Garage Cabinets – An Overview
If you are like most people, you need to make the most of your home’s storage capabilities and the garage can be vital to this endeavor. As you begin considering garage storage cabinets and other organization solutions like garage shelving, it’s often useful to start by imagining your space with nothing in it. Then consider: what do you need to store in your garage and what’s the most efficient way to store it? Here are some considerations to keep front of mind as you proceed along this thought process:
Location — garage storage occurs in one of three spaces:
- on the side wall(s);
- on the end wall; and/or
- in the space overhead.
Depth — because most people’s garage space is limited, it’s likely you won’t have much depth along the walls to work with — rarely more than 12 to 24 inches. The first thing you should do is measure your available space and decide upon a comfortable maximum depth for your storage cabinets.
Organization — there are two critical issues to organizing your garage storage space: 1) deciding what needs to be stored; and 2) ensuring you can find it later!You’ll need to determine what should be stored: lawn and garden tools, holiday decorations, sports gear, hobby or craft items, tools and hardware, painting supplies, etc. Once you have that mental inventory, consider: How and where should you store these items and, more importantly, how do you find them later? Here are a few simple tips:
- The most common organizing principle is to store similar items together, e.g., leftover paint in a cabinet you think of as “the paint locker.”
- Another way is to leave the items visible — on a pegboard, in a drawer or on a shelf visible from afar.
- Don’t forget labels: a box of woodworking tools labeled ‘woodworking tools” can be more easily located than an unlabeled box.
Garage Cabinets — Utilizing Your Wall Space
The most common garage storage occurs along the walls, either the side walls or the end wall. Consider these garage storage cabinet options:
- full cabinets – these are cabinets that run from the floor to eye level or above.
- half-cabinets (low) – these are cabinets that run from the floor to your waist.
- half-cabinets (high) — these are cabinets, like kitchen cabinets, that are at a eye level or higher.
- corner cabinets – if your garage storage needs to turn the corner from a side wall to an end wall, a corner garage cabinet could be very useful.
- workbench – a workbench can be a simple surface on top of some half-cabinets, or it may be a freestanding, heavy-duty table used for woodworking, crafts or otherwise.
- baskets, bins and boxes – to optimize storage cabinet organization, don’t forget about using baskets, bins or boxes inside — especially ones that are partially open or transparent — to group and categorize small items or tools.
- drawers, shelves or sliders – cabinets are not the only solution, of course, and open shelves, drawers or sliding shelves also provide excellent storage areas.
- pegboards, wall hooks and on-the-wall systems – pegboards allow flexible presentation of commonly needed tools and other items, whereas wall hooks work well to hold garden instruments and on-the-wall systems can offer unique solutions for special needs.
Overhead Garage Storage
Most garages have high ceilings, often 10 or 12 feet off the floor. Using that space to store items — especially bulky items and/or infrequently used items (like holiday decorations) — is often an excellent storage solution. Consider three alternatives:
- Attached to the Ceiling – most overhead solutions are composed of a bracket that attaches to the ceiling joists and extends down 12 to 40 inches. The platform hanging off the brackets can vary from 2 to 8 feet in one dimension and 2 to 4 feet in the other.
- Pulleys and Lifts – another overhead garage storage solution is composed of two pulleys attached to ceiling joists, suspending a platform or rectangular basket that can be used for storage. The platform/basket can be raised and lowered, either manually or with a garage storage winch.
- In the Rafters – if the ceiling joists are open, the space between the joists and the rafters can be used for long-term storage.
Click the link for some other garage overhead storage ideas to help you utilize this valuable space.
Additional Garage Storage Ideas
Should your cabinets be on the floor or above the floor? On wheels, maybe? Hanging from the walls? A combination of these, perhaps?
What’s the best material for your garage cabinets — wood, metal or plastic? Are there environmental considerations — moisture, temperature, weight, hazardous materials — that make one material a better choice than the others?
Should you use a professional installer or install the cabinets yourself?
We have a lot more garage storage ideas and information to share about these very issues, so scroll up and check out the articles on offer in our Advice Center.
Important Note: The images above are from Amazon.com, and clicking them will present pricing information and customer comments about the individual products for your perusal. The products featured on GarageCabinetSense.com are some of our favorite garage organization solutions and, as you’ll see in the customer reviews, they’re well-liked by others, too.
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