A lot of us struggle with keeping our garages free of clutter. In fact, it’s even gotten to the point where it feels like garages are no longer meant for cars. Why is that? Simply because too many of us use it for all the other stuff we need to be stored away from the home. But with a few organisational strategies in mind you can use your garage for storage, and fit your car in there too. You’ll find that you’ll be much more productive when you’re not tripping over lawn tools and other random items in your garage.
So set aside a day, or at least half a day, when you’ll have no other commitments and can devote time towards clearing and cleaning your garage. Here are ten of our best organisational tips and tricks to get things rolling.
1. Create a plan
Sometimes the biggest challenge with cleaning out a space is just knowing where to start. To help you with this, you can plan ahead of time what your intention is and what you’d like to do with the garage space. Do you want to use it for car storage, as a home office, or just to store all your other ‘stuff’ that doesn’t fit at home? Once you have your answer, plot out where you’d like everything in the garage to be stored. If you want to use your garage as a home office, always make sure it’s a safe and healthy environment. A Louvre garage door or sectional garage doors with windows can give a high level of airflow combined with natural light to any home office.
2. Clear the space
It’s always best to start with a clean slate than try to rearrange things in a messy area. Make sure it’s a nice day, lay out some tarps on the lawn or driveway and take every single thing out of your garage. Create three separate piles outside, one for ‘keeping’, one for ‘donating’, and a third for ‘selling’. Be ruthless and only hold onto the things you will actually use. You’ll be surprised by how many things you’ll find in your garage that you’ve forgotten about or no longer need. So why not make a few extra dollars while clearing out the garage? Once you’ve sorted everything you can assign each pile a place in the garage and take in the following organisation and storage tips to keep them neat in the garage.
3. Use wall brackets as hanging storage
A key to keeping a space organised and looking neat is to work vertically. This will help conserve floor space. Install wall brackets to create more floor space so you can hang up lawn chairs, large garden tools, and other garage essentials. Along with the wall brackets, a wall mounted pegboard is great for smaller tools.
4. Overhead rack
Speaking of floor space, wouldn’t it be nice if the kayak leaning against the wall was well and truly out of the way? A great place for long, large items like that is up above in the ceiling! Install some racks above your garage door to keep things hidden and out of the way. This is especially great for seasonal items that you won’t even look at during certain times of the year.
5. Magnetic tool holder
A lot of people use magnets in the kitchen for easy access to knives and utensils. WHy not use them in your garage as well? Fasten a strip magnet along a board on your wall and stick to it tools like hammers and screwdrivers. This way you don’t have to dig around in a box or drawer to find what you need.
6. Bungee cord ball holder
This is a great idea for sporty families or those with lots of kids. Attach 3 or 4 bungee cords vertically to some boards attached to your wall. Now you have a makeshift ‘basket’ in which to place all your rugby, basket, or bouncy balls. The bungee cords will hold them in place while also allowing for easy access to any ball, even if it’s at the bottom of the pile.
7. Old lockers
This is a neat idea to give everyone in the family their own spot. Find a site where people sell used goods, such as Gumtree, and you could be likely to find some old school lockers. Find a spot in your garage and assign a locker to each family member. You can then place all your bike helmets, sports equipment, tools, and even seasonal jackets in them.
8. Fold-up worktable
A worktable can take up a lot of space, but it doesn’t need to. Create a handy table that stays folded up against the wall until it’s time to be used. All you’ll need is a few pieces of wood, some hinges, and you’re done.
9. Pallet for sporting equipment
It’s so easy to find pallets lying around most warehouses and large stores. They’re usually free to take if left outside. You can paint over or varnish a pallet and place it on its side to create a great space for storing sports items such as field hockey and cricket sticks. For the stylish designers, you can also decorate pallets quite easily.
10. Label, label, label
When organising any space, it’s very important to label. This is especially true in the garage. Make sure that all boxes and drawers are clearly marked and that you’re always putting things back where they belong. It can be extremely frustrating trying to navigate a garage while searching for that certain type of nail or screw and having no idea where they may be.
Organising and cleaning a cluttered garage can be a daunting and intimidating task. Follow the tips in this article to make it easier to not only clean up but to maintain an organised system that stays clean for years to come.
Call Steel-Line Garage Doors on 1300 767 900 today and book a FREE measure and quote or garage door service.
