Prepare Your Garage Now for the Change of Season

garage-storage-custom-overhead-platform-toy-storage-slatwall-camlock-hooks-bicycle-helmets-golf-clubs-stairs-bannister-central-vacuum-garden-toolsAfter months of cold weather, and still more on the horizon, we begin to look forward to the months ahead, when the temperature will slowly begin to climb. Perhaps your family is itching for warmer weather, ready to ditch heavy parkas and boots. However, your garage may not be quite ready for the coming change of season.

During the winter, the last thing you want to do is schlep out to the garage to carefully sort and put things away. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for the garage to become the family dumping ground during the cold, winter months. If your garage is piled high with bikes, tools, outdoor toys, gardening tools, lawn care equipment, off-season tires and sporting goods, you’re probably unable to park all of your intended vehicles inside of your garage. Additionally, finding the items you need in a disorganized garage can be extremely frustrating.

The impending arrival of spring signals the start of a variety of activities like softball, soccer, golf and gardening. All of these activities require specialized equipment which is likely buried in your garage. To avoid the annoyance and frustration of misplaced sporting equipment, gardening tools and lawn care equipment this spring, take the following three steps to get your garage ready for the change of season.

Step One: Out with the Old

The primary reason it’s so difficult to find anything in the garage is because the things we want and need are buried beneath items for which we no longer have a need. Think about the items currently stored in your garage. Has the garage become the designated dumping ground for broken toys, furniture and tools? Is the garage littered with bikes, wagons and sports equipment the kids have outgrown? Are duplicates tools stealing valuable storage space? If so, prepping your garage for spring begins with a thorough purge.

Sort through all of the items stored inside your garage. Be ruthless when it comes to cutting the clutter.

  • Throw out items that are damaged or broken. Perhaps you stored them in the garage with the intention of fixing them. However, if those items haven’t been repaired in a year or two, the likelihood that they ever will be is quite slim.
  • Donate or sell outdated items, those you haven’t used in years and items you’ve never used can either be donated to a local charity or sold. However, if you decide to sell unused items, set a firm deadline for getting rid of them. Otherwise, those items might still be taking up space in your garage three years from now.
  • Group similar items and look for duplicate tools and sporting equipment. Once you identify duplicates, decide which item you’ll keep and donate or discard the unnecessary items.

Purging the garage may seem like a daunting task for one person. Make the project fun by enlisting the help of family or friends. Turn on your favorite music. Once the job is completed, reward yourself with a night out or a fun activity the entire family will enjoy.

Step Two: Create Dedicated Zones

If weather permits, it’s helpful to remove all items from the garage in order to clearly see the storage space available. This will enable you to determine how to best use the space in your garage. Before you create the layout for your new, clutter-free garage, think about how you use the space. What tasks are performed in your garage? What kinds of items are stored there?

Create distinct zones for sports equipment, lawn care equipment, vehicle care accessories and gardening tools. Put away out-of-season items, like sleds and snow shovels, to make room for items you’ll need for spring. Then decide on the ideal location for each zone: back wall, sidewall or near the garage door.

Step Three: Optimize Available Storage Space

There’s a limited amount of space in a garage. Yet, the volume of things we own and need to store continues to grow. How can you find a dedicated space to store all of your family’s things? Maximize the storage space in your garage by incorporating shelving, cabinetry, baskets, hooks and stackable storage containers.

A garage wall organization system, like slatwall, is designed to maximize storage space. The complementary baskets, hooks and shelves slide and lock into place easily, creating a neat, organized system for storing items along the wall, rather than stacking them along the perimeter of the floor. Once the space has been optimized, each item can be stored in its designated space.

Shelving can be an essential component of an organized garage, particularly for those who prefer items stored where items can be easily seen and retrieved. Next time we’ll talk about how to maximize the storage space in your garage by using steel racks.

If organizing your garage feels like an overwhelming job to take on yourself, check out some of our amazing garage transformations, then contact Nuvo Garage to request your free consultation.

Five Essential Tips for Maintaining and Organizing Your Garage

As the year quickly draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to recap some of our favorite garage renovation tips from this past year.

