The garage is often the most neglected space around our home, despite it usually taking up a third of our home’s floor plan. So what is the best way to maximise garage space, and how will it add value when it comes time to sell your property?
Organising your garage: first steps
Let’s be realistic, organising your garage won’t be a quick job. But, on the brighter side, it won’t take forever; you just need to know where to start and what the next steps are.
If the weather allows, the best place to begin is by pulling everything out. And as you go, put items into separate piles – keep, rubbish, and donate/give away. Once you know what you’re working with, it can feel a lot less overwhelming to know where to put it all back again.
Remember that as a householder in The Hills Shire, you’re eligible for a kerbside cleanup twice a year. Visit the Hills Shire council website to book it in, and you’ll be given a specific date. If you live in a unit, townhouse or villa, you should ask your Body Corporate or Strata Manager to book the cleanup service.
“Make your job easier by removing everything from your garage first.”
With everything out of the way, you have a clear run to check for anything that needs to be fixed/remedied; for example, structural damage, areas where moisture may be getting into your garage (and into your personal effects), or issues with pests/bugs.
Consider some light renovations
With everything out, it’s a great time to do a little bit of sprucing up. It’s a bit of a mind trick to play on yourself: if you create a space that feels fresh, tidy and organised, you’ll be more likely to keep it looking that way for longer ‒ instead of it becoming the family dumping ground again.
Of course, it is just a garage, so it doesn’t have to be perfect, but why not splash some of that half-used paint on the walls? We all have those tins lying around somewhere! Also, installing some insulation (if you don’t have any, of course) can help even out temperatures throughout the year, which will be better for the items you do store in the garage.
Adding some carpet or tiling is also a real value-add, whether you call in the professionals, or dabble in some DIY with the easy-peel carpet tiles. You’ll find this will help to make the space feel more like an extension of the home, providing the perfect place for a hobby, a play area for the kids when it is raining, or as an indoor venue for when the weekend BBQ gets rained off.
Choosing the right storage for your Hills garage
An organised garage is nothing without the right storage, and this is something you need to plan before you pull everything out. Make sure you put together the shelving prior to the big clear out, so it’s ready to go in straight away (otherwise this could take a few hours on the day, and you don’t want to leave your items out overnight).
“Storage is critical. Look for hard-wearing storage that is easy to access, and remember to label your boxes.”
How you set up your garage will be unique to you and your needs, so it’s important to consider what you will be storing, and the kind of access you will need. For sport enthusiasts, wall fixtures are perfect to keep bikes or equipment off the ground. Keen gardeners may enjoy a bench area set up especially for potting plants.
Most hardware stores have a large selection of cost-effective shelving and storage units to organise your personal effects. ‘Going up’ is ideal for maximising garage space, so think high shelving units (that you fix securely to the wall to ensure they can’t topple over). Make sure you reserve the top shelves for anything you won’t need to access often.
Peg boards are a cool way to install easily adjustable shelving or for displaying items you use more often, as well as keeping tools readily available.
“A place for everything, and everything in its place” is essential for an organised garage that provides plenty of space for both the car and household items. So don’t forget to pick up some plastic storage bins (labelling is a good idea) and containers that can be a home for all those little bits and pieces.
Get creative with garage space-saving ideas
From an old chest of drawers, to wooden boxes hung on the wall as shelves – there are plenty of creative DIY ways to create storage in your garage.
Coat racks aren’t just for jackets; they’re also the perfect place to hang brooms, spades and power extension leads. And you know those magnetic spice racks in the kitchen? They’re perfect for holding screws, nuts and bolts in an easy-to-access place. Why not use a magnetic strip on the wall to hold all your metal hand tools like scissors, spanners and screwdrivers?
Baskets fixed to the wall can house all sorts of things from sporting balls to pet food and other odds and ends. The key is getting things off the ground, and giving them a home. Why not head down to your local second-hand store to see what you could transform into unique storage? You might even have some useful items around your home – old laundry baskets, empty containers, door knobs and more. It’s time to use your imagination.
And if you really do want to make the space multi-purpose (a dance studio? rumpus room?) You could always hang a rod and curtain, or install a neat blind, so you can hide the rubbish, recycling and tools.
Can an organised garage add value to your Hills home?
The fact is, when you are showing your home for sale, a disorganised and cluttered garage can actually be very off-putting to buyers. They’re likely to think that there mustn’t be enough storage room in the home. This is a definite negative, as space is a premium that people pay for. The more they think they’re getting for their money, the better.
Remember, too, if your home is in a street where parking is a premium, it is critical that a garage is big enough to store a car or two. If potential buyers think this won’t be possible, it could very well devalue your property.
We like to say that open homes should be inspirational and aspirational. If potential buyers can walk into a garage that’s organised and comfortable to be in, they’ll enjoy a better home inspection experience that could give you the edge over your competition.
Gain expert support and advice
Whether you’re selling or buying a property, as a home or investment, contact us for professional help!