13 Tips For Maximizing Workspace in a Small Garage
Your small garage is more of a catch-all storage zone for a variety of misfit items. The reality of having a functional workspace in your garage while still being able to store the necessities and pull in a car feels more like a dream.
While getting a brand new garage may not be realistic, these 13 tips can give you more space in a small garage:
1. Host the Blow-out Sale of the Year
Space is extremely valuable in a small garage so getting rid of anything you absolutely don’t need will pay off big in the extra workspace you’ll gain. Chances are there are items lurking in the corners of your garage you don’t even know are there. Categorize items based on what to keep, what to donate and what to throw away. Clearing out clutter is incredibly satisfying and odds are you won’t really miss that broken toaster you’ve been meaning to fix for 5 years or that piece of fencing you took from your neighbor just because it was free.
2. Paint your Concrete Garage Floor
Projects have a tendency of getting messy and if you also store your project car in the garage they don’t waste time with marking their territory. Concrete is porous so cleaning oil spots, paint drips or other spills is difficult. Don’t skimp here – invest in a good quality do-it-yourself garage floor coating system. It only takes 2-3 days to apply, its glossy finish reflects more light into the room and is a breeze to clean.
3. Upgrade to Wall-mounted, Adjustable Shelving
Stationary shelving will have a hard time keeping pace with your growing collection of tools and supplies. On top of that, the items you need for your car project will always be vying for space with other home essentials like painting and caulking supplies, light bulbs, spare outlets and more. Upgrading to a wall-mounted, adjustable shelving system allows you to add on in the future and customize the configuration as your needs change.
4. Maximize Vertical and Ceiling Space
If you have open rafters in your garage, use it to your advantage. Lay down boards across the joists and stack items there you don’t need to access much. Alternatively, you can hang ceiling storage units and even a bike lift to get seldom used, bulky items off the floor.
5. Where there’s space, go from floor to ceiling with cabinets or shelving
If you need to allow room to park a car, use a pegboard system at the car level and then put cabinets or shelves high up along the walls starting above the peg board and car.
6. Rather than buying that attractive 56″ wide tool chest, opt for a 28″ instead and stack a tall middle section on top
Use the top drawers for supplies or hand tools you use less frequently. It may be difficult to see into the top drawers but it’s a small inconvenience in comparison to the floor space you’ll gain by going up instead of wide.
7. Get Mobile with Wheels
Mobile work areas are a must in a small garage. Put wheels on as many stationary items as you can like floor cabinets, tool chests and work benches. Furniture dollies work great for rolling around big parts bins and even transmissions! Items on wheels can be moved away from the walls to create temporary work areas or even rolled outside for an afternoon and then easily rolled back into place when you’re done.
8. Choose Power over the Fancy Stuff
Even in a small garage, power is never where you need it. Run extra outlets on every wall near the tools or areas you’ll be working most. You can never have too much power! As for the fancy stuff, air hose reels and drop-down work lights are a bonus to have, but in a typical one-car garage, a 25′ air hose can reach every area and takes up no space at all. For working outside, running a copper air line to the garage door for a quick-connect comes in handy and eliminates the need for buying (and storing) a really long air hose.
9. Tame Small Parts Clutter
Despite your best organizational efforts, small parts have a tendency of accumulating all over your garage. You can never have enough storage for small parts but with a bit of strategy you can keep them from starting a revolution in your garage.
10. Organize and label small parts bin
Although it’s tedious, go through and organize your bucket of hodgepodge nails, screws, washers, bolts, etc, by type and then label each and every drawer of your small parts bins. Alternatively, baby food jars are great for storing small parts because they are clear, stackable and you can even attach their metal lids to the underside of a shelf and then have the jars hang for easy access – just twist on and twist off.
11. Lock down Power Tool Accessories
Attachments or bits that are used less frequently often wander off from the parent power tool. Fishing tackle boxes are ideal for keeping your small power tools and their accessories and bits together and organized.
12. Prevent sandpaper from getting crushed
Prevent your sandpaper from getting crushed in your toolbox by storing sheets in a 3-ring binder. Get a set of transparent leafs and organize sandpaper by different grits.
13. Tie up Extension Cords & Wires
Ponytail holders with the plastic balls at the end keep your wrapped cords and wires from turning into a spaghetti mess. They’re easier to use and last longer than rubber bands or twist ties.