Rescuing the Common Clutter Zone
If your unkempt, disorganized garage is keeping you from getting things done, summer is the perfect time to tidy it up, revamping the storage and traffic flow for better functionality. Thanks to the cooperative weather, you’re free to move items out to the driveway while you take stock of what to keep and where to put it. Now that you’ve got no excuses, how about some inspiration? Look no further than these five DIY makeovers designed for all skill levels.
BEFORE: Cabinet Conundrum
Here’s proof that too many storage units can contribute as much to clutter as too few. The dingy, dated wall-to-wall cabinets stole style and space from Rachel Metz’s garage but didn’t help her keep items in their place. Boxes of bric-a-brac covered the floor, while haphazardly laid stuff overcrowded the cabinet shelves. And much to the dismay of the avid DIYer, home construction projects were a no-go due to the lack of a dedicated workbench.
AFTER: Top-Shelf Condition
Downsizing to a single sleek steel cabinet set freed up floor space and beautified this garage. A roll-away worktop cabinet adorned with string lights lends ample surface space and lighting for projects, while floating shelves installed between the upper cabinet and worktop put small tools close at hand. Metz put the kibosh on clutter by categorizing existing items on the floor and in the old cabinets into “donate,” “trash,” and “keep” piles, then stowed the keepers in clear plastic bins for easy identification.
BEFORE: Manic Mechanic
Car enthusiast Michael Baynton could barely squeeze his vehicle, let alone his gear, into his two-car garage. The floor was largely taken up by piles of racing tires, a large tool chest, a workbench, and a metal shelf with a paltry three shelves stuffed without rhyme or reason with tools and cleaning supplies. Dirty and blistered white wall paint only added to the grimy vibe of the garage.
containerstore.com via Michael Baynton
AFTER: Turbo-Charged Tidiness
Bayton reclaimed floor space for his ride and storage/surface space for his tinkering habit by trading his old freestanding shelf for a streamlined Elfa metal shelf and drawer system. He moved tools and cleaning supplies to multiple tiers of ventilated Elfa shelves, then allocated the built-in worktop for repairing car parts, the mesh drawers for waxes and polishes, the hooks for hats and lanyards, and the six utility boards for small tools. Neatly stacking his racing tires on pallet boards and painting the walls a dramatic gray clinched the car-show-ready look.
containerstore.com via Michael Baynton
BEFORE: Frightful Floor
You know your garage has a problem when you can’t even find the floor! Sorely limited storage in Shannon Acheson’s garage turned the floor into a catchall for everything from wheelbarrows and hedge clippers to baskets of shoes. The lack of organization coupled with poor lighting meant that the only thing the Home Made Lovely blogger could accurately identify in her grim garage were the regrettable brown and green walls.
AFTER: Right on Track
A taller floor cabinet and shorter base cabinets with built-in drawers were set along one wall to corral floor clutter and create surface space for Shannon’s handiwork. Seasonal decor and anything else too big to stash in the cabinet were placed in bins secured to the wall with utility brackets; anything too small, like garden supplies and small power tools, was hung from hooks secured to a Trackwall organizer above the cabinets. Track lights and a new coat of ivory paint whiten and brighten the freshly organized garage.
RELATED: 7 Things Every Great Garage Needs
BEFORE: Caution—Couple Working
Jesse Coulter’s passion for painting projects, coupled with her husband’s tool obsession, turned their garage into a quasi construction zone. Tools teetered on the edge of a wooden table and a floating shelf, cleaning supplies were laid against walls, and a freestanding tool chest and the kids’ toy trucks ate into parking space for the real car. To make matters worse, weathered wood-paneled garage walls made the young family’s home look far older than its years.
AFTER: Fun for the Whole Family
Part tool shed, part craft room, and part kid’s corner, this versatile garage now keeps everyone in the Coulter clan happy. A freestanding three-tiered shelf and a two-in-one cabinet and bench now stand in place of the wooden table and floating shelf to reign in tools and supplies and create seating for quick shoe changes, while wall-mounted track shelves between these units keep the tykes’ toys off the floor. By ditching the tool chest for a rolling tool shelf and craft table against the opposite garage wall, DIY-savvy Monica Mangin, host of Lowe's The Weekender video series, redesigned the space to create room at the garage entrance for a kid-sized lounger and a chalkboard door for daily doodling.
BEFORE: Rolling Out of Control
Portable storage in the form of rolling freestanding shelves, a table saw stand, and a miter saw bench gobbled up most of the garage belonging to Frills and Drills blogger Lindsey Dean. Stray bikes and spillover equipment from her husband’s home office ate up the rest. The littered floor rendered the garage unusable as a parking space and made vacuuming impossible, which only added to the grungy appearance.
AFTER: Off-the-Wall Organization
To banish floor clutter, Lindsay got rid of rolling storage, swapping in two multi-tiered wall-mounted wood shelves with ample space underneath for a vacuum cleaner to reach. She allocated one shelf for her decor and the other for her husband’s office equipment. A storage rack installed above the garage door keeps heavy holiday decor under wraps and doubles as a bike rack, leaving more than enough floor space for her family’s four-wheeler.
Get Your Garage Into Gear
A clean garage is a happy garage. Find inspiration from these garage makeovers and get ready to tackle your own.
Have you ever been tempted to buy one of those products you see advertised on TV infomercials? Sure, the spokesperson swears it does everything (and more!) but can it really live up to the hype? Sometimes, yes! Click through now to see some of our favorites.