Garage Renovations And Organisational Tips

What Are Garage Renovations And Organisational Tips?

 A garage is an asset to any home, but the space doesn’t often reach its full potential. Sure, you may use it for parking your car and storing tools and toys, but wouldn’t it be nice if your garage were more functional? Use these tips for organisation and renovation ideas to help you get more use out of your garage.

Organisation Your garage can easily become a home for a horde of items such as toys, sporting equipment, holiday decorations, and tools. Here are a few solutions to keep it in order:

  • Separate items into categories and give each category its own space. For example, reserve an individual shelf or bin for gardening equipment, another for recreational gear, etc.
  • Use hanging wall storage to clear space on the floor. If your garage has high ceilings, use the extra wall space by installing overhead cabinets or shelving—this is a perfect spot for storing seldom-used items. However, make sure any shelving you install can adequately hold the weight of the items you plan to store on it.
  • Ceiling hooks are great for keeping items like bikes out of the way. Buy heavy-duty, rubber-coated hooks from a hardware store, attach using a power drill, and hang each bike vertically.
  • Install a pegboard to keep items like small tools off the floor and easily accessible. You can also install magnetic storage panels on the wall of your garage to keep items out of the way and neatly sorted.
  • If you plan to use your garage space for projects, install a wall-mounted, fold-down workbench to save space.

Although your garage can be a great place for storing most things, there are some items you should never leave in your garage, including:

  • Paint: Extreme heat will cause some paint to separate.
  • Seasonal clothing: Moths can damage clothing, and small mammals might be tempted to use it for bedding.
  • Flammables: Propane tanks and gas cans can become fire hazards.
  • Electronics: Extreme temperatures can damage electronic devices.
  • Pet food: Kibble can attract wild animals.
  • Refrigerator: A fridge must work harder to keep food cool in high temperatures, wasting energy.
  • Food: Fresh food can attract animals, canned food can become inedible if kept in extreme temperatures, and wine can become undrinkable when left in the heat.

Renovations By focusing on a few renovations, you can make your garage more habitable and create another room for your household to enjoy.

One of the best ways to make your garage a usable space is to add insulation. This will help keep it warm in winter and cool in summer. Insulation also helps keep sensitive items in storage safe and prevent pipes from freezing in the walls during very cold temperatures.

First, air-seal your garage by filling in gaps or cracks with expanding spray foam. Once you’re ready to install insulation, two of the most popular options are:

  • Fibreglass: This is the most common type of insulation used in homes. It comes in long rolls between wall studs and ceiling joists, making it a good option for unfinished garages.
  • Cellulose: This insulation is mostly newspaper treated with a fire retardant. You can install cellulose into finished walls with a machine that blows it into place.

Don’t forget about your garage door when insulating, as improper insulation around the door can greatly affect the garage’s temperature. Buy a rigid foam insulation kit from your local home improvement store. If your garage door is outdated or in disrepair, consider having it replaced. 

According to HomeAdvisor, a new garage door has a return on investment (ROI) of 97.5 per cent. As an added layer of protection, you can add weatherstripping to the bottom of the garage door and along with windows and door frames.

If you’re looking to expand the living space of your home, you may consider transforming your garage into a bedroom or living room. This is a good option if you want to avoid losing some of your yards; plus, the room frame is already in place. You may even be able to get up to an 80 per cent ROI on a converted garage when selling your home, according to HomeAdvisor.

The only limits when converting your garage into a living space are the size of your garage, your budget, and your imagination. Whether you want to create a family room, home office, or secondary suite, there are a few common renovations you should make, including:

  • Upgrade the floors. Your garage floor may be cracked or sloped. You’ll need to install a wood-framed or concrete floor over your existing concrete slab before installing carpet, laminate, or other floorings. Most garages sit lower than the rest of the home, so you can either align the floor with the rest of the house or keep it a step or two lower.
  • Connect the garage to your current HVAC system, or install a mini-split air conditioner, electric baseboard, or fan-driven wall heater.
  • Replace the garage door with a wall of windows, or make sure it is insulated and weathertight.
  • Install doors and windows. Some municipalities have rules on how much window space your converted garage needs that you will have to comply with.
  • Install drywall over any unfinished walls.
  • Upgrade the electrical system to handle increased use, and add outlets.
  • Run water and sewer lines to the garage for a bathroom, kitchen, or utility sink.

