Drab To Fab: Rejuvenating Your Garage

messy-garage

Image courtesy garagejournal.com

Our kitchens sparkle, our bathrooms shine, and our living rooms impress and intimidate in equal measure with their wall-devouring art. At least, that’s the dream. From a marble counter to a designer couch, we all have a dream home in mind…but what about a garage?

It may seem a funny idea, but the space we use to store our trash and tools has far more uses than we give it credit for. Think outside the box (or rectangle, or…whichever shape your garage takes) and you’ll find a space screaming out for some imagination. Today we look at ways to do just that, transforming that unloved part of all of our homes.

Elbow Grease

The state of our garages is only ever matched by the unkempt wasteland that is a teenager’s den of a room. Just think about the piles of empty boxes, unused purchases and garden tools gathering dust. What a waste of perfectly usable space!

By now you’ve probably seen this first step coming: get out there and get moving. This is the perfect opportunity to sort through the trash and ‘I’ll use it some day’ clutter that seems to grow of its own accord over time like some junkyard beast.

If the process seems daunting, rope in a friend or two (Tip: Drinks and snacks are a great form of bribery), and set about separating the mess into distinct piles. One for the stuff you’re keeping, another for the dump, and another for the items that could be recycled or reused.

garage-sale

Image courtesy greenlifepages.com

Once those piles are sorted, throw open the gates, announce your plans for garage domination to the world and hold a garage sale for all those items you no longer have a need for. It’s a great way to clear this oft ignored cave of its contents, and it’s only then that you’ll get a true appreciation for what the space has to offer.

Space, Man

Garage emptied, cleaned and sorted, there’s bound to be more than a few items to go back. As exciting as building a leaning tower of trash might sound, there are smarter ways to use the space.

Limiting yourself to floor space alone will see it disappear at an alarming rate. Instead, think vertically, and make use of tall ceilings and empty walls. Pegboards are a brilliant way to hang tools, with the ability to easily switch between configurations. Next, consider the best place for shelving, and don’t be afraid to run them at roof height. Items like Christmas decorations fit perfectly up there.

pegboard-garage

Image courtesy pinterest.com

And what of those nuts, bolts and other assorted bits and bobs? Hardware stores sell a variety of plastic tubs and containers, but you can also reuse your assortment of cardboard boxes as a DIY storage system.

Still squeezed for space? Simply look up! There are countless hanging racks and storage solutions that let you make use of your garage ceiling. Set aside a day to browse your local hardware store, or Google for that matter, and you’ll find a plethora of inventive ways to keep the clutter out of the way, and maximise your space.

Lock & Key

The idea that we store so many of our valuables in our garages is a terrifying thought, when you consider just how insecure they can be. Broken windows, rusty locks and doors that blow open at the hint of a windy day. It’s a wonder our stuff doesn’t walk out of there of its own accord!

An easy way to pull your old garage into the modern day is with an automated garage door, saving all that heavy lifting. You’d be surprised at how many are still hanging around! And if you have an older, neglected system? There are many resources that help you identify the remotes they use.

While you’re at it, check your door locks, have that cracked glass in the window replaced, and organize that mess of keys on your kitchen counter with some fun color-coded labels or tags. Future you, stumbling home at 3 in the morning, will thank you for it.

Outside The Box

garage

Image courtesy pinterest.com

Garage clean, secure, and sparkling. Just look at that space! But what to do with it? Deciding on just one plan can be daunting. There are simple projects, of course. A new coat of paint on the aging roof can go a long way. Still, who needs a boring paintbrush? Get a little outrageous and create a feature wall, covering it in a mural or some crazy graffiti.

Not every garage needs to be a messy storage space, either. More and more people are looking at them as an extension of the living space.

Perhaps a gaming den? What better place for a projector and a comfy couch. A kids playroom, maybe? Or even go all-out and transform it into a fully functioning living space like this stunning french style home.

Either way, the sooner you stop looking at your garage as a place to store the car, and see it for the unique space it is, the sooner you’ll have an amazing space of your own. So, what’s your garage going to be?

Erin Emanuel

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