Winterize Your Garage (and Everything in It)

If you haven’t already prepped your garage for winter, there’s no time like the present. Defend your garage, and home, against the harsh, cold weather by doing the following:

  • Replace the batteries in your garage door openers.
  • Check garage door weather stripping and replace, if needed.
  • Check all moving parts of the garage door. Get a pro to repair damaged or malfunctioning parts.
  • Lubricate garage door rollersand hinges to ensure smooth operation.
  • Test the garage door safety reverse sensor. If not functioning correctly, adjust the sensors or have them repaired.
  • Shut off water supply to exterior spigot.

Use Specialized Solutions for Your Unique Storage Needs

custom storage overhead of canoes & kayaksIf your garage is stuffed to the gills, preventing you from parking your car(s) inside, specialized storage solutions could be the answer to your problems. Bulky items, like lawn mowers, snow plows, motorcycles and canoes take up considerable room in a garage. However, there are a variety of specialized garage storage solutions that can help. Here are a few:

  • Tire racks–Specialized tire storage racks come in a variety of configurations, allowing tires to be stored vertically or horizontally, on a wall or overhead.
  • Lawn mower racks or lifts – Riding and push mowers take up substantial garage space, making it difficult to park vehicles inside. Worse, vehicles can get scratched when the door is opened, or while the lawn mower is being moved.Lawn mower racks store push mowers off the ground, so additional items can be stored underneath. For a riding mower, a motorized lift will lift and lower the riding mower with the push of a button.
  • Motorcycle lifts – Motorcycles often hijack space needed for the snow blower, or to park a second vehicle. A professionally-installed motorcycle lift can safely store the bike off the ground, reserving premium garage floor space.
  • Kayak and paddle board racks – It can be tricky to find just the right place to store these seasonal items in your garage. If not properly stored, expensive paddle boards and kayaks are easily scratched or toppled. However, specialized kayak and paddle board racks provide safe, attractive storage for these items.Overhead, wall-mounted and freestanding racks are available. Many models can hold multiple boards/kayaks.
  • Overhead pulley systems – Canoes, truck caps and other heavy items which must be lowered onto a vehicle are excellent candidates for an overhead pulley system. Such a system allows users to lift and lower heavy items with minimal effort. Pulley systems are also available for single, double or multiple bicycle storage.

Maximize Garage Storage

1.5 car garage, etobicoke - right wall, bare cement block, slatwall organization system, camlock hooks, basketsThe specialty storage solutions outlined above lift bulky items and preserve essential floor space. However, a variety of smaller items also pilfer valuable space when stored at ground level. A wall organizer system is the key to maximizing garage storage space by storing items vertically. Once installed, a professional-grade garage wall organization system, like slatwall, has infinite configurability, thanks to corresponding accessories:

  • Baskets – Store balls, sports pads, household goods and other items in baskets. Create a separate basket for each task, sport or individual.
  • Hooks – Use hooks to hang a wide range of items from gardening tools to sporting equipment, like hockey gear and bicycles.
  • Shelving – Shelves fit into the grooves in slatwall, enabling heavy items to be stored securely. High shelving provides the perfect storage space for items that should be kept out of the reach of pets and children, like automotive fluids, household chemicals or flower pots.
  • Specialty hooks – Many professional-grade garage wall organization systems offer specialty hooks for items like golf equipment, skateboards, snowboards and more.

All hooks, baskets and shelves can easily be relocated, creating endless configuration possibilities.

Find a Way to Use “Unusable” Garage Space

garage-storage-custom-overhead-platform-toy-storage-slatwall-camlock-hooks-bicycle-helmets-golf-clubs-stairs-bannister-central-vacuum-garden-toolsOne of the keys to maximizing storage space in your garage is to find clever ways to make use of “unusable” space. Look around your garage. Perhaps you have high ceilings, oddly configured corners, poorly placed appliances and other dead spaces that create storage challenges. However, a garage renovation specialist can find creative solutions for such challenges, like custom-built overhead platforms; custom-built or customizable cabinetry; custom-built slings for storing canoes and rooftop sports equipment carriers overhead; and other custom-built options.

Make Keeping the Garage Organized a Family Affair

Standing back and surveying a neat, organized garage almost makes the entire Saturday you spent cleaning it feel worthwhile. But what happens a week later, once the entire family goes back to using the garage as a dumping ground? The garage quickly returns to utter chaos. This often occurs because only one person in the family is charged with the responsibility of keeping it clean. Put an end to this cycle of chaos. Get the entire family invested in keeping the garage organized. If everyone contributes to the hard work of cleaning and organizing the garage, they are more likely to work toward keeping it that way.

