5 DIY Garage Updates to Make the Space Usable

By Jessica Thiefels

More often than not, the garage is seen as a glorified closet, where we stuff everything from extra canned goods to the lawn mower and sand bags. The worst part: none of its organized, wasting perfectly good space that could make the garage more usable for various needs.

Use the following tips to take back your garage. These five DIY garage upgrade ideas will make your space more usable, allowing you to get the most from this underused area.

Store Tools On The Wall

Are your tools taking up valuable space on the ground, or simply looking cluttered in a large bin? Storing your tools on the wall is a great way to save space and reorganize. Plus, you rarely use your garage walls, making it a blank canvas for storage galore.

Mount a rack on the wall, or make one yourself (take a look at this easy tutorial here) for large tools and items. A peg board can also be used for smaller items, like light tools, crafting supplies, ad small garden tools.


Move Your Mudroom Into The Garage

Short on space, but still need a place to store those muddy boots? Bring your mudroom into the garage.

“Transitioning your mudroom to the garage will keep the mess in an area that’s supposed to get dirty. Ideally positioned near the entrance into the house, you will need hooks to hand coats and backpacks as well as storage bins for shoes, gloves, hats and anything else your kids are wearing,” suggests Mike Flacy, Editor-in-Chief of The Checkout.

Some of the best mudroom updates have seating with storage bins hidden underneath, so you can sit down while taking off your shoes or finishing a phone call before heading out. Soft seating can also be a way to add a pop of color to an otherwise utilitarian space.

Install New Flooring

New flooring can extend the life of your garage floor, improve aesthetics, and make it more useful. There are a number of flooring options, epoxy being one of the most popular thanks to its reasonable price tag and extreme durability.

Once used only in commercial settings, epoxy flooring is now a favorite for residential garages because it offers protection against water and weather damage, and is resistant to gas, oil and other chemicals, according to Calvin Kwekel, Owner of Kwekel Epoxy Floors.

The best part is, you can hire a professional or do it yourself. Check out this tutorial from the DIY Network to get started.

Enlist the Zone System

Resist the urge to stay disorganized with the Six Zone System, which gives you six distinct zones for organizing and storing. According to Lifehack, the zones are as follows:

  1. Transition Zone: Shoes, jackets, bags, and other stuff you grab before leaving the house
  2. Need It Now: Everyday stuff like canned food, bulk food items, large packs of paper towels, etc.
  3. Long, Tall, Thin Storage: Rakes, shovels, and similar yard stuff to be hung on the walls
  4. Large Item Storage: Things like holiday decorations and camping gear that are rarely used
  5. Frequently Used Items: Outdoor gear and sports equipment placed near the garage door for easy access
  6. Workspace: A workbench and cabinets for your hobby, whether it’s gardening or woodworking

Determine how these zones work for your garage space, and don’t hesitate to label for family members who are more susceptible to tossing things wherever they feel like.

Create a Play Space

If you live in a warm region, an un-insulated garage is perfect for year-round play. On days when it’s raining, kids can run and play to their hearts content in the garage—stopping them from making a mess of your clean home. This also allows you to keep toys in the garage, and out of your house, where they just add clutter and, more often than not, make a mess in otherwise clean areas.

Your garage is an extension of your home just waiting to be used. Implement these ideas slowly, as you have an afternoon here and there to get crafty. With extra storage space, toys in the garage, and a fool-proof organizing system, the garage will quickly become your favorite place in the house.

About the Author: Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She’s worked with a variety of real estate clients, and has been featured on Forbes and Market Watch. She’s also written for Inman, House Hunt Network, Homes.com and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect on LinkedIn.

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