6 Things to Do to Maximize the Use of Your Small Garage

You wanted a three-car garage – maybe, even a four-car garage, but instead you got a double or, worse, single-car garage. Now, how to you maximize the space? How do you use it? Here are 6 good ideas.

1. Mark the Space for the Vehicle. Protect that shiny new truck or any other vehicle you keep in the garage. If you need to, paint a space that can guide you. Then, make sure that you know exactly where to stop so you don’t bump the wall or let the closing door bounce off your bumper. You can use a hanging tennis ball as a marker. You can put a soft “noodle” from the pool on the wall to avoid dings if you go a half-inch too far or open the car door too wide. You can put some blocks or bricks where your tires absolutely, positively have to stop. You can do-it-yourself or you can shop for items and devices to warn you when to stop online or in a car supply store. Make it safe to park the car and/or truck that needs the protection of the garage.

2. Make a Map. If there are items that you want to keep in your garage – whether it’s a vehicle or equipment and boxes, get out the measuring tape. Know the size of everything you want in the garage and use a CAD program or drawing program to “move” those items around until you get a good, safe fit. Not comfortable with doing it on the computer? Use graph paper and shapes that are to scale.

3. Falling Objects can Create Big Dents. Your neighbor – who only uses the garage for storage – may be able to stack boxes or lean the bikes against the wall. You’re not so lucky. Unless there’s enough space so an object can fall without hitting a vehicle, make sure you put things in cabinets or cupboards that can be shut and, even, locked. Access the items you need when the truck or car is out of the garage. Backing out is much easier than having a dent repaired.

4. Need Power? The last thing you want in a small garage is a spider web of extension cords that can trip you and cause a fall. Go ahead – hire an electrician and have power outlets installed where they are needed.

5. Look Up. Think vertically. Use hanging storage from the garage ceiling. Get tall shelves instead of deep shelves. Hang tools. Then, think movable. Putting a worktable on wheels gives you the opportunity to pull out the car and move the worktable to exactly where you want to work. Being able to move things means easier access and easier cleanup. Just roll things out of your way.

6. Move it Out. If you want to protect your vehicle, you might want to invest in a shed. Then, you can move the yard tools and some of the clutter out of the garage and give yourself a little breathing room. It is probably worth the investment.

A small garage may have a small door, but that door is still probably the largest, heaviest moving object in your home. To keep everything – including that beloved car or truck – safe, make sure that door has a yearly maintenance and safety check from a licensed garage door repair and replacement company. It’s true. Garage doors can fall down on everything and anyone who is in the garage. If they don’t reverse they can damage an object or a human or a pet. No matter how small your garage – no matter how organized – make sure that a trained technician inspects the door and all its moving parts at least once a year.

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