While sitting in a lawn chair watching my kids sweep the garage, I noticed a variety of handy storage and organizational ideas my husband has incorporated into “his” outdoor space. Then I began to pay attention to the organizational habits of my neighbors.
I realized that people are pretty clever and Woodbury Patch readers might benefit from this multitude of orderly inspiration.
My favorite piece of garage genius is our sports equipment storage rack, an idea my husband gleaned from Handyman Magazine. (The Family Handyman is also great and available in an iPad version). The rack is a simple box made of scrap wood and mounted on the wall.
The ingenious part is the bungee cords stretched across the front for easy access to any type of ball our kids could want. Better yet, putting the balls away is also a snap! Some nails or hooks on the side make hanging rackets or equipment bags convenient. And it’s topped with a tray made from of a strip of rain gutter for storing smaller baseballs or tennis balls.
When kids come home from participating in sports, their athletic shoes or cleats are often caked with dirt. To avoid bringing that grime into the house, try making a space for the removal and storage of cleats in the garage. A simple shelf or milk crate should work. Friends purchased several storage cubes from Target and mounted them near their back door for easy storage of all their family’s everyday shoes.
A variety of shelving units are available at places like Home Depot or for storing shovels and rakes. But if you’re handy, a better use of space may be to build your own. For us, a custom-built rack resulted in something sturdier and one that holds more than a typical retail model.
Another way to maximize garage space is to incorporate collapsible items. For example, my husband built a hinged workshop table that can fold against the wall when not in use. And if you need a utility trailer, but only periodically for hauling yard waste, bringing home building supplies or helping a friend move, check into a fold-up model. We got one from years ago. It’s been extremely useful takes up little space.
Finally, if you’re tightly wound about keeping the garage floor clean, think about putting a scrap of cardboard under the lawnmower or snow blower. This minimizes the potential for oil or rust stains on the cement. A further step would be to treat the garage floor with an epoxy floor coating. These coatings resist stains, help keep dust to a minimum and are easier to clean. And according to my husband, “It just looks good.”
Keep in mind, I initiated none of these ideas myself and prefer to read a book at than organize my garage. But if you’ve been meaning to tackle that clutter filled space and didn’t know where to begin, hopefully these tips will inspire you.
Go to Rose and Thorn Journal to read recently published short fiction by Angela Johnson.