Using a Garage to Extreme
Your garage is a great place for storage, but there's only so much room to fit things in. Can you actually park your car in there? Do you have a workbench that's overflowing with projects? What about holiday decorations run amok? With a bit of planning, you can utilize the overhead space with a garage storage lift and double or even triple the space available for storage.
Overhead Garage Storage MethodsBefore you begin to put all those boxes away in your garage, you need to put some time into thinking about what overhead storage method is right for you and your space. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. One method might be right for you while another is the perfect fit for your neighbor. You can even combine elements from different storage methods to make a system that works perfectly for you.
Build A PlatformOne of the simplest ways to add an extra layer of space in your garage is to build a platform. Measure to determine how much headroom you need both in the lower part of the garage, and up above. Then using a bit of lumber and some time, build a platform. You can build a single platform in one area, or utilize your space to the max and build an entire second floor overhead.
Once you've got the platform built, you'll need a way to access it yourself, like a ladder or stairs. Instead of lifting heavy boxes and totes up yourself, install a garage storage lift. Stack your items on the mechanical platform and use the controls to lift it up. Then, when you climb up, you can unload the items to wherever you'd like them to be.
- Maximum space. This method had the ability to create an entire second level of storage, maximizing your storage space.
- Access. You can walk around and easily access the entire second level.
- Expense. The materials necessary to build a sturdy second floor are expensive. You may need to hire a contractor to complete the work.
- Arrangement. While you can physically access the space, to utilize it all many things may be stacked in front of one anther, making it difficult to find what you need if not well organized.
Utilize the Wall Space
There are many ways to use the wall space in your garage to store things. Shelves up and down the walls are one option. You can also mount baskets or hooks. The lower shelves are easy to reach for items that are used often, while items higher up may be used seldom or only seasonally. Mount the garage storage lift in the center so when you climb up a ladder to reach higher shelves, you can simply reach over to the lift and slide items down the shelves instead of carrying them with you and potentially falling and getting injured.
- Visibility. All the items can be seen easily, making organization simple.
- Accessibility. Lower items are easy to reach without assistance while seldom used items are out of the way.
- Limited utilization of space. Though there is a lot of wall space, the majority of space overhead is still not utilized.
- Access on higher levels. The lift can only reach one section of all at the higher levels, limited ease of overhead storage.
If your home has an attic, it may be difficult to access from inside the home. You can create access from the garage by installing a crawlspace or door to the storage space over your home. This method of storage can be used on its own to simplify the use of overhead storage space within the entire home, or combine with a garage storage method to maximize the available room.
- More space. Opening a pathway to the attic space provides additional storage.
- Accessibility. Utilizing the garage to access the attic eliminates the need for unsightly and sometimes dangerous attic ladders within the home for an electric lift usable in the garage and attic space.
- Single access point. Having only one point to access the attic using a lift may mean dragging heavy items across the entire floor to store.
Install Multiple Lifts
For those who have money to spare on garage storage options, installing multiple lifts is the easiest solution. The more lifts you have, the less distance you have to travel with stored items. You could even install several lifts and keep the items you store on the platform, raising and lowering them individually as needed.
- Less effort. This is the simplest solution in terms of moving items, as more garage storage lifts mean more access to different overhead storage areas.
- Cost. Installing multiple lifts can get costly.
How to Install a Garage Storage Lift
Installation of a garage storage lift is relatively simple. If you have basic handyman skills, following the installation instructions is fairly straightforward. Before installation, check local building codes to ensure you're not violating any. You may need a special permit or be required to have a licensed contractor do all or portions of the work to comply with codes. If you're doing the work yourself, be sure to read all the instructions and warnings before beginning to ensure you are prepared and understand the process.
Begin by framing the opening when your lift will operate. Then make sure your storage area has appropriate decking for both walking and storing items. Next, assemble the lift and follow installation instructions to mount the lift on the decking. Depending on the model garage storage lift you purchase, you may need to do some electric work as well. Some models come with an attached button or remote. Other are connected to switches mounted on the wall, and some have a wireless control. Unless you have a lot of experience handling electrical wiring, this is a bit of work that is best left to a professional.
How to Organize Your Overhead Storage
Once you've decided on how to organize your garage and gotten the garage storage lift installed, spend some time thinking about organization. There are many plans to consider based on what you are storing, your setup, and how often you need to access things.
Many people choose to store items in either boxes or plastic totes. For most things, totes are vastly preferable. They have a seal which keeps out bugs and water to avoid damage the contents in case of any damage inside the garage itself. However, boxes are much less expensive. If you are not ready to fully commit to totes, get some to protect your most fragile items being stored, and use cardboard boxes for things that are replaceable or are impervious to water. Additionally, make sure to consider what things you should store there. Some items, such as canned food or paint, should not be stored in the garage to avoid damage and spoiling.
A consistent labelling system also makes your stored items more easily accessible as well as simply looking better. Several choices for this include utilizing a label maker, printing or writing on large stickers or tags, or even printing a contents list to stick to the exterior. The more organized you are and the more detailed your labelling process, the easier it will be for you to find whatever you're looking for.
Next, you require a system for arranging all the items to be stored. Again, this is dependent on personal preference. For convenience, items that are accessed less often should be stored in harder to reach spots. It is a good idea to group things together so you know where to look for certain things. For instance, place all holiday decorations in one area, farther away from the lift. You only need to get these out once a year, so they can stay out of the way for the rest of the time. Make separate boxes or totes for different holidays. Store items that are used often, such as extension cords or lawn maintenance tools, in an area where they are easy to get to.
Renovating a garage to maximize storage space it a very worthy endeavor. You save space, have room to pull in your car or work on projects, and free up room inside your house. You have many options when considering just how to arrange and organize your overhead storage, but the biggest key is to make sure it is a system that works easily for you and your family. Everyone's needs are different. For more advice on installing a garage storage lift or just to learn a bit more about the different models available and their capabilities, reach out to VersaLift. They have videos, frequently asked questions, model comparisons, and more to help you make the best decision on overhead storage solutions for your life.