Bike Storage of Track Bikes – 2015 Pan Am Games

Velodrome Track Racing - Pan Am 2015 @ Milton's velodromeWe have  become a nation of bike riders. There has been a consistent increase in the number of cyclists in the country since the beginning of the millennium. It is not just the twenty-somethings either. People of all ages are getting out and about on their bikes. Whether for leisure, commuting, fitness or sport everyone from high school students to busy executives to retired seniors are strapping on helmets and pushing pedals.
This summer, the Pan-Am 2015 games are taking center stage and with the building of the brand new state-of-the-art Velodrome in Milton, avid cyclers are not only anticipating the thrill of watching the competition but with access to velodrome facilities people are trying their hand at track cycling.  If you have an interest, there are already lessons available for anyone curious about this sport which has now become accessible to us in the Southern Ontario area.

For those of us with a cycle enthusiast in our family, this means more sports gear and a new bicycle to consider and store as well.  Yes, the road bike purchased last year will not work for the sport of Track Cycling.

How Does Track Cycling Work

Riders will need a track bike with no brakes and fixed gear.  It is designed for racing on a track at a velodrome. The track is a banked wooden track so the bike is  lightweight, aerodynamic for racing and high gear.  These professional  riders are reaching speeds of 80km/hr while many of us are cycling at 20km/hr on the road.

Track biking is both a team and an individual sport and has its own set of unique rules and events. The following is what you can expect to see at this year’s Pan-Am games.

Sprinting Events

For the Pan-Am games there are three types of sprinting events:

  • The individual sprint where cyclists begin racing with a flying start (from a moving position rather than a stopped position), and race for 200 meters.
  • The team sprint, which is slightly different for men and women. For men, three racers sprint over three laps of the course, with each rider participating in one lap. In the women’s event, it is two racers over two laps of the course.
  • The Keirin sprint in which a motorbike is used to set the pace. The cyclists follow the pacer over a kilometer or two as it gradually increases in speed. When the pacer moves from the track, usually with about 700 meters left to go, the cyclists battle it out to the finish line.

Endurance Events

The endurance event for the Pan-Am games involves two teams racing at one time. The teams of four riders begin on opposite sides of the track and the race is completed over a distance of four kilometers. A winning team is declared when one team catches the other or whichever team finishes in the fastest time.

Combined Events

The combined cycling event for the Pan-Am games is called the Omnium (which is Latin for “belonging to all”). In this competition, cyclists compete in a series of six events over the span of two days which include:

  • Flying lap – Where cyclists complete one lap from a moving rather than a cold start.
  • Points race – Which is a mass start marathon race, 30 kilometers for men, 20 kilometers for women.
  • Elimination race – Where a rider is eliminated over a series of races.
  • Individual pursuit – Where two riders compete over four kilometers (three for women) from a stationary start position.
  • Scratch race – Which is a simple race where the riders start together and the first one over the finish line wins.
  • Kilometer time trial – Where the cyclists are timed over the length of one kilometer (500 meters for women).

If all of this makes you want to try out track cycling, there are already lessons offered at the Velodrome in Milton .  People are also thrilled at the opportunity of all-year training. With the building of this facility, Canadian cyclists no longer need to worry about the weather.

What Do I Need for Track Cycling?

You’ll need a fixed-gear track cycle and  a body hugging skin suit as well as an aerodynamic helmet all in an effort to reduce drag and get every little bit of advantage out of drafting behind team mates while on the track.

Fixed gear means there is no coasting on this bike.  The pedals are attached to the crank set so if the bike is moving so are the pedals.  If we want to travel 10km then we will be pedaling the entire 10km. Think back to riding your first tricycle around the neighbourhood and you get the idea. There has also been a rise of other fixed gear bikes as city hipsters are bringing back retro no-gear bikes and riding them as commuter bikes. Track bikes are little more complicated but the basic idea remains the same.

In addition to the lack of coasting, these bikes have no brakes, as streamline design is more important on these wooden track speedsters. Therefore, stopping is different than on a regular road bike. There are two ways to stop on a fixed gear bike.