Your garage can be an underutilised part of your home, but by using some of these tips, it can become so much more than a parking space.

FAQs About Garage Renovation

What Should Be Stored In The Garage?

The garage is the ideal home for tools and appliances you only use outdoors. Think shovels, hoses, outdoor extension cords, lawnmowers, gardening tools, flower pots, etc. Bags of potting soil, buckets of ice melt, and other outdoor supplies in bulky packaging are also good candidates for garage storage.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Organise A Garage?

Plastic bins are a quick and inexpensive way to optimise your garage organisation. Once you’ve grouped your things into categories, put them into a bin and add a label. Not sure what you need? Use these tips for choosing storage boxes before throwing things into the first available bin.

What Is A Good Size Garage Workshop?

Space is crucial for any garage workspace. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 13 to 15 feet of garage width per car. The old days of 20-foot-by-20-foot two-car garages are gone; today’s SUVs span seven feet in width with spare room for the opening of doors.

Can I Have A Workshop In My Garage?

Creative use of space in and around your garage lets you build a workshop that meets your needs without making your garage unusable for other functions. Bench-top power tools can be used on your workbench, or you can build rolling bases to make them easy to transport from place to place.

How Do I Organise A Small Garage Shop?


  • Start with bright white walls to make the space feel bigger.
  • Use exposed studs for storage. 
  • Keep scrap wood organised with a wall-mounted lumber rack and rolling cart for larger pieces.
  • Organise similar tools together.
  • Please put it on wheels. 
  • Come up with creative space-saving solutions.

A Guide To Garage Organisation, Storage, And Cleaning

If you’re like most of us, your car is a five-figure investment that you can’t do without. Why leave it outdoors, where it can suffer damage from UV exposure, bird droppings, and tree sap? (And climbing into a scalding-hot vehicle in the summertime is no fun.)

Storing it in a garage will keep it a lot cleaner and could help prolong its life. Follow our DIY garage organisation guide below for step-by-step instructions to rid your clutter and keep a safe, clean garage.

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How To Start Cleaning Out Your Garage

Organising pros estimate that only 30 per cent of us store our cars in the garage. The reason? Too much stuff. These garage storage ideas will help you get rid of anything you don’t need.

  • Set aside at least a full day, or even a full weekend or two, to get the job done.
  • Make decluttering a family project and invite a few friends to pitch in, and it’ll go a lot faster.
  • Go through absolutely everything, including boxes you didn’t unpack when you moved in—you never know where that family heirloom might be lurking.

Sort all items into three piles: keep, donate or sell, and toss. Lay them on dedicated tarps or mark off areas of your driveway with chalk and place them there. 

What should get the boot: outgrown toys, broken items beyond repair, expired household chemicals (which may need special disposal), and anything you haven’t used in two years or more. 

If you have a hard time letting go of things that have sentimental value, snap pictures as keepsakes.

Sort the keepers into broad categories (for example, sports equipment, hand tools), and place them in well-marked cardboard boxes or, better yet, stackable clear-plastic bins you can use later. Put the keepers back in the garage for now.

As soon as possible, donate giveaways and schedule a yard sale to eliminate castoffs. If you’ve got too much trash for your haulier to take, use a service such as Bagster; buy the bag at a home store, pack it, and contact the company to schedule pickup and disposal (fees vary).

What Should Not Be Stored In A Garage?

