Bringing Garages into the 21st Century
Besides your vehicles, there are certain necessities you probably stash in your garage, including lawn equipment, saws, drills, and other tools. But now that you’ve spent so much more time at home over the past year, you may have come to the realization that while your garage should be functional, you would also like it to be stylish and comfortable. Whether you use that space primarily for work, storage, or relaxation, here are 14 cool items you definitely need in your garage.
Cooler With a Built-In Thermometer
If you don’t have enough room for a mini fridge, consider outfitting your garage with the Sportneer 25-Quart Cooler, which can hold up to 30 beverage cans and can keep 20 pounds of ice cold for up to 5 days. It’s durable, with a roto-molded polyethylene frame, and resists breaks, scratches, cracks, and the occasional stray animal. The built-in thermometer lets you monitor the internal temperature, while a rubber gasket prevents leaks and sweating. A drain cap makes it easy to empty melted ice out of the cooler. Available on Amazon.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
When you want to rock out in the garage, the Marshall Stockwell II speaker should be your companion of choice. This highly rated outdoor Bluetooth speaker provides over 20 hours of playtime on a single charge. With Bluetooth 5.0, you can even place your smartphone or other device up to 30 feet away. And even if the speaker usually stays in the garage, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that it’s water resistant and durable. The retro-styled portable has knobs to control the volume, treble, and bass, and its subwoofer delivers a big sound. Yet the speaker is remarkably lightweight (3.04 pounds), with a strap that makes it easy to carry, especially when your hands are full. Available on Amazon.
Matte Steel Touch Trash Can
If you’re still using one of those cheap, ugly plastic trash cans, upgrading to the Brabantia Matte Steel Fingerprint-Proof Trash Can will give your garage an instant makeover. Better yet, it will also make your garage more functional, with its soft-touch opening and closing and two removable inner buckets that let you sort two different types of waste in the can. The legs are removable, so you can place the trash can directly on the floor if you need to save vertical space. And because it really doesn’t look like a trash can, you could also use it as additional garage storage. Available at The Home Depot.
Portable Emergency Hub
In an emergency, you don’t want to be fumbling around your garage in the dark. That’s why you’ll want to keep the BodyGuardz Portable 5-in-1 Emergency Hub close by. The device includes a power bank for your smartphone or other devices as well as a built-in FM radio that works even when Wi-Fi and cell signals are down. The top half of the hub lights up to provide ambient light or to serve as a flashlight. In addition, the hub has a one-touch panic button and can be personalized to send an emergency alert to your friends and other family members. Available on Amazon.
With the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Indoor Grill, you can savor the joys of grilling without having to weather the elements. Because the grill is smokeless, you could use it in the house, but firing it up in the garage with the door open just feels more authentic. The grill sears, sizzles, and crisps, and the grates ensure that your meat has the char-grilled marks and flavors you get with a traditional outdoor grill. You can make steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and other delicious meats, and the smart thermostat lets you know when your food has reached the preferred level of doneness. But this smart grill can also roast, broil, bake, air-crisp, and dehydrate food. That’s why it’s one of our best indoor grills. Available on Amazon.
Large-Capacity Handheld Vac
Keep your car and garage clean with the slim Proscenic 3-in-1 Handheld Cordless Vacuum. Many handheld vacs—especially car vacs—are bulky, but this one weighs only 1.39 pounds and is less than 17 inches, so it’s easy to maneuver in tight spaces. The large-capacity dustbin means you won’t have to keep stopping to empty it, and its 30-minute runtime allows you to vacuum nonstop, so you can finish quickly. Multiple brushes help you clean the seats, vents, and carpet quickly and effectively, and the HEPA filter cuts down on dust and is washable, so you won’t have to shell out so much for replacement filters. The vacuum sits on a convenient dock for charging and storage. Available on Amazon .