Explore these and other garage renovation and organization topics to ring in the new year with a clean, organized garage that will stay that way.

5 Garage Gifts to Give This Year

With the holidays quickly approaching, you’re probably still searching for a unique Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza gift for that special person. If he or she enjoys spending time in the garage (or would like to), you’re in luck. We’ve got five gift ideas that will make your garage lover a happy camper.

Finally Being Able to Park the Car in the Garage

1 car garage parks bmw plus 7 high end bicycles, portable workshop and all toolsIf the items stored in the garage have taken over, forcing you to park outside in the cold, give the gift of indoor parking space. Start by creating a viable plan for the space. Assess what you have stored in the garage. Decide what should be tossed (broken furniture, ruined paint, unusable items, etc.). Make a list of items than can be donated (furniture and sporting goods no longer needed, duplicate gardening tools, etc.). Then plan separate spaces for each type of item stored in your garage. For instance, create dedicated zones for automotive accessories, gardening accessories, sporting goods, etc. Determine if there is a need for additional storage space, like shelving. Make sure you have everything you’ll need on hand.

Now that your plan is in place and you have all of the necessary tools, it’s time to take action. If the job seems too big to tackle alone, make it a family affair or invite a few friends over. Bundle up, clear space for a portable heater, turn on your favorite playlist and begin executing your plan. First, eliminate or relocate as many items as you can. Once the space has been pared down, you’ll have more room to operate. Move everything to the perimeter, making use of shelving, hooks and baskets that will allow you to store items vertically. Continue until you’ve cleared enough space to park inside your garage.

A Workshop or Craft Space

Workbench for One Car GarageNeed a gift for a woodworking or gardening enthusiast? Consider creating a gardening or craft station inside your garage. A dedicated workspace for crafts and hobbies can be created relatively simply by re-purposing old furniture and cabinetry. First, determine where you want to locate the work area. Then reclaim the wall space by removing or relocating items. Next, create a flat work space. An old table or cabinet might do just the trick. If not, foldable workbenches or task desks are available at your local box store.

When planning your workspace, don’t forget to provide adequate storage for tools and other accessories. If a sturdier workspace or heavy duty storage is needed, modular cabinetry might be the best option. Modular cabinets, like European-style Contur Cabinets, offer a clean, modern aesthetic and plenty of hidden storage. Need a unique workspace solution? A garage renovation specialist can create a custom workbench.

Find Space for the Things Your Loved Ones Cherish

The amount of cherished items we own continues to expand, yet garage space remains fairly static. So how can you snag additional storage space for your loved one’s favorite things while conserving enough space to park your vehicle(s) inside the garage? Go vertical.

Don’t limit storage to the perimeter floor space. Instead, find ways to store items along the entire height of the wall. This can be accomplished with a wall organization system, like slatwall, which makes use of complementary shelves, hooks and baskets to display items neatly and attractively. Heavy-duty shelving units, available at big box or wholesale stores, can also provide vertical space.

Need even more storage space? Try looking up. Overhead space is an ideal spot for storing cherished, but rarely used items, like seasonal decorations, and large, bulky items like canoes, roof rack storage containers or leftover siding.

Give Athletes & Weekend Warriors Dedicated Space for Sporting Goods

sports equipment storage - slatwall, camlock hooks, water skis, snowboards, snowshoesActive families can easily fill a garage with all of their sporting goods. Bicycles, golf clubs, skis, hockey gear, bats, balls, kayaks, snowboards, lacrosse equipment and other items jockey for space throughout the year. When not stored properly, expensive golf clubs, skis and other equipment can easily be damaged. Smaller items, like balls, knee pads and helmets are frequently lost. Protect your investment and save precious time by creating dedicated storage space to house the sporting goods of your athletes and weekend warriors.

This can easily be accomplished with a wall organization system. Just add hooks, baskets and shelves to accommodate sporting goods. Then create dedicated baskets for each sport or family member. Many wall organization systems include storage solutions for specific sporting goods—like skateboard or kayaks.