Mike Brady once said, “Wherever you go, there you are”. That’s easy for him to say, the man had a den. And as an architect, he also had the privilege of designing his own home. How many men these days have that much control over the design of their living space? Many men walk through their homes and wherever they go there she is.
Who chose the bedroom colours, the towels, the kitchen splashback tiles, the cushions on the lounge, and the dining set? For men who don’t get to make these choices, a man cave isn’t just a hobby room, it’s a place where the male can be who he is inside his own home.
Why do men need man caves?
Studies into the man cave phenomenon indicate that these spaces are important to a man’s mental well being. A 2010 study by the University of Southern California of couples in their 30s and 40s confirmed that men enjoyed lower cortisol levels when they were able to spend solo leisure time in their own homes.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released by the human body in response to stress and low blood sugar levels. In essence, the study confirmed that men’s stress levels decreased when they had their own space to retreat to.
Psychology professor and author Sam Gosling explains that individuals having their own space to enjoy is important for human mental health. A personal space is where an individual can express who they are with no restrictions or external influence, and can be used to recharge from a busy lifestyle. While women are inclined to spend their ‘alone’ time with friends, most men need a space to themselves, according to Gosling. For men, a man cave is a space that serves as an alternative to hanging out with friends.
Why are man caves so popular today?
Maybe it’s a yearning for a time when life was simpler, but the growing popularity of man caves isn’t just explained by longer working hours. An article in Psychology Today suggests that the stress of being ‘the ideal man’ for their partners drives today’s men to desire a space where they can revert to being themselves again.
Pressure from society and, occasionally, wives, to act a certain way and commit to certain roles can lead to men feeling unsatisfied as they are denied true personal freedom. A man cave is a place where these pressures can be relieved, where expectations don’t exist and a man is free to be his lazy, messy self (if that’s who we wants to be!)
A man’s desire or yearning for a man cave doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem in the relationship. However men who desire their own personal space and have nowhere to retreat to often end up building barriers in their relationship by withdrawing, getting defensive, and at times abandoning the relationship altogether.
Relationships expert Mary Jo Ropini says that building a man cave can make a marriage even stronger by creating some distance in the relationship. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Having his own space where he can be himself is likely to make a men less passive aggressive and bear less resentment for his partner.
As long as the man is allowed to design and decorate the space, and other family members are welcome inside it, a man cave is an important area for both men and other people in a home.
5 Steps to Man Cave Freedom
So now you know that a man cave can lead to lower stress levels, a happier marriage, and more confidence in yourself and who you are – how do you achieve this space?!
A garage conversion is the most popular, and often simplest, way to integrate a man cave into your living space. Although the thought of clearing out your garage may initially seem daunting, just think of the enjoyment you’ll get out of that reclaimed space and it’ll be worth the effort.
Reimagining your garage as a space that you can call your own is just the beginning to lowering those stress levels and reconnecting with the things that are most important to you. Let’s look at how you can begin to repurpose that garage space into one you can call your very own.
Fitting and Insulations
You’ll likely be spending a lot of time in this space, so it’s worth considering whether you want insulation, ventilation, and flooring installed in the room. Louvre garage doors or sectional garage doors with windows can give a high level of airflow combined with natural light to any man cave.
Insulating your garage requires sealing in the air cavities between the garage and walls connecting to the home. If the garage walls are already covered with drywall, you will have to remove this so as to access the framing within the walls. If not, you’re ready to begin insulating immediately. An insulated garage door can create a comfortable living environment by completing the insulation envelope of your home.
Fibreglass insulation is the best choice for garages, and you can buy these in rolls and cut them down to fit the size required, attaching them to the edge of the framing with a stapler. This type of insulation tends to come with a papery side and a fuzzy side. When installing in walls that are shared with your home, you should install the insulation so that the fuzzy side is facing you while the papery side touches the interior part of the wall. When installing in freestanding walls that are facing outdoors, install the insulation so that the papery side is facing you and the fuzzy side facing the wall.
A well planned and designed man cave is likely to add to the resale value of your home, however that only applies if your remodelling complies with council regulations. Always check with your local council before starting any major works to ensure that you are not breaking any rules.
A Blank Canvas
To truly make this space your own, you need to begin with a blank canvas. There should be no pre-existing objects, structures, furniture, or decorations in a man cave. Start from scratch to ensure that all the elements within your man cave are the product of your own decisions, tastes, and choices.
