Steel garages are durable, versatile, and cost-effective — but just like any structure, some maintenance…
Spring has sprung and your garage is worse for the wear. Fortunately, there are countless ways to upgrade your space and get your gear in order. Here’s how to refresh and organize your metal garage for a new and improved vibe.
Get your space off to a good start with the right planning process. Keep yourself on the straight and narrow when having to organize your metal garage.
Just like at home, your garage accumulates excess overtime. Space becomes cramped and surfaces are harder to find. Living on the sidelines is never what you wanted, so it’s time to get real about what can go.
Start clearing things out by tossing items you no longer use. With the exception of a few favorite pieces, say goodbye to unnecessary backups. Prioritize what you actually use regularly if space is still tight.
There’s no need to go crazy, though starting fresh will makes your job easier. You’re already better off with less stuff blocking your entry. By the same token, dusting and sweeping won’t take long but will set the tone. Turn on some music, give yourself 10 minutes, and hit the highlights for a quick clean.
You’re also welcome to go all out for a new feel. Do a deep clean, hire professionals or grab a buddy to pitch in. Maintaining momentum is your number one goal, so remember to pace yourself early on.
If you’re a visual person, start by picturing your space. Create a blueprint or map out general areas for reference. Separate by activity, season, size or use value. Hash out smaller details later while letting general zones guide the process.
Another option is housing dangerous equipment on its own. Placing items out of reach of children or under lock and key can help ensure a safe environment. The same applies to tools that are expensive, prone to theft or otherwise important for a worry-free workspace.
Make a Plan
Now that the cleaning is out of the way, the next step is tackling organization. Decide whether to start with easy tasks first or get the hardest jobs out of the way. Establishing a plan and sticking to it helps keep your head above water at the halfway point.
If you’re mainly interested in one area, there’s nothing wrong with narrowing your focus. For example, start with a reorganized workbench and put large equipment storage on the back burner. It’s also wise to work according to realistic goals to maintain your motivation. The better you feel, the smoother the process.
Just like first-class seating on a plane, certain areas of your garage are more valuable. For example, think of the space around your workbench as a high-priority area. Upgrade accessibility even more by keeping important items on display or easily within reach.
By contrast, lesser-used items can be stowed away in the back, near the floor or in higher storage spaces. Anything you nearly forgot should either be tossed or kept out of sight.
Dividing your space is a conceptual process. Here are a few practical considerations to keep in mind before taking action.
Staying organized in a large space is trickier than most; you have to account for everything no matter its size. It’s easy to treat a garage as a catch-all container and hope for the best. However, zooming in on even the smallest details is a must for garage organization.
Keeping track of small pieces might seem daunting, though it’s not as bad as you think. What you’ll need is appropriate sizes or even layers of storage for every little thing. Find small boxes like plastic jewelry containers, toolboxes or miniature shelving to house your smallest belongings. Anything from kitchen containers to bathroom storage is up to the task.
Housing your gear also applies to larger items like shovels, lawnmowers, bikes and more. Try out a metal or plastic cabinet for miscellaneous tools and growing collections. Other containers like large plastic planters or tool storage racks are perfect for unwieldy objects.
Using the same materials throughout your garage also gives it a deliberate look. For example, a consistent color scheme or similar shelving ties your space together. Consider other areas like a protective floor coating, rubber mats or tile to upgrade every inch of your garage.
Fixing a storage problem may be easier than you think. Siphon space where you least expect it by adding cabinets or racks overhead. Tall spaces may be difficult to reach, though they’re totally fine for out-of-season storage.
Other gear takes up valuable floor space or gets in the way of foot traffic. Clear your path by storing bikes on wall racks or hoisting kayaks up high. Do be sure to mount overhead items with caution to keep people and vehicles safe for ceiling storage options.
Got any valuables under your roof? If so, it might be time to up your security. Try adding locks to your windows, doors or storage units for extra protection. Insure big-ticket items and keep photos on file as a maximum safety measure.
Next up, consider the bigger picture. If your garage is attached to your home, it may be time to add reinforcements. Add extra locks or deadbolts to your home interior or upgrade to a steel door in between. Your garage may serve as an easier point of entry.
Getting your ducks in a row is easier with appropriate storage options. Whether you’re looking for minimal separation or obsessive compartmentalization, the sky is the limit. Try to go in knowing the general style you’d like and how much you have to spend.
Next, take a look around. You may have storage at your disposal or free up extra space after cleaning out cabinets. Add similar units if needed or do a complete 180. The end goal is to create a cohesive look adapted to your space and style.