  • The skid stop – Think back to that tricycle again; you place backward pressure on the pedals so the back wheel stops spinning and skids to a stop.  On a bicycle, you also need to remember to lean forward over your front wheel to improve the stability of your stop.
  • Have brakes installed – Many cyclists have front brakes installed for increased safety on city streets and while learning how to properly ride a fixed gear bike.

Surprisingly, with minimal  technology, the track bike raced in a velodrome is still a bit heavier than a road bike even though,  you would never see a spot to put a water bottle. In fact, water is not allowed on the wooden racing tracks.

 

How to Store Your New Bike

bike-racks-512w1Chances are that if you (or someone in your family) has purchased a brand new track bike, there are already a number of bikes in the garage. No doubt you have a mountain bike, a high-end road bike, a leisure bike and even a few bikes for the kids. Fortunately, there are innovative solutions to your bike storage issues that keep your wheels secure and easy to access and still leave room for the car and lawn mower.

  • Automated bike lift on a pulley – This system can store up to five bikes at a time, raises them up to the ceiling, and out of the way, yet still keeps them easy to access.
  • Ceiling mounts – If you have a tall garage, you can take advantage of the space up top and store your bikes overhead on ceiling mounts.
  • School yard-type bike rack – This is the perfect solution for the warm months when everyone is riding. Park the cars in the driveway to allow this simple solution for bike storage. Easy to store, even for the kids.

The best bet is to talk to an expert who can evaluate the space you have, the bikes you need to store and the ease of access you require. They can help you use both the vertical and horizontal space in your garage to ensure you have enough room to store the entire family’s bikes, no matter how many that may be.

It should be an exciting summer for all athletes, but especially for the cyclists. The Pan-Am games are bound to rejuvenate the sport of cycling and the Milton Velodrome just may change the way Ontarians think about biking. Just ensure that if you take up track cycling you know the rules, purchase a great bike and store it securely.

Strong Racks Shelving – Maximize Garage Storage

strong-racks-overhead-wall-storageWhether your garage is big or small, it probably doesn’t have nearly enough storage space to accommodate your family’s lifestyles. Bikes, sporting goods, lawn care equipment and gardening tools take up lots of space. Then there are bulky items like tires, kayaks and roof equipment racks that consume as much space as a small vehicle. So how can you possibly fit all of these items in your garage and still have space to park your vehicle?

Last time we discussed the importance of optimizing available storage space, as one of three steps to prepare your garage for the change of season. Now we’ll consider how sturdy, steel shelving can be used to maximize the storage space in your garage.

Boost Garage Storage with Strong Racks Steel Shelving

Inside your home there are designated spaces for storing items. The closets, laundry room and pantry have racks, shelving and perhaps even cabinets. However, the typical garage consists of three bare walls. Without distinct storage space, it’s no wonder families often resort to using the entire garage as a dumping ground. The key to eliminating clutter in the garage is creating clearly defined storage space for each item. Shelving creates much-needed storage space while keeping items clearly visible.

There are a variety of shelving options available, from freestanding shelving units to garage wall organization systems with movable shelves that lock into place. Another option is sturdy, steel shelving, which does not require a paneled wall system for installation. Strong Racks ceiling shelves provide sturdy overhead storage. This reserves premium floor space, allowing room to park your vehicle inside the garage.

Strong Racks wall shelving provides a sturdy space for storing boxes, cans and other items that are solid underneath. Available accessories, like ladder and bike hooks, double your storage by creating space in front of the shelf to hang these items.

Make Use of “Unusable” Space

Overhead storage racks convert “unusable” space into functional storage space; perfect for seasonal and rarely used items. With the highest weight capacity in the industry, Strong Racks provide safe, convenient overhead storage. Available in chrome or white, these shelving units are highly-configurable. The height of the shelves can be adjusted to accommodate tall items.

strong-racks-automated-ceiling-overhead-storageStoring heavy items overhead can be challenging for some, as it requires ascending and descending a ladder with heavy items in tow. However, a motorized lift system allows the rack to be lowered with the touch of a button. Load the rack with heavy tools and boxes or bulky items. Then simply push the button to hoist the shelf back into place overhead.Push button, motorized overhead storage is an ideal solution for storing large, bulky items like kayaks, canoes and roof rack equipment carriers.