Schedule a Consultation for a Garage Renovation

If organizing your garage seems overwhelming, or you’d rather have a professional renovate your space, consider enlisting the aid of a garage renovation specialist. Nuvo Garage specializes in garage transformations ranging from small organizational projects to major garage renovations. Contact us to discuss how you can give your favorite garage enthusiast the gift of a transformed garage space.

Use “Wasted” Space in Your Garage to Store Seasonal Items

seasonal garage storage changeover - shovel, snowblower, decorations - winterWith the holiday season in full swing, you’re likely in the midst of decorating. Perhaps you’re dealing with the frustration of not being able to locate the wreath or tree topper. Once you locate your favorite box of ornaments, you may discover chipped or broken items. Then there is the battle with tangled strings of lights and trying to remember which string of lights goes where.

Eliminate the additional stress next year by considering how and where you’ll store your holiday decorations once this season is over.

Prep Holiday Decorations for Off-Season Storage

Storage Containers on Shelf - organized basementSimplify the process with the proper tools and a little preplanning. Clear, stackable plastic bins are invaluable for storing decorations. They come in a variety of sizes and configurations—from small shoebox bins to large totes big enough to accommodate an artificial tree. Specialized containers, which make storing wreaths, ornaments and other items a breeze, are also available.Here are a few ways to ensure that your ornaments are stored safely.

Artificial Christmas trees can last for many years, if stored properly. Buy a large plastic tote or tree bag to store your artificial tree.When stored in a box or bin, the tree may first need to be “de-fluffed.”

Fragile Christmas ornaments can be tricky to store. Purchase a plastic bin divided into compartments large enough to accommodate each ornament, or invest in a container made specifically for holding holiday ornaments.

Use bubble wrap to protect fragile decorations with irregular shapes, like ceramic figurines. Once they are securely wrapped, store them in labeled plastic bins.

Strings of lights often get tangled during storage. Avoid this frustrating dilemma by labeling each string of lights. Note the length of each and where you used it. Purchase a holiday lights storage reel, or wrap each string of lights around a clean, empty cylindrical can to prevent tangling. Place reels or cylinders in a storage case or bin.

Sort ribbon, wrapping paper and small, easily-misplaced items.Stack ribbons in a plastic bin, or use a box made for storing ribbon. Sort strings of beads and other small items into small plastic bags. Group similar items in clear, plastic shoe boxes. Label each box for easy identificationto save time and frustration next year.

Store faux firgarlands in a large, clear plastic bin, winding the garland neatly inside. Faux fir or pine wreaths can be stored in a large hat box or plastic bin. Hard plastic cases designed specifically for storing wreaths are also available.

Wrap candles in cellophane. This will prevent them from melting onto each other in warmer temperatures. Don’t wrap candles with anything that will transfer unwanted colors or melt onto them when the temperature climbs.

As you sort decorations and prepare them for storage, examine each piece. Toss items that are chipped, broken or faded. Examine strings of lights for possible fraying or broken bulbs.Use plastic storage bins that seal tightly, to protect decorations from moisture and insects. Once everything is prepared, it’s time to store your decorations.

Employ “Wasted” Space to Store Holiday Decorations

Make decorating next year simple by creating a designated space in your garage for your seasonal decorations.The thought of finding room to store your seven-foot tall artificial tree might seem laughable, if your garage is already packed with items. However, most garages have a wealth of unused space that is perfect for storing seasonal items. Just look up.

If you have a high garage ceiling, you likely have lots of additional storage space. You might regard this space as unusable. Consider three ways your overhead space can be used to store holiday decorations and other seldom-used items.

  1. Have an overhead platform installed. What was once dead space now becomes functional storage. Access the overhead storage area with a step ladder to store stackable plastic bins, your artificial tree and other items.The depth of stacked items should be no more than 32”. If the space is too deep, it becomes difficult to see what you have on hand.
  2. Have a pulley-based storage platform installed. The one disadvantage of a stationary overhead platform is that it requires you to tote items up and down a ladder. A pulley-based platform eliminates the need for a ladder. Use the crank to lower the storage platform. Load it up. Then crank the platform back up to the ceiling. When you’re ready to retrieve your seasonal decorations, simply lower the platform again.
  3. Install a ceiling-mounted garage hoist or custom sling. These hoists or slings are typically used to store kayaks or canoes overhead in the garage. However, they can also be used to overhead. Another option is to install hooks overhead from which the tree can hang. If you have adequate shelving along the perimeter of your garage for storing most of your seasonal items, a hoist or sling can be a simple solution for storing your tree.