Your alarm system protects your house and your garage, but on a particularly nice day, you may want to work in the garage with the garage door open—and who arms the alarm while they’re working around the house? But then, if you step away for just a minute or two, you’re leaving your garage vulnerable. The TENVIS 2-Pack Home Security Camera detects motion in real time at your garage door and anywhere inside of it. The camera can be mounted on the wall or ceiling, or placed on a shelf. It has automatic night vision, so it can catch intruders in the dark, and two-way audio, so you can not only see but also communicate with anyone who enters the garage. Available on Amazon.
Portable Carpet Cleaner
Your car sometimes needs more than just vacuuming. Fortunately, the Bissell Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner is on it. This tiny sibling of one of the best carpet cleaners can remove tough stains from your vehicle’s upholstery and carpet. As well, the cleaner’s powerful suction tackles both pet stains and odors, and its self-contained design keeps pet messes trapped inside. The removable water tanks (one for clean water and one for dirty water) are easy to fill and empty, and because the carpet cleaner is small, it won’t take up much space in the garage. Available on Amazon.
When you prefer to keep your tunes to yourself—and also drown out other noises in the garage—reach for your Ausounds Noise-Cancelling Headphones. The over-ear style and active noise-cancelling technology block out background distractions, and a graphene driver provides crystal-clear sound wirelessly over Bluetooth. A single charge lasts for 30 hours, so you can go days without having to recharge. But if you would prefer to be wired, there’s also a 3.5mm audio cable. A carrying case keeps the headphones safe from dust and dirt. Available on Amazon.
So, where will you store all of the cool new stuff you’ve bought for your garage? On your equally cool Seville Classics Ultra-Durable Commercial-Grade Chrome Steel Shelving, of course. This sturdy unit, which made the cut as one of our best garage shelving options, will add an industrial vibe to your garage. It can be set up on either leveling feet or locking wheels that make it easy to move when needed. You can store heavy equipment on the unit worry-free: With leveling feet, the five shelves can each hold up to 800 pounds; with wheels, the unit holds a total of 500 pounds. Its chrome plating resists corrosion, so the unit will look good for a long time. Available on Amazon.
Cordless Stick Vac
If you need a full-size vacuum that can also maneuver around your vehicle’s cargo area and reach further under the seats, the Kyvol V20 Cordless Stick Vacuum is a 6-in-1 solution. Its long wand can not only clean your vehicle's carpets and seats but also reach dust and dirt on the tops of shelves and other high places in your garage. In addition to the handheld function and motorized LED floor brush, the vacuum also offers a mini motorized head, 2-in-1 dusting brush, crevice tool, and power adapter. The vacuum has a 40-minute runtime and a HEPA filter that captures dust efficiently instead of spreading it around. It’s available in red or blue, so whether you mount it on the wall or store it on the floor, this vac will add a splash of color to your garage. Available at Walmart.
Toolbox Mini Fridge
It’s a toolbox. It’s a refrigerator. It’s both! The Whynter Portable 1.8 cu. ft. 17-inch Toolbox Refrigerator is constructed of rugged powder-coated stainless steel. This mini fridge can hold dozens of cans and bottles, saving you the hassle of running back and forth to the house every time you want a cool drink, and it has a powerful compressor that will keep your favorite beverages frosty. There are two easy-slide drawers at the top for actual tools, a safety lock to keep your drinks secure, and four casters (two of which lock) to make it easy to move. Available on Amazon.
When you’re working on your car, it’s inconvenient having to fumble with step-by-step instructions or diagrams, especially when your hands are otherwise occupied. With the Vankyo Leisure 530W Native 1080P Portable Projector, you can display instructions from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop on the wall or ceiling—making the image up to four times as large as a traditional 60-inch TV—and the image will be crystal clear. While you’re toiling away in the garage, you can also project the big game, so you won’t miss a single play. Available on Amazon.
Stylish Storage Containers
Who says you have to keep your screws, nails, nuts, and bolts in unattractive, utilitarian containers? The Rubbermaid Brilliance 24-Piece Storage Set offers a stylish alternative. Though the containers look like they’re made of glass, they’re actually made of heavy and durable Tritan plastic. They’re built to last! The set includes a variety of stackable small- and medium-size containers. Available on Amazon.
Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newslettertoday!