So, start by clearing out your garage. It’s a tough job, but be brutally honest when wading through the objects in there. Most things that have relocated from the house to the garage are likely to be on their way out already. Clear, sell, or repurpose all those items that your family no longer needs and wants.
Once you’ve cleared the space, have a walk through it to get a realistic idea of what you could do with it and how it could be laid out.
You probably have a thousand ideas swarming in your mind right now about what to put in your man cave. If you don’t take the time to sit and consider these carefully, you’re going to just end up with another garage – a cluttered space full of objects thrown around the place.
A good idea is to write a list of everything you want in your man cave. Consider this list carefully, then halve it. You can always add more items and decorations to your man cave, but you won’t be able to backtrack easily once you’ve overfilled it.
Some man cave favourites are a bar fridge, TV, gaming system, lounge, and exercise equipment. But not all men are the same; the idea is to create a space where you’re comfortable being you, so ensure you put in items that reflect your interests.
Now that you have some idea of what you want to put in there, take some measurements of your garage and draw the space to scale on a piece of grid paper. If you have a computer design program, even better. Use this floor plan to organise how to best lay out your man cave, taking into consideration circulation spaces and the fact that you don’t want to overcrowd your garage.
Consider whether any alterations will need to be made to the design or structure of your garage. This could be anything from building a bar, a bookshelf, or simply dividing the garage into two smaller spaces.
Make a list of the materials that may be needed to make these alterations, or alternatively get some quotes from tradespeople if you don’t feel like a DIY project. If you decide to take on the construction yourself, make an estimate of construction materials that may be required, such as insulation, gyprock, flooring, and paint. Allow another 10-15% in your budget to cover unexpected costs. Finally, make a list of the tools you’ll need to make these changes. If you don’t have a toolbox handy, it may be worth borrowing or hiring the tools rather than buying them new.
And here’s the fun part – how often have men had a say in how their home should be decorated? Let’s be honest, it rarely happens, so embrace this rare moment in which you get to decide how you want a room to look and feel.
Start by considering what colours you’d like your man cave to be decorated in, and go from there. It’s important to remember that certain colours give off certain moods, and you should keep that in mind when decorating. It may be a fun idea to paint the walls black, but you may find yourself feeling drained and losing energy whenever you’re hanging in there. Colours like yellow or red, on the other hand, tend to incite feelings of energy and activeness in humans. Think of how you want to feel when you’re in your man cave, and choose colours to reflect that. Pick a dominant colour, and then choose a scheme of colours to complement that colour.
From there, you can go on to pick items such as furnishings and fittings like curtains and carpets or rugs. A popular idea amongst man caves is to have a central theme or object from which the rest of the cave’s design stems. If there’s anything you’re incredibly passionate about, such as cars, guitars, or beer, it could be a good idea to centre your design around that. This way you can ensure that the design of your man cave is harmonious and not too contrasting or messy.
Your partner probably has a set idea on what makes you an ideal man, your mates might have a different one, and your ideal self might yet be something else again. To get the full benefit of a man cave you need to design it just the way you want it. Mike Brady had a space that was distinctly his own, yet one that other family members could visit.
You might want a space to entertain your mates, or one where you can escape from the world. What you put in the space should reflect how you want to use the space. Your choices of those elements will define your man cave style. Whether you choose bar seating, cinema seating, or a comfy lounge all says something about what you’re looking for in your man cave. Have minimal seating if you’d like to keep others out; make seating plentiful if you’d like to share your space with others.
There are so many advantages in automating your garage door.
Let’s face it, there aren’t too many more irritating things than getting out of your car in the pouring rain or freezing cold to manually open or close your garage door.
When you have an automated garage door, just the press of one button from inside or outside your car opens or closes it. Never suffer the harsh elements again!!!
Another major advantage of automating your garage door involves security. All automatic operators have an automatic locking feature which engages when the door is fully closed. Therefore you don’t need to turn a key or ensure anything is latched because if an automated door is closed, it’s locked. It’s safe, secure and as simple as that! Of course, if there’s a power failure, all automated operators have a simple manual release feature to allow the door to be easily opened.