For safety reasons, don’t store these items in your garage:

  • Paint storage: Extreme cold or heat can ruin it. Store cans in a more temperate area.
  • Propane storage: A spark could ignite the fumes. Propane tanks should always be kept outdoors.
  • Paper goods: They’re a magnet for roaches and other bugs. Move them to your pantry.
  • Refrigerator: It’s a huge energy drain in spaces that are not air-conditioned.
  • Pet Food: Possums and other animals will sniff it out and get in. Could you keep it in a sealed container inside?

Safely Store Items

Most of us store lawn-mower gas in the garage, so be prepared for a fire. Get a 5- to 10-pound U.L.–listed extinguisher and mount it in an easy-to-access spot. It should carry an ABC rating, certifying it is effective against wood, oil, and electrical fires.

Though we’re sure you know to open the garage door when your car’s engine is running (right?)Installing a carbon monoxide detector will give you added peace of mind.

Tips Organise Your Garage Cheaply

Draft A Floor Plan For Your Garage

Most manufacturers of garage-organising systems offer free space planning, so use their services as you research how to store all your gear. 

Before buying anything, take down your garage’s dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches, and receptacles, as well as how much space your car takes up. Then use the following rules of thumb as you assign things a home.

  • Items you use together, such as gardening tools and lawn chemicals, should be stored close to one another.
  • Put bulky equipment, like lawnmowers, in corners, where they won’t get bumped or knocked over by your car.
  • Place frequently used items, like bikes, close to the garage door.
  • Stash seasonal or rarely used items in the hardest-to-reach spots.

Keep Things Off The Garage Floor

Keep items off the floor whenever possible. You’ll free up much more room for your car and avoid sloppy, impossible-to-sort-through piles. If you purchase ready-made shelving units or cabinets, make sure they’re raised on legs so that you can clean the floor beneath them easily.

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Must-Have Storage Products For Garages

  • Stackable clear-plastic bins with lids. (Rubbermaid Roughneck Clear containers, from about $7; Walmart
  • Clear jars in different sizes for sorting hardware and small items. Save food jars and clean them out thoroughly before using them.
  • A lockable cabinet for storing lawn chemicals and other stuff you don’t want your kids to get into. (Enviro Elements 68-inch Resin Multipurpose Cabinet, about $80; lowes)
  • A portable label maker (such as the Labelmanager 260P, about $60; From Dymo) so that you don’t have to decipher sloppy handwriting.

Why Open Shelves Are Better Than Closed Cabinets

Shelves are less expensive, easier to access (you don’t need additional clearance to swing the doors open) and let you easily scan what you’ve stored.

Cabinets with doors give you an excuse to stay disorganised because you can hide the evidence, so they can quickly become messy. Use them sparingly—like when the things you’re storing need to be protected from airborne dust and dirt.

Install Vertical Organising Systems


  • Pros: Widely available and easy to install, it can be cut to size and even painted to customise the look; several manufacturers make a wide variety of compatible hooks, shelves, and organisers.
  • Cons: While a pegboard can handle lightweight hand tools and other goods, it isn’t sturdy enough for hanging heavy objects like bicycles.

For example 48-by-96-inch white hardboard pegboard; lowes

Track-based systems:

  • Pros: Shelf standards hang from a single track affixed to wall studs so that these systems can bear the weight of heavier objects; standards, hooks, shelves, and organisers can be relocated easily.
  • Cons: You must make sure the track is level so that the standards hang straight; they’re best for garage walls that are finished and plumb.

Panelised Systems:

  • Pros: The entire wall is finished with slotted plastic panels that hold lock-in hooks, shelves, and cabinets so that every square inch of wall space can be used.
  • Cons: Some systems must be installed by trained professionals, adding to the cost; you’re limited to system-compatible organising products.

Use Overhead Space Wisely

The garage ceiling is a great spot for hanging long, flat stuff you don’t use daily, such as ladders and seasonal sports gear. Ensure that any shelves you hang from the ceiling don’t interfere with your garage door’s operation and that there is enough clearance to avoid scraping the roof of your car.

