Here are the five steps I used to transform our garage on a budget.
Step 1: Plan Your Work
My goal was to make our garage more charming and to organize our unused space more effectively. Like any do-it-yourself project, I started with a little planning and research. There are a ton of websites and Pinterest links that provided a variety great ideas for garage design.
I browsed pictures and made a list of my favorite ideas. I asked Mike for his input and even polled my friends to collect their thoughts. I made a trip to Home Depot to purchase all of my storage items, paint, cement stain and cleaning supplies. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work!
Step 2: Hello, Mr. Clean
My garage was little gross thanks to the dead bugs, leaves and all of the elements that had blown inside. So, I began by pulling the majority of the items out and using a broom to sweep out the garage and clear out the spider webs.
I used a hose and detachable sprayer to wash down the walls, corners and the garage door. I scrubbed the door fronts and mopped the floor. I also used air freshener on the walls and floor. This was an important step because it made the garage smell and look more like the inside of our home.
My goal was to find every way possible to treat our garage more like a living space. This shifted my mind to think outside of the box with design ideas and decorations.
Step 3: Brighten Things Up
I was on a mission to find creative ways to bring elements of our home out into the garage. So this step started with paint! I selected two colors to paint the largest wall. I also selected a contrast color to paint the side door and the door to our garage. This was a huge improvement mostly because the doors were showing the marks of wear and tear.
Next, I used cement stain to spruce up the floor. There are many options when it comes to garage floors such as paint with epoxy, polyurethane and interlocking tiles. These are all ways to introduce color and vibrancy into your garage design. Be sure to do your research to ensure that you’ve selected a product that won’t peel or crack.
I also pulled out all of the framed pictures that I couldn’t find space for inside the house and hung the ones that best brightened the space. I bought artificial plants to decorate the walls, as well as decorative rugs to add some charm. I added the rugs for flair and also to help keep the floors of the house clean.
Step 4: Have a Pitch Fest
Next, I had to throw away all of the extra stuff that we weren’t using. I know that parting with stuff is a hard thing to deal with for many people, but it’s a necessary step. With confidence, I can say that most people’s garages have boxes and shelves of knickknacks, yard items and other unused items worth pitching. This also may be a great time to have a garage sale. If you haven’t used an item in the past six to nine months and it holds no sentimental value, you can probably get rid of it.
I easily filled our garbage can with stuff, and I also used my garage project as an opportunity to donate items to a local Goodwill. Once I completed this step, I assessed how much was left over to store.
Step 5: Create a Storage System
I opted to buy storage bins, peg boards and hooks to hang our tools and yard items. I also bought ceiling bike hooks, two storage cabinets and two shelving units to provide a home for our sports gear, painting supplies, pails and other stuff that we used to throw into the corner of the garage. I also purchased coat hooks and shoe racks to set up near the door. This also was a great way to encourage visitors to take off their shoes before they come into the house.
Creating a storage system was probably the most important step and it allowed me to find creative ways to tidy up the space. This step is likely different for every homeowner since every home has unique space challenges. When organizing your garage, consider your floor space, wall space and the flow of traffic through your garage for this step.
Here are some popular storage systems you might use:
- Wall hooks
- Shelving units
- Tool or hanging racks
- Organizing bins
- Bike racks
- Ceiling racks
- Peg boards
- Storage boxes
When organizing, I took time grouping like items in storage bins and boxes, too – home improvement items, car stuff, cleaning products, tools and yard tools. I also used masking tape to label and color-code containers.
I was very happy with the transformation of our garage! It’s no longer an ugly, unorganized black hole. Now the space has order, color and a charm that mirrors the inside of our home. Even my husband admitted that he loved the improvements. None of my renovations were particularly pricey; it comes down to dedicating thoughtfulness and time into the process.
No matter how you choose to spruce up your garage, the goal is to ensure that your changes suit you and your family’s needs. If you have made garage improvements, please share your ideas below!
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