The Key Advantages of the Strong Racks Steel Shelving System

Strong Racks provides an excellent system for getting items off of your garage floor by utilizing what is normally considered unusable space. While other overhead shelving system are available, Strong Racks shelving is superior in these key areas:

Strength:

  • The Strong Racks mounting rack is the thickest and strongest in the industry. It is made of strong, 11-gauge steel, not the low-cost angle iron, or steel straps used by some competitors.
  • The square tubes used to hang the racks are made of strong steel.
  • Each overhead rack holds up to 750 pounds. Wall mounted overhead racks can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds.

Safety:

  • Each 4’x8’ section is secured to four ceiling trusses with sixteen, three-inch screws. This distributes the weight over a wider area of the ceiling, ensuring that each rack remains firmly and safely attached.
  • Sixteen bolts are used to secure the grid system to the rails, for added strength and safety.
  • The exclusive, patented rail brackets used to secure shelving allows the shelf to be secured to a wall, for additional safety and increased weight capacity.
  • A two-inch safety lip surrounds each shelving unit to prevent items from inadvertently being shoved off of shelves.

Quality:

  • Strong Racks are backed by a lifetime guarantee, when professionally installed.
  • The durable ceiling assembly uses thirteen pieces of hardware to attach the shelving to the ceiling.
  • The quality construction and installation of each rack eliminates movement in installed shelves.

Flexibility:

  • Strong Racks come in depths of 2, 3 and 4-feet, to accommodate items of all sizes.
  • Multiple Strong Racks can be mounted in a variety of configurations, creating up to 99 different platforms sizes, to easily accommodate your specific storage needs.
  • Two square steel tubes are used per mounting rack, allowing the height of each rack to be adjusted between 27.5 and 41.5 inches.
  • The Super Drop system adjusts platform height between 40 and 96 inches from the ceiling, to allow racks to be hung at an accessible height, even in garages with high ceilings.

strong-racks-wall-shelvesStrong Racks can be purchased for DIY installation, or be installed by a garage renovation specialist. However, these racks are made to hold a considerable amount of weight overhead. It is crucial that they are installed correctly to ensure your family’s safety.Also, when installed professionally, Strong Racks come with a lifetime guarantee.

Garages haven’t changed much in the past few decades, but our lifestyles have. Homeowners want a garage that will accommodate their active lifestyles and provide space to park the cars. The installation of Strong Racks steel shelving is a simple way to transform your garage from a chaotic dumping ground to an organized space with designated spots to store all of the things you need. Are you ready to transform your garage with Strong Racks overhead or motorized shelving? Request your free consultation today.

Would you prefer to keep items in your garage stored out-of-sight, rather than on-display on shelves? Next time we’ll discuss how to keep your clutter under wraps, without breaking the bank, by installing laminate cabinetry.

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.

Is Your Garage Ready for Winter?

slatwall - wall organizers, grey, hooks, garden toolsWe’ve settled into fall and the air is turning crisp and cool. Though most of us would prefer to reminisce over how we spent the summer, it’s time to give serious thought to preparing for winter.

Remember last winter?

It was the coldest winter Toronto has experienced in twenty years. The harsh winter caught many of us unaware, and left homeowners, businesses and governments reeling from the unexpected impact and costs. Most homeowners realize how essential it is to winterize their homes, but don’t forget about your garage. It needs winter weather prep, too.

What can you do to prepare your garage for the snowy winter ahead? Here are four steps that will help you get your garage ready for winter.

Clean Up Your Act

During the activity of summer it’s easy for the garage to become a family dumping ground. Maybe you’ve even resorted to parking your vehicles outside, rather than vying for space inside the garage. However, with snow and cold weather headed our way in the coming months, now is the time to carve out space for your vehicles and all of your winter weather supplies, like shovels, salt and your trusty snow blower.

