’TIS THE SEASON TO GET THE GARAGE ORGANIZED
The garage is often the biggest room in the house, and yet it becomes the catchall for everything from tools and kids’ toys to seasonal items, bikes, yard- and car-care equipment. At times there’s hardly room for a car.
It can quickly become a messy storage area that does nothing but raise your blood pressure.
“People buy stuff over the summer and put it all straight into the yard. They don’t take into consideration that there isn’t room left in the garage to store those things so, come fall, they realize they have way more stuff than the beginning of the season,” said Roberto Wilson, co-founder of Espace Garage Plus.
“Fall is the motivation season because snow is coming and homeowners need to bring all of their stuff back inside, and that’s where panic sets in. They call us up or look for a miracle,” he chuckled.
There are different options when it comes to organizing a garage. Today, consumers can find a myriad of systems and DIY kits that they can build and install themselves. These include wall track systems, cabinets, hanging baskets and bins, pegboards, and more.
“Generally, people flock to the big-box stores for organizing products. They provide a certain level of a solution but not really a solution,” said Andy J. Evangelidis, proprietor at Contur Cabinet Ltd. “There is no one there to guide them and make recommendations, and people end up buying products they don’t need or use.
“The advantage of the garage remodelling industry is that there are specialists who can really cater to your specific needs.”
Garage organization isn’t a cookie-cutter type of science — it varies from home to home, Evangelidis said. If the household has avid gardeners, for example, they may want an area of their garage in which to pot their plants, whereas a car aficionado or woodworker would want specific areas for working on projects with tools.
“Homeowners work differently within their garages, and that’s where a specialist comes in. The key to having a well-planned garage is finding the right person to guide you through the process.”
Specialists can help design the space efficiently so there’s a proper place for everything you’re keeping in there, and an effective way to carry out a list of tasks.
“One thing we’ve learned in the last few years is that people like customization,” Evangelidis said. “People want to be different, and that’s when the fun part comes in — like the design and the colours you choose.”
Today’s organizational systems can be made in a wide range of materials as well as colours, so you can match it to your car, your home’s interior, or choose a palette that’s all your own.
There are two main areas of the garage that need to be considered in the organizational process: the walls and the ceiling. Walls are utilized best when outfitted with cabinets, which are usually laminate or aluminum, so that you can conceal all your stuff behind closed doors.
There are also different shelving options, and “anything that you can’t put in a cabinet can go on the wall,” Wilson said.
Flat wall systems are a smart choice: “There’s a plethora of products you can hang to properly organize your tools and other items.”
The ceiling is often overlooked by Diyers when they plan their garage, but not by the pros — they realize that this is one of the most underused places but also one of the best. It’s great for storing things you use only a few times a year, such as holiday decorations.
“We use the ceiling space to anchor an overhead storage rack made out of steel,” said Wilson, adding: “It’s very sturdy and, when properly installed, it’s very safe. You can use the space above the garage door as well so that it is hidden from the street.” White overhead storage racks blend seamlessly into a light coloured ceiling and are less visually cumbersome, too.
A garage should be a natural extension to your home that serves multiple purposes, from effectively storing things — including the car — to being a place in which to get things done. So use this fall to get your garage organized for winter and make sure there’s room for all the outdoor gear you’ll need to move indoors before the snow flies.
The key to having a well-planned garage is finding the right person to guide you through the process.
ANDY J. EVANGELIDIS