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Bikes, skis, snowboards, tents, even kayaks. You like the equipment. We love gear, but all those fun hobby items take up a ton of space, and you’d be forgiven if your living room has now become a second storage unit.
There’s no better time than now to finally get everything back into your designated storage space, and with some good organizational habits, so you can actually enjoy your gear when it’s time to use it.
Nine times out of ten, our garages are the full-time home of all of these items, and we design that story around some sort of garage or outdoor space to hold it all. You don’t have either? Do not worry. Our organization experts have provided you with a series of tips that can be adapted to where you store your gear.
Take a good look at what you currently have
“First, ask yourself if all of these items are still in good condition, properly sized for members of your household, and if you still love them and want to use them,” says The neat method Toronto owner Jen Rowe.
Whether you’ve advanced a level in skiing and those beginner blades no longer work as well, or you’ve finally decided to invest in a gravel-specific bike, take a good look at your current gear and really think about what you’re going to do. use in the future. If you have kids, this is especially important – chances are someone’s come out of something and it’s time to find them a new home.
Then categorize similar items together. This will help you get a complete picture of what you actually have and the potential space needed to store it. Once you’ve done that, Rowe advises looking at untapped vertical space in your storage area.
“Breaking things off the ground is the best way to maximize storage space like a garage or shed, whether it’s with a wall system or freestanding storage,” she says.
That doesn’t mean wasting money on a completely custom system. Instead, consider a few smaller built-in solutions or heavy shelving for neat organization of bins instead of sprawling over limited space.
Measure twice and shop once
“Spend a lot of time planning and shopping around. Maybe even go so far as to use graph paper to map it out and make sure everything will fit,” says Rowe.
You don’t need an engineering degree to think about all of this, but you do need to take a step back and think about what you use most often, how you’re going to access it, and what you can practically reach or move seasonally. .
Burton notes that when arranging for an injured person, that person sometimes cannot lift objects, so items must be within easy reach or using more built-in storage. In limited spaces, people often turn to stacks of bins, which is tidy, but these individual bins can get quite heavy and difficult to move around.
Most of the organizers we spoke with emphasized the importance of scoping out all of your space, so you don’t overbuy or buy storage solutions that won’t fit.
“You might have to play a little Tetris with it, but investing time in creating a well-thought-out plan will save you money and time in the long run,” says Rowe.
yes you can do it yourself
Organization doesn’t have to be expensive, and there’s no need to hire one person to do everything, as long as you’re comfortable with a lightweight setup.
A sensible solution is a slatted wall system, which connects to studs behind your garage wall and includes long recessed “slats” that will hold almost anything you need with the proper anchors.
“A slatted wall system is your best bet for flexible storage,” says Rowe. “This will allow you to maximize your vertical space while still having the ability to maneuver where items are positioned on the wall so you can seasonally swap to give seasonal items prime real estate.”
Slat systems can be installed in a way that works for you and your level of ability, as well as your desired span. You can opt for one panel or a series of panels depending on your budget and allocated space.
Another minor installation option is to use a solo shelving system that has different types of storage racks integrated into a single unit. It’s a great space saver as you can get 2-3 bikes, a few skis and a series of bins on the floor in a contained unit. Again, be sure to follow the installation guidelines.
If you’re shy about any installation, the next best option is to go self-contained. The aforementioned heavy duty shelving is a solid choice, just make sure you have a way to reach those top bins. For bikes, you can look at a freestanding rack, which can hold up to four bikes (provided you have the total circular space to reach each one).
With a lot of pragmatism and even more planning, you can find suitable solutions for you and your equipment. Remember, the more you organize now, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your most sacred pastimes later.
Best Garage Organization Items
Husky 5 Tier Industrial Welded Steel Garage Storage Shelf
A great example of a freestanding option with minimal assembly to place the bins in a single area.
Proslat 88102 Heavy Duty PVC Garage Organizer
Your foundation for slatted organization. From there, all you’ll need are the right anchors for your gear.
Delta 4-Bike Freestanding Bike Rack with Basket
A great solution for getting four bikes off the ground and into a confined space. Robust, durable and reliable.
G-Adventure Triangle + Teal Shelf
A clean and tidy way to have a small range of equipment in one space with little hassle.
Thule MultiLift Cargo Box Lift
Those with more skill and comfort can consider a pulley system, which helps secure large and larger objects above the floor and near the ceiling. It’s also a great way to store rooftop tents, kayaks and canoes when not in use.
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