Begin your winter weather prep by cleaning out your garage. Sort through all of the items stored in your garage. Honestly assess which items are needed and which should go. Be brutal. Toss broken items, including the ones you’ve been planning to fix for the past five years. Donate items in good condition that are duplicates or that your family no longer uses.

Still having trouble deciding what should stay and what should get the old heave-ho? Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do I trulyneed this item?
  • How likely is it that we’ll use it again?
  • If I’m not using it, why am I really holding onto this item?
  • Could someone else use it?
  • If it’s broken, is it worth fixing? How likely am I to fix the item (or get it fixed)?
  • Does this item fit with my current lifestyle?
  • Which is more important: holding onto this item or parking inside the garage?

Once you’ve pared down the volume of items stored in the garage, it’s the perfect time to spruce it up. Sweep floors, dust for cobwebs, clean the garage door and give the floor a good scrub.

Create a Plan

Now that you can see how much space you’re working with, it’s time to devise a plan for organizing your items. Ask yourself:

  • What is my objective?
  • What additional items need to go into the garage?
  • Is there room for the snow blower?
  • Which items should be grouped together? (More on this later.)
  • Where should each item be placed for easiest access?

Map out a plan that will allow you to safely store all items while also accommodating any vehicles you’d like to park in the garage.

Floor space is at a premium in the typical garage. Don’t limit yourself to perimeter floor space. Install a wall organizer system, or have one installed by a garage interior design expert. Storing items vertically in baskets, or on shelves and hooks, reserves floor space for larger items and for vehicle parking.

Still need more space? Look up. If your garage has wasted overhead space, as most do, you could add valuable storage space by getting overhead storage platforms installed.Before you give your plan the green light, make sure it includes task-related zones.

Create Task-Oriented Zones

While creating your plan, you considered which items should be grouped together. This question is essential and deserves further discussion. Creating task-oriented zones will help keep your garage organized throughout the year.

Carefully consider all of the activities that take place in your garage. Keep seasonal and related items together. Create a car care zone, one for yard care and another for winter sports gear. Shift winter gear to a prime space and store summer items where they are less accessible.

Ideally, winter yard maintenance equipment and supplies should be stored close to the garage door for easy access to the driveway. However, not all sidewalls can accommodate a snow blower while still allowing room to park vehicles inside. If this is the case in a two-car garage, try storing the snow blower on the back wall near the center of the garage. This will allow you to exit the garage between the vehicles parked inside.

Winterize Your Garage (and Everything in It)

Now that your garage is decluttered and organized, it’s time to make sure that everything is ready for that first icy blast of Arctic air.

  • 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 any missing or broken parts repaired.
  • Lubricate garage door rollersand hinges for smooth operation all winter.
  • Ensure that the safety reverse sensor is functional. If not, adjust sensors or have them repaired.
  • Drain water from hoses, purge sprinkler system and shut off water supply to exterior spigot.

Take advantage of cool, comfortable fall temperatures by preparing your home and garage for the winter ahead. Once you’ve decluttered your garage and created a plan of action that includes task-oriented zones, it’s time to put that plan into action. Store any items that can’t be stored vertically or overhead around the perimeter of your garage. Stack or nest like items, like flower pots or storage bins, to maximize space.

Creative Solutions to Four Unique Garage Storage Challenges

In my last post we addressed two storage challenges you might be might be facing in your garage. Storing oversized items like building materials, winter tires and canoes can be a real pain. This problem is compounded if you have lots of space that feels “unusable,” like tight, odd corners or wasted overhead space.

We discussed four ways to make use of “unusable” space in your garage: custom-built overhead platforms; custom-built or customizable cabinetry; custom-built slings; and other custom-built options. Now let’s explore how Nuvo Garage has used these creative solutions to combat storage issues.