Build A Workbench

  • For the occasional DIYer, a wall-mount fold-down model (such as the Ideal Wall-Mount Workbench, about $300; Sears) offers a sturdy surface and tucks out of the way when not in use.
  • Benches that have built-in tool drawers can be pricey. Instead, flank a simple work table with shelves and add a pegboard above to hold your gear.
  • A set of casters turns any table into a mobile workstation; make sure they don’t create an uncomfortably tall table.
  • Finish it off with a padded stool (such as the MotoGroup Adjustable Rolling Stool, $50; that fits under the table for safekeeping.

Stop Air Leaks Between The Garage And House

Before installing organisers, check for gaps in the wall your garage shares with your house and in the ceiling if there’s a room above the garage. These are the spots where hot or cold air (and the moisture it carries) will seep inside. Seal small gaps with caulk, larger ones with expandable spray foam.

Invest In Door And Window Locks

Break-ins often happen when the garage door is left open, and the door to the house is unlocked. Always secure the entry door with a deadbolt and keep garage windows locked.

Put in a garage-door lock that bolts the door to the sidewalls, and use it when you’re away for an extended period. And always close the garage door—even if you’re mowing the lawn outback.

Use An Epoxy Floor Coating

That dingy concrete slab will look even drabber once you’ve tidied it up. An antiskid floor coating resists oil stains and wipes clean as easily as a kitchen countertop does—plus the colour chips and paint disguise any imperfections.

Pick up an all-inclusive kit (such as Quikrete’s Garage Floor Epoxy Kit, about $60; and plan to tackle the project when you have a few days of temperate, 50- to 80-degree weather for adequate drying time. The key to success is diligent prep work—namely, a clean, dry slab.

Seal The Threshold

Rain, windblown leaves, bugs, and mice will find their way inside if the bottom of your garage door doesn’t sit flush with the floor. Create a snug fit by attaching a rubberised strip to the floor where the door lands (Threshold Seal, about $70 for a 16-foot strip; griots garage)—you’ll save yourself some cleanup time.

Upgrade Lighting And Electrical Systems

A bare bulb over each car bay won’t cut it. For ambient light, opt for 4-foot fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts, which give flicker-free light and work well in cold temps. Space them 4 feet apart and use as many as you need to see well at night. 

Swap out receptacles with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) that cut the power when there’s a short in the system.

The Best Way To Pull Into The Garage

Here’s how to make sure that your cars will always be a good fit:

  • Skip the motion sensors that tell you exactly how far to pull the car in; hang a tennis ball on a string from the ceiling so that it taps the windshield when you’re in the right spot. Ideally, you should be able to walk between the garage’s back wall and your car.
  • Protect your car’s finish by attaching pieces of scrap carpeting to the walls in spots where the doors or bumper might hit them.
  • Leave the centre aisle between two vehicles as wide as possible so that you can roll trash bins to the curb or move bulky objects around without interference.
  • If you have a minivan, back it into the garage with the sliding doors facing the centre, then park your sedan next to it, facing forward to allow easy access to both vehicles.

Keep It Clean For Good

  • In spring and summer, keep insects at bay with a pesticide that relies on natural ingredients (Bugzilla, about $20 for 32 ounces; bugzillapesticide).
  • Keep a bag of kitty litter handy for absorbing oil and grease spills. Place a broom and dustpan or a handheld vacuum near your workbench to tidy up after working on projects.
  • Hose down the floor regularly.
  • At least once a year, weed through your belongings and sell, donate, or toss what you don’t need.

Clean Out Your Garage Before Organising

No matter how clean you think your garage is, there’s still a chance that many items don’t need to be in your garage. That’s why you should start by cleaning the whole garage out! Be sure to…

  • Take inventory of what you have
  • Throw out any expired, irreparable, or unsafe items
  • Organise items into piles
  • Sweep out any debris and, if possible, wash and reseal your garage floor
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