More than 50% of the clients we meet have moved into their new homes from another climate or area of the country. Just as every climate and area can be different, the available storage space will also change based on design and floor plans in a new area. Most clients have storage bins and totes they’ve been hauling around for years and if they’ve come from the north, they’ve probably had a basement, attic, or both!
If you’ve moved from this situation into a home close to sea level (in a state such as Florida), these extra storage spaces will no longer be available in your new home. This may cause you to feel frustrated that you can’t seem to organize your garage as you once could.
You have to make your “stuff” fit your space. Since you can’t make your space larger you’ve got to get your “stuff” into the space you have. This is going to require some “repackaging”. Where once you had unlimited floor space for storage under your house or up on an extra floor where you can store items in oversized boxes and 50-gallon totes, you now have a finite amount of space that needs to house storage as well as your cars, lawn and garden tools, sports gear and all your other “stuff”. How do you make this work? Repackage your items into smaller totes and storage containers that will fit your new space.
But now you’re thinking that you have lots of items that can’t fit into smaller containers? That’s okay. That’s why we try to use your available ceiling space for hanging overhead storage racks. These are large four-feet by eight-feet platforms that are mounted on your ceiling for oversized and bulky items that you don’t need to access too often such as some of the items you used to store in your attic that you only need to get to once or twice a year. Many of your other items will easily be able to be stored in smaller storage containers that will be lighter and easier to move (and you may even find some items you don’t want or need anymore). These smaller containers can fit on shelving that is mounted on your walls so you can use your vertical space and keep your floor space clear.
This is where proper garage shelving comes into your space. Once you know the depth and height of your new shelving, you can buy appropriately sized storage containers that will help you make the most of your new space! If you’re using a professional garage company, your designer should have given you this information. If you are working with an organizer, they’ll be able to go out and find you what you need. If you are doing it yourself, find out the exact depth of your new shelving and how much height you have to work with. There are so many options to choose from; Sterilite is a brand that is widely available, and they make storage containers in every conceivable size and dimension. Hefty is another quality nationwide brand. When buying new totes, make sure to get ones based on your product values. Do you want to SEE your stuff inside your totes so you know what’s in them? Choose a clear option. Do you not want to see your stuff and prefer to label totes on the outside? Opaque or dark-colored totes are great options. Do