(Family Features) The U.S. Department of Energy cites 25 percent of homeowners with two-car garages have too much clutter to store vehicles, and 32 percent only have room for one vehicle.
"It’s ironic that many of us would rather store our boxes of unwanted stuff in our garage, leaving our valuable cars outside to deal with the elements," says Lorie Marrero, professional organizer and author of The Clutter Diet. "Let’s rethink our storage priorities and turn our garage into a space that’s more organized and functional."
Maximizing garage space doesn’t have to be a chore. Marrero recommends three simple steps to make the most of storage space in your garage.
1. Clear the Floor
"Wire shelving is the perfect choice for ‘DIYers’ in need of a garage makeover," says Marrero. "It is flexible and can be customized to fit in all types of spaces, suits any climate and is easy to keep clean."
Since floor space is at a premium, get things off the floor and onto the wall. One option is heavy duty wire shelving, which can withstand the weight of some of your heaviest things and adapt to changing storage needs. This shelving will allow air to ventilate and is not affected by the humidity or sudden fluctuations in temperature.
Limit the dirt tracked inside the house with an area rug or repurposed carpet. For many, the garage serves as the main entry point into the home, so be prudent and keep the entryway as clean as possible.
2. Store Hazardous Materials
Things like poisonous pesticides and anti-freeze or dangerous tools like hedge trimmers and power tools should be hidden safely out of reach from children and pets. Find a home for these items with heavy-duty cabinets.
3. Organize Smaller Items
Can’t find your wrench or screw driver? Use a peg board to keep your favorite hand tools neatly stored and easily accessible. Hooks are another great way to keep track of your belongings. Use them freely for stowing hoses, extension cords, bicycles and step ladders.