Client Dilemma #1: Cluttered garage with wasted overhead space

retractable attic ladder garage mezzanineThe client’s garage had become a cluttered space where the family dumped anything that didn’t have a designated space or that they weren’t using. The garage had finished walls and a peaked ceiling, but not much else. The family needed room to park one car and all of their bicycles, tools and assorted sports equipment.

Garage Storage Solution: A snazzy second-floor mezzanine

To create the storage space that these clients required, we took advantage of the peaked ceiling by constructing an overhead rear wall mezzanine. We framed the mezzanine with a glass and aluminum railing for safety. A retractable ladder was installed to allow access to the mezzanine without sacrificing floor space. See the complete transformation here.

Client Dilemma #2: An outside-the-box storage solution that didn’t quite work

rear wall, overhead storage with glass safety railing 1024x768The clients had already purchased a car lift to be used as a “second story” of storage. While it did provide a bit more storage space, this option didn’t meet the clients’ needs. They needed a viable storage solution that would allow them to take advantage of the considerable ceiling height in their garage.

Garage Storage Solution: A second-story storage space accessible via car lift

We incorporated the car lift that the clients had already purchased into the design. Rather than using the car lift to store additional items, it serves as a lift to raise people and things from the ground floor to the second-story mezzanine. Two tables were built to create additional workspaces on the second-story mezzanine. The raised platform was framed with an elegant, tempered-glass railing. This was important to the clients because the raised platform can be seen through the garage door window.

Client Dilemma #3: Oversized items were taking the garage over

2 car garage oakville overhead storage platform slatwall organization system hooks camlock baskets tire storage racks afterThe clients were busy professionals with a young family and lots of oversized items to store. They required storage for two sets of winter tires, a Thule roof rack and leftover house siding in addition to the family’s bicycles and all of the other typical items one stores in a garage. The walls were bare, concrete block, so the family stored all of their items on the floor around the perimeter of the garage. This only permitted them to park one of their two vehicles inside the garage.

Garage Storage Solution: Rack ‘em up

First, we framed the concrete block walls and installed slatwall so that the family could neatly store bikes, balls, tools and more on hooks and shelves as well as wall-mounted baskets. We installed two racks on the wall, each with the capacity to hold a complete set of winter tires. A custom-built ceiling platform was installed to store the leftover siding safely overhead. Finally, a custom-built sling was created to keep the Thule roof rack stored overhead and out of the way. Yet, the sling also made lowering the rack onto the vehicle a breeze. See the full transformation here.

Client Dilemma #4: 1 Car garage needs to store 7 bikes and a BMW

after - garage wall storage - household supplies - 1 car garage - North TorontoThe client had never parked in his narrow, one-car garage. As an avid cyclist, he owned seven bicycles that had to be stored in the garage. Additionally, the family had garden tools and a variety of other items that required storage. When the client purchased a new BMW, he wanted to park it safely in the garage while also finding space for all of his other important items. The client also had a challenging item on his wish list for the garage: a workbench for bike maintenance and repair.

Garage Storage Solution: Custom shelving and a hideaway workbench

To achieve the client’s goals, we used nearly every square inch of available space in the garage. Custom shelving attached to the sidewalls creates a wealth of storage space for bike repair and gardening tools and accessories. Workbench for One Car GarageAdditional storage space for seldom-used items was created by installing custom-built overhead storage platforms. Though the garage was narrow, it was deep enough to accommodate the storage of five bikes hung vertically on the back wall and the storage of two others on a sidewall horizontally. See the remarkable transformation here.

Are oversized items or “unusable” spaces creating a storage challenge in your garage? Discover the amazing results you’ll get when we use creative solutions to transform your garage.

Creative Solutions for Storing Sporting Goods in Your Garage

The change of season presents a challenge when it comes to garage storage. Last time we talked about creative solutions for bike storage. However, now that it’s officially summer, the bikes probably aren’t the only sports equipment taking over your garage.

Balls, bats, knee pads and helmets abound. Yet, you can never find the piece of equipment you need. The absence of designated storage space is usually the culprit.

Most homeowners want an organized garage with designated space for everything. However, in a typical garage consisting of three blank walls, it’s tough to accomplish. That’s where a garage renovation specialist can be invaluable.

