The garage is a hidden workhorse of the home. Nowadays it’s more than just a place to park your car—it’s the go-to for storing tools, workbenches, decorations, clothing, supplies, chemicals, bikes and more. As one of the most neglected spaces in a home, the garage can easily become a tangled mess that goes untouched for years.
Instead, take advantage of your garage’s open floor plan by creating storage space that allows you to turn it into party central for neighborhood events. Whether it’s a full garage organizational system you use in organizing your garage, or just a few well-placed bins, there’s an option for every home. Are you a tailgating fanatic? Why not bring the party home this year? With the right garage storage, you can easily make your space perfect for a tailgate-worthy soiree just in time for the Super Bowl.
How to Determine Your Storage Needs
Kick off your garage overhaul by first determining what your needs are. There’s no point in allocating half of your garage to tool storage if you have very few tools, or more bike storage if you only have one bike.
First, evaluate what items need to be stored. You may already have sufficient storage for most things but lack an area for larger, bulkier items, or you may not have any built-in storage at all. Determine what items are in the way when it comes to flow and parking your car, and items that are often used but never accessible.
Second, assess what type of organizer you and your household are. Kids rarely put away things when lids are in the way, so consider open-top bins and racks for kid’s toys and sports equipment. If you’re an “out of sight, out of mind” organizer, consider open shelving and labeled bins instead of cabinetry.
To keep your storage organized in the future, Jose Zuniga of MakeSpace recommends following the “one in, one out” rule: “If you add an item to your garage, get rid of another item. Also, designate a home for every item in your garage. When you’re done using an item, be sure to put it back in its home. Eventually, organizing your stuff won’t feel like a chore. It’ll be second nature to you,” he says.
Go up instead of out. Take advantage of ceiling space with overhead storage to keep your garage tidy for the next big game. Suspended overhead racks are perfect for storing large and bulky items you rarely need access to, like Christmas decorations and luggage. Overhead storage is ideal for storing those bulky items that typically end up in the corner, freeing up space for storage cabinets, bike racks or even an entertainment corner come game day. Because it can be installed in just a few hours, overhead storage is a quick and easy choice if you’re looking to avoid a full garage remodel.
Whether it’s commercial or built-in, there’s a cabinet for every type of budget and garage. Cabinetry is ideal for those that enjoy a clean look, especially those looking to entertain in the garage with little “garage” items around. Tuck away chemicals, art supplies, paint and other items you want to keep out of sight during parties.
Commercial cabinetry offers stand-alone options, making it easy to configure and add and subtract when needed. Decently priced, commercial cabinetry can easily be purchased at your local home improvement store. Built-in cabinetry, on the other hand, is the custom route. While it can be expensive, built-in cabinetry not only transforms your garage into a beautiful setting, but you can tailor it to your specific storage needs.
No matter what cabinetry you go with, make sure to stick with durable materials—heavy-duty shelving and easy-to-clean laminate exteriors are ideal for housing heavy items, and they won’t be ruined if they get dinged during tailgates.
Pegboards and Slat Walls
Keep things adjustable. Garages are notorious for fluctuating back and forth with how they’re used, which is why pegboards and slat walls are popular storage choices. Pegboards keep tools together and within easy reach, while slat boards can house everything from bike racks, bins, shelving and more. Adjustable systems are perfect for growing families and those that like to add new toys to the mix. They’re also easily rearranged when the time comes to host your tailgating party.
Tell us: What type of garage storage systems are you eyeing for this tailgating season?
Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning interior designer in California. She is the founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab and the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. Kerrie also writes for The Home Depot, which offers a wide selection of tailgating gear.