Choosing materials is all about detail. Check out a few of these options before taking your pick.
If you struggle to find things quickly, consider using clear storage containers. Plastic bins or shelves are often available with transparent compartments for easy identification. This hack is especially useful for small parts or internal storage.
Another option in metal garages is floating or open shelves to keep everything in plain sight. For all its convenience, the look doesn’t work well for miscellaneous items. Instead, try storage cabinets with doors or other concealed containers.
Keeping track of dozens of compartments isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’ve got more on your mind than memorizing nail sizes, making labels is a no-brainer. Use small labels for your tiniest items or add stickers to lids, bins and boxes. Alternatively, line interior shelves or drawers with text for an understated solution.
Do peeling labels drive you crazy? If so, writing directly on the surface helps bypass the issue. Oil-based permanent markers write well on plastic, while white markers stand out on dark surfaces. Magnetic tags are another great alternative for industrial garages.
Sick of staring at bare bulbs? It may be time for better lighting. Start by choosing a style for your entire space before eying individual pieces. Even if you decide between two models or various sizes, choose carefully for a more cohesive design.
Using every inch of your garage wisely means avoiding floor lamps possible. Choose overhead lighting or strip fixtures to maximize floor and wall space. Consider supplemental sources like clamp or task lights to cover all your bases.
If you’re looking for an affordable option, cloth or plastic curtains provide cheap and easy coverage. Open shelving may be fine for neat nicks, though a simple coverup is just as effective. Best of all, curtains are one of the fastest, cheapest hacks for DIY design.
Shorter curtains below waist height are excellent for partial coverage. The material itself is cheaper than new cabinets while achieving the same effect. Last but not least, cloth and plastic curtains can be easily washed in case of unpleasant odors.
Does your garbage consist of a plastic bag blowing in the wind? Keep your garage looking its best with a designated receptacle. Whether you choose a standard plastic model or galvanized stainless steel, your workspace will look 10 times better.
Step up your recycling while you’re at it with a similar container. Choose another color for easy identification or opt for matching bins. Keep your garage looking good inside and out with a deliberate use of materials.
Something as simple as temporary hooks greatly improves organization. Create a utility wall using plastic hooks for keys and cords, or hang tools at eye level. Browse your local hardware store or office supply section for readily-available solutions.
If you’re looking more conventional, add a pegboard to your garage. Their uniform layout and customizable sizing means they’re easy to adapt to any space. Draw outlines around each tool to put everything back in its place.
Just because your garage is full doesn’t mean it has to look that way. Choose minimal, matching exteriors and extensive inner storage for a clean aesthetic. Cover your storage like the hood of a car for a fully streamlined appearance.
The other aspect of garage organization is keeping dirty spaces clean. Things like lawnmowers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers are best kept hidden. Consider storing them in a closet or shed for better garage optics.
Best in Class
Sometimes only the best will do. If your garage is in need of a premium upgrade, here are a few high-brow suggestions.
Man caves are an excellent escape, though the summer heat can keep you away. Try installing a ceiling fan for ambient temps in your own private area.
If you’re looking for something more mid-range, opt for box or tower fans to keep your cool. Industrial fans may sound tempting, though they’re louder and more expensive than household versions.
If you’re interested in a home away from home, why not build a miniature loft? Many metal garages have enough ceiling space to loft a bed for added accommodation. Be sure to check dimensions and zoning requirements before getting started.
If you’d rather, use lofted space for alternative storage. Keep bins, boxes or seasonal items in yet another compartment. The advantage to permanent ceiling construction is a sturdier build overall.
Interested in staying warm year-round? If so, it may be time to insulate your garage. This job is no weekend project, so be sure to do your research. However, making your space more livable may be worth the effort.
For something more cost-effective, consider adding a radiant heater instead. They keep your space warm enough to work or relax without the installation. Find out more about various styles of garage heaters here.
If your garage is a permanent hangout, why not make it fun? Add a quality sound system to take your space to the next level. Create an upbeat workspace with a special playlist for hours of entertainment.
Organizing a metal garage is all about incorporating personal details. Make your space as fun or functional as you’d like while using suggestions for guidance. Do you have any ideas in mind?
Organize your Metal Garage
There are countless ways to reorganize your metal garage according to preference. Whether you’re interested in increased storage options, equipment safety or the best of the best, it’s all on the table. Start by clearing out your space, making a plan and incorporating the right materials.
Got any questions about buying or organizing your metal garages? If so, we’re here to help. We’ve got answers to all your questions plus 80 years of industry experience. In the meantime, best of luck on your home improvement project and keep us posted!