Most peoples’ garages wind up being little more than glorified storage units. And who can blame them? The garage, a semi-outdoor space, seems like a great place to store little-used items to keep them out of sight and out of mind. But are they really so invisible? If you park your car in your garage, then you likely see this mess nearly every day; is this really where you want to storing your junk, promising over and over to one day clean it out?
Instead of leaving your garage as a bin for unused tools and mementos, your garage can become a place where you actually like to spend time. Ahead of the summer season, if you get to working on your garage now, you can wind up with a space that you’ve always dreamed of having, whether it be a workspace for household projects or a hangout space for you and your friends. Here are five ways to make your garage a lot more hospitable:
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1. Have a Deep Clean
Of course this is the number one tip for fixing up your garage. If you want a garage that you can spend time in, you’ll need space, and most people let things accumulate in their garage until having space to move around in it is a distant memory. And yet, most people refuse to clean it out, citing a lack of time or even just laziness. But cleaning is essential, so get to it! You don’t have to do it by yourself, either; whether you ask family members to help you out, pay some local kids to go crazy on it, or hire actual professionals, cleaning up your garage doesn’t have to be the mammoth solo project that you’ve built it up to be in your head; it can be an opportunity for socializing and connecting with people in your life.
2. Open Up the Cave
Too often, garages wind up cave-like and dank: they collect dust easily, often being exposed to the elements (as well as your car) and seldom cleaned. The air gets stale and starts to stink; the garage becomes a place you don’t want to spend any time in. So get some fresh air in there!
If you’re on a really tight budget, even something as simple as a fan can help you out here. But the real move is to install a window. Windows let in both fresh air and natural light, quickly solving two of the most common problems with a garage. And lest you think that opening the garage door achieves the same result, you’ll get far superior airflow if you have an open window alongside the door to take in that sweet spring air.
3. Upgrade Your Door
Nothing helps a garage feel good to be in like an open door; conversely, nothing kills the vibe of a garage like a broken door. So one of the easiest ways to fix up your garage is to fix a broken door, or to upgrade your outdated one. If you’re still manually hoisting up your door, for example, getting an automatic door is an easy choice: they’re super easy to install and super comfortable to use. There are garage door guys everywhere who can help you find and install a garage door that actually works, and keeps the airflow and sunshine high in your garage.
4. Organize Your Mess with Labeled Shelves, OR
5. Get a Real Storage Unit
These two tips go together because not only do they help solve the same problem, but you can do both and get extra organized!Starting with the shelving: not only is building your own shelving rather easy, but it can be a really rewarding DIY project for you. You can even clean out the garage first and christen the new work space by building the shelves! And they can help provide some space to move around in the garage for you and your family. Labeling the shelves is easy and inexpensive, and it improves the clarity of your organizing system to the point that you should be able to find anything in there in no time.
But, let’s be honest here: how much of the stuff in your garage actually needs to be there? Many people just throw anything that doesn’t have an obvious place in there; are all of these items that you want to use regularly, and therefore have easy access to? If not, then the real ideal place for them is an actual storage unit. They’re less expensive than you think, and provide a perfect space for all of those unnecessary-but-nice-to-have things that currently sit in your garage. Mementos, potential projects that you haven’t found the time for, little-used sports equipment; a storage unit is the perfect place for these.
Your garage doesn’t have to be the messy dungeon that it has become; it can be a place for you to hang out, having a drink on the weekends with your family, or just another place to spend some time not in your house itself. But there’s work to be done. So, before it gets too hot to work comfortably in your garage, consider fixing it up; you and your family won’t regret having some extra space to spend time.