Sort your workspace
1Hit the wall
Free up space on your workbench and keep tools neat and tidy with a wall-mounted storage system. By fixing a large piece of MDF or plywood to the garage wall you can then use hooks and nails to mount items like spanners, screwdrivers and ratchets. This system also has the added benefit of allowing everything to be stored sequentially in size, and gives you quick access to the tool you want.
2Resurrect the dead zone
The majority of garages have an up-and-over door, which is great for convenience but not so good for maximising space, as they can leave a ‘dead zone’ on the wall either side of the door mechanism. But this space can be utilised by fitting shelving or racking for things that are used less frequently. It’s important that the action of the door isn’t impaired, so check for clearance when you fit anything in this area.
If you’ve got a project or rebuild on the go, then you might need extra space for a short period of time. You may need to place engine components that are being stripped down in sequence, or perhaps you need to lay out painted parts to dry safely. The solution is to use shelving that snaps together quickly, but can be dismantled and stored away when not needed. Clarke make a five-tier system for £20.
Tools like drills and grinders generate a lot of swarf and mess which can be annoying and hazardous, especially if you’re using them on your main workbench. Prevent this by creating an area away from your main workspace to mount the equipment. You can either buy a bespoke workbench dedicated to fettling or make your own out of sturdy timber.
6Paddock stand storage
If there is one thing that doesn’t seem to fit nicely anywhere it’s got to be a paddock stand. They’re ideal when they’re in use, but at all other times these strangely shaped accessories really get in the way. Hang them from large hooks on the walls, or if your garage has some roof space you can install hooks or some chipboard loft panels to store them there.
Old rags are essential in the garage, but if you leave them lying around they can make your workshop look like a tip. A solution is to use a coat rack to keep them all in one place. Grade rags for specific uses, for example have clean ones for polishing, and less clean ones for cleaning wheels, while the most soiled rags can be used for soaking up spills then discarded.
The garage is usually home to several tools that run on battery power. Left unmanaged, you can tie yourself in knots with the numerous chargers, docking stations and cables, which is not only messy but also a potential hazard. Solve this by creating a dedicated charging shelf – use cable ties to tidy leads and label the chargers so you know what each is for.
Wall-mounted storage bins are an excellent solution for finding a home for small components like nuts and bolts. These systems come in varying sizes and fit directly to the wall; Screwfix do a set of 12, including the mounting panel, for £26.99. To help keep track of what’s in each bin use a labelling system to produce large font labels.
Recycle, upcycle, call it what you want but you should always think before throwing something away – can it be used again? You could use timber from an old pallet to make shelves, or use it in the roof space as loft panels. Or, with a bit of time and thought, use unwanted parts to make a unique workshop clock. Anything goes, just use your imagination.