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Garage Organization for The Modern Guy, Part 1

Nothing says “guy” quite like a garage. Whether it’s used for storage, parking, or building stuff, a garage can personify you to others. If you don’t have a garage, don’t worry! Many of these tips and methods can apply to your shed/basement/attic as well.  Today we’re going to cover tool organization and lighting.

Hand tools

We’ve all had to hunt for that specific screwdriver or wrench while in the middle of a repair. Wouldn’t it just be easier if there was somewhere to put it so you could find it every time? Organization and avoiding clutter always start with creating a location for everything to be stored.

A toolbox is the ideal location to put most hand tools. If you have one you’re all set, but since not everyone can afford one, we’ll give you some other tips. A great alternative is a pegboard (wood or metal). They allow quick access to commonly used tools and can hold a myriad of shapes and sizes. They’re relatively cheap compared to most other storage solutions and are also very easy to install! This is something you can do yourself and I encourage you to go out and try it. If you decide to tackle this project, remember that you can put one almost anywhere. Here are some location ideas:

  • A large sheet from the hardware store can be hung in an unused area of the garage. This makes good use of otherwise wasted space.
  • A smaller piece of pegboard can be placed adjacent to the garage access door. This is a great solution if you just have a few tools like screw drivers and a hammer. This will also give you a place to hang things like spare keys and your superhero mask when you’re done fighting crime.
  • Some workbenches already come with pegboard backs, are you utilizing yours or just storing stuff in front of it?

Power cords, outlets, and lighting oh my!

Lifehacker has shown us some great ways of storing cables that you can use to help unclutter your workbench. These power cord tricks work better for some than others, so try a few out and see what works best for you. The most important method to dealing with power cords is to keep them accessible so you can use them when you need them. This also goes for the outlet they’re plugged into, try to keep it accessible in case you need to change out a cable or plug something else in. In preparing your cord arrangement, be mindful of the environment you’re setting up and avoid tripping hazards and water sources.

Setting up overhead lighting in your garage can help you save space and help you avoid the ninjas that are lurking in your shadows. I recently purchased this set for my garage. The main appeal is that they’re linkable and you can create almost any lighting pattern from one power source. This can be ideal for those of you who need more light and only have a single power outlet. Once you have sufficient overhead lighting installed, you will be able to remove any other lighting in the garage to free up cabinet and workbench space.

Under cabinet lighting is one of the best solutions you can add to your garage if you have lots of cabinet space. Just like in the kitchen, lighting your countertop gives you a much better view of what you’re working on and doesn’t require any counter space to do it. Before you run out and buy any, check to see if you have sufficient power outlets to support the lights. If you don’t there are also cordless models (think tap light) that have come a long way the last few years.

So head on out to the garage and take a look around. Let us know in the comments how you think these tips can help or send us any suggestions. Check back soon for Part 2 in our Garage Organization series.

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