Have you ever driven home one night and after frustratingly opening your garage door manually, switched off your lights and engine only to stumble around in the dark trying to find a light switch? Yes, it’s so frustrating! But you’ll never have to endure this again if you automate your garage door because almost all operators possess a courtesy light which switches on and remains on for several minutes when the operator is activated.
A host of accessories are available with your automatic operator which enhances the convenience moreover. Consider for example the installation of a numeric wireless keypad on an outside wall near your garage door. Code in your pin and you can safely and securely operate your door from outside at anytime which is perfect if you’ve locked yourself outside the house or you want to give a family member or friend access to your garage without having to give them a physical hand transmitter.
If you park two cars in your garage, no sweat because most automatic operators come with at least two hand transmitters and one wall mounted remote so everyone can enjoy the convenience of pushing a button to operate the garage door. Of course, if you have more cars, additional hand transmitters can be purchased separately.
Most standard garage doors can be automated from just a few hundred dollars which includes a couple of hours of installation time by a qualified technician. So enjoy the benefits of convenience, security and not to mention adding value to your property by automating your garage door.
Call Steel-Line Garage Doors on 1300 767 900 today and book a FREE measure and quote or garage door service.
The modern day garage no longer just has to be a place to park the car. As space becomes limited and people become more innovative, interesting uses for garage spaces are emerging. Here are a few of the best:
Garages generally have a testosterone fueled feel, perhaps because they are where cars, motorcycles and tools are usually kept. For this reason, some people have turned them into fully functioning ‘man caves’, where guys create an oasis to incorporate all the things they love so that they can invite their buddies over to relax and unwind. The man cave garage is not only a place for men to do what they like, but it should also be a safe and healthy environment for them. Consider installing a Louvre garage door or a sectional garage door with windows that can give a high level of airflow and natural light.
This can be a family-friendly zone, incorporating games that everyone can enjoy. In the past, snooker tables and dart boards were popular but the evolution of technology has seen a dramatic rise of the video game set up, with large screen televisions, gaming chairs and sound systems for an immersive experience.
For those that like to keep fit but don’t have time to go to the gym or can’t justify the expense of a gym membership, setting up a home gym can be a great option. Working out in the privacy of your own space can be a liberating feeling as you don’t need to wait for equipment or worry about how you may look to other body-conscious gym goers.
Who needs to buy cinema tickets when you can create your own home cinema. A garage wall is perfect for a large projector and there’s plenty of space for a row of comfortable television chairs for the whole family to enjoy. Just don’t wake the neighbours with your earth shattering subwoofer.
Bedroom or guestroom
Prepared to give your teenager some space? Converting the garage into a bedroom can save families during the teenage years by giving the kids their own space and independence, whilst keeping them in the safety of the family home. You could also use this as a guest room if you have regular visitors, providing them with their own privacy when they come to stay.
The rise of the home office is no secret. The garage is the perfect candidate for a home office conversion. Since it is external to the home, it can help create a work and family life separation which is important for many home office workers.
It can also be a more professional look if you have clients that may visit. But the greatest benefit is likely the productivity gains, since you will be less distracted.
The great thing about yoga is that it doesn’t require any expensive equipment. A floor covering and collection of exercise mats is all you need. You can get some great instructive DVDs if you want something to follow along. Or, if you’re more of a pro yourself and looking to turn it into a commercial venture, remember to check your council zoning classifications.
Whether it’s sewing, scrapbooking, or something else that takes your fancy, having your own space can help you focus on your craft. Hang some inspiring pictures on the wall, set up a table at a comfortable height, add some drawers full of supplies and get creating.
Baby play room
Babies toys have a way of multiplying, until they’re suddenly springing up all over the house. Creating a baby play room can help contain not only the toys but the baby, too! When they start crawling and walking you don’t want to be constantly worrying about where they are getting to in the house (which is never as baby proofed as you hoped it would be by that time!). Lay some heavy rubber matting, carpet or rugs, add some cushions and bean bags and put in gates and paddings.
We’ve seen it in the movies – the next up and coming rock band practicing in a suburban garage. This is still a popular use of the garage but it can be taken a step further. Some garages have been turned into fully functioning, sound-proofed music studios where record selling albums can be recorded and produced.
The days of parking your car in the garage and letting the oil drip all over the concrete floor are over. There are so many easy conversions which can add real value to both your home and your life.
Call Steel-Line Garage Doors on 1300 767 900 today and book a FREE measure and quote or garage door service.