Four Easy Steps to a Cleaner, Smarter, More Organized Garage

It doesn’t have to look like Pompeii in there

By The Editors
April 1, 2016 9:00 am

Try not to think about what the inside of your garage looks like.

It’s where organization goes to die. Hell, if you can cram your car, your kids’ bikes, a couple rakes and a lawnmower in there, you’re already ahead of the game.

To clean ‘er up, you need a visual plan of how you want things to look and, most importantly, work. Here are some areas to focus on that, once conquered, can turn your garage from a dump that happens to have four walls into a bastion of utility and easy access.

Image via Gladiator Garageworks

1. Bin there, done that

Random boxes filled with crap does not storage make, so think about spending some money on durable, handsome storage bins, racks, shelving and lockers that will make you want to keep everything tidy. The motto “Everything has its place” is never truer than in a garage, and once you have the appropriate storage, the less likely you are to create random piles. Additional pro tip: mount storage lockers above the floor or put them on wheels so you won’t have to worry about flooding. Plus, the muck and grime your cars bring in will stay on the floor, away from your gear.

Image via ArmorPoxy

2. Level best

Do not ignore the garage floor, where oil spots tend to amalgamate like droppings from a California Condor. Not only is it unsightly, it can also be a slipping hazard. Beware of serious low spots, which allow water and other fluids to collect without draining properly. Before you consider doing a grippy epoxy coating like that infomercial told you to, smoothe out the low spots by using an epoxy fill. Once this is done carefully and thoroughly, you can go ahead and grind, sand and then apply a polymer-modified cement on top that will not only make cleanups a breeze, but also add a professional shop look to your once-hideous garage floor.

3. Let there be (better) light

Upgrade to long-lasting, super-bright LED light panels and connect them with timed motion sensors for safe, hands-free entry. Not only do they look far better than your traditional antiseptic fluorescent bulbs, they’ll last practically forever without needing a change.

Image via LiftMaster

4. Go keyless and get smart

Myriad options exist for options beyond a flimsy garage door remote. Smartphone garage door operation abounds (try LiftMaster), and you can spend as little as $80 for an add-on kit that works with your existing system or go whole hog (~$300) for a full smart system. Either way, you can use your phone to open and close the door, as well as get alerts when the door’s still open. But there’s more than just the big door. Carrying tools and/or yard equipment while fumbling for a key to the access door is a pain, too, but one that can easily be solved via a coded keypad or a smart lock that recognizes you when you have your phone and automatically unlocks for you.

Now, if you could only get that same system to rake the freakin’ leaves.

Image via LiftMaster

—Amos Kwon

Main image via duPont Registry 

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.