or hands-on workers. Serving historically as the site of great inspiration, the garage has the potential to make greatness.
Best when organized and accessible, this article details tricks and tips that will facilitate a smooth work flow and add to the safety of the garage itself. Through simple steps like proper cleaning, organization, inventory, and lighting, the garage can be made new once more.
Naturally, a neat and working garage is ideal, though it does highlight even more the need to protect the safety of the contents, and the home to which it may be attached. When proper security and safety measures are taken, garage space is optimized, enabling that space to provide the amusement and high functionality of its design.