Decorating your home for holidays should be an enjoyable experience for the entire family. Invest in containers suitable for storing your ornaments, wreaths, holiday lights and other fragile decorations. Create a designated storage space for your seasonal items overhead in your garage. Have overhead platforms installed by a garage organization professional who will ensure that the platform is installed safely and fully capable of bearing the manufacturer recommended load.

Preparing Your Garage for Winter Sports Equipment

sports equipment storage - slatwall, camlock hooks, water skis, snowboards, snowshoesWhen the air turns crisp, it prompts a variety of changes. Summer clothing is exchanged for fall sweaters, and eventually, heavy duty winter gear. We switch out screen windows for glass panes and shore up insulation to ensure that our homes stay warm and toasty. The change of season also prompts the need for changes in the garage. Once you’ve gotten your garage ready for winter, it’s time to tackle another change-of-season task—stashing away all of your family’s summer sports gear to make room for winter sports equipment.

Each member of your family may participate in a variety of sports, each requiring its own long list of accessories, big and small. If the garage is the primary entry point for your family, your garage is likely jam-packed with balls, bats, skates and a variety of other items. During the summer, bikes and sports equipment often take over the garage. However, with the impending arrival of winter, you’ll likely want to get your cars parked inside the garage. Let’s examine a basic plan that will help you store winter sports equipment in your garage so that you’ll be prepared to go zooming down the ski trails at a moment’s notice.

Start with a Good System (or Two)

Just like a championship-bound sports team, an organized garage has a solid system as its foundation. In this case, there should be at least two: task-related zones and a wall organization system.

In past posts, we’ve discussed the importance of creating dedicated zones in your garage.Creating separate areas in your garage for each of the tasks performed, or each type of item stored there, is an essential component of an organized garage.Once you’ve reorganized your garage by creating spaces for automotive accessories, yard tools and other commonly-used items, it’s time to assign a spot for the individual items in each category. This is when a wall organization system becomes invaluable.

A wall organization system, like slatwall, provides dedicated storage spaces for all of the items in each zone. These systems are used in conjunction with complementary hooks, baskets and shelves, which come in a variety of sizes. Dedicate a basket or shelf to a single sport or a specific family member. The individual storage accessories can be configured, and re-configured, in countless ways, allowing you to customize the system to fit the changing needs of your family.

Switch Positions

During the warm months, perhaps softball, soccer and lacrosse equipment took center stage. Now it’s time to make room for sleds, ice skates, hockey equipment and skis. If you already have a wall organization system installed, this task is simple. Unhook the baskets and hooks for summer sporting goods and relocate them to a less prominent area in the garage. Then switch the baskets and hooks for winter equipment to a position that makes them easily accessible.

If you don’t have room to store both summer and winter equipment along the wall at the same time, consider storing off-season items in overhead storage bins or platforms. This is an ideal place to store items that are seasonal or seldom used. If your garage isn’t equipped for overhead storage, or the space there is already reserved for other items, off-season sports equipment can be stored in the basement or in a closet.

Make Room for the Odd Man Out

What about large or irregularly-shaped items that tend to eat up the limited real estate in your garage? Wall organization systems, like slatwall, have you covered with hooks or specialty hangers that can accommodate snowboards, snowshoes, hockey sticks and other large items. Need space for bulkier items? Try a custom overhead sling to make storing and loading your Thule a snap.

Get Everything in Game Condition

Before you put everything away, take a few moments to prep the equipment for the season ahead. Wipe down skis and examine them for any damage. Check skates for broken laces or loose blades. Make sure the runners on sleds are securely fastened. Now you’re ready for the season ahead.

A garage wall storage system is extremely versatile and highly-configurable. When used in conjunction with dedicated zones, it creates the foundation for a truly organized garage that can accommodate your family’s active lifestyle any time of the year. Best of all, items will be stored off the garage floor leaving room for the real star of the show—your vehicle.

Want the flexibility a wall storage system can provide, but too busy to install one yourself? Contact a garage renovation specialist to discover creative ways to store your sports equipment.