A garage renovation specialist will help you determine your family’s storage needs now and in the future, based on your lifestyle. Your garage design pro can devise a plan that fits the way you live and then make those plans a reality.

Let’s explore storage options available for the sports equipment you use throughout the year.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

sports equipment storage slatwall camlock hooks baskets mesh netting bins shelves balls skates rollerblades skateboards golf clubs camping gearEvery sport has a variety of required accessories. Some are small, making them easier to store. Unfortunately, it also makes them easier to lose. Ever spent an afternoon hunting down a pair of shin guards or someone’s “lucky” ball? Have you ever purchased a second (or third) pair of baseball gloves because the first pair went missing? It’s a common occurrence. Yet, there’s a better way.

Nuvo Garage uses a professional-grade garage wall organization system to maximize storage space. Strong, durable, grooved slatwall panels are the basis for the wall organization system. Since this grade of slatwall is waterproof as well as mold and mildew-resistant, it’s tough enough to weather Canada’s four seasons. Slatwall panels are installed on the existing wall. They can even be installed over a concrete or brick surface. Camlock hooks, wire baskets, specialty racks and shelving in a variety of sizes can be inserted into the grooves. This makes the system highly configurable.

A basket can be installed on a back wall for storing balls and other items. Since the slatwall accessories are easily interchangeable, you can dedicate a basket to a single sport and/or individual. For instance, the baseball basket takes the primary position during baseball season. In winter, shift this basket to a more obscure location and put the ski accessory basket front and center.

Skateboards, Scooters, Skis and More…Oh my!

sports equipment storage slatwall camlock hooks baskets mesh netting bins surf boards skateboards rollerblades helmetWhat about storage options for items too big to fit neatly in wire baskets? Skateboards, scooters, baseball bats, lacrosse sticks, rollerblades and other sports equipment cause a tripping hazard when strewn carelessly in the garage. These items also need designated storage space.

The flexibility and configurability of slatwall makes storing these items simple. Skateboards can be suspended from their wheels flat against the wall or hung horizontally. Scooters, hung by their handlebars, can lay flat against the wall. sports-equipment-storage-slatwall-camlock-hooks-water-skis-snowboards-snowshoes-1024x768Baseball bats, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, rollerblades and anything with a hole or a straight edge can easily hang from lockable Camlock hooks secured to the slatwall. Specialized accessories make it easy to hang snowboards and other items.

Golf equipment can be secured against slatwall, too. Camlock lockable hooks are sturdy enough to support heavy golf bags and other sports equipment. Not keen on the idea of your beloved golf clubs and bag being suspended from a hook? Consider adding a lockable golf cabinet where your golf equipment and shoes can be securely stored.

Large Item Storage That Won’t Rock the Boat

overhead-storage-kayak-canoe-sling-1024x768Large sporting goods like kayaks, paddle boards and roof racks designed for carrying bike and ski equipment require lots of real estate in your garage. Their size, coupled with their limited, seasonal use make them excellent candidates for overhead storage.

High garage ceilings have lots of wasted space which can easily be converted to make room for storing kayaks, canoes, roof racks and paddle boards. Your garage designer can build a sturdy sling for these specialized items which will allow you to raise and lower them whenever needed.

Overhead storage is ideal during the winter months when kayaks and canoes aren’t in use. However, during the summer season, when these items see frequent use, kayaks and canoes can be secured to slatwall using specialty hooks and accessories.

A garage wall storage system that uses slatwall as its base is highly versatile and can be configured to accommodate your active lifestyle during any season of the year.

The space in your garage is limited. Still, the storage capacity of any garage can be increased with an organizational plan that’s designed to fit your family’s unique needs. Nuvo Garage sells a professional-grade slatwall organization system for do-it-yourselfers who prefer to tackle their own installation. However, we specialize in full-service garage transformations.

Tired of sifting through a jumble of sports equipment in your garage? Contact a garage renovation specialist to discover creative ways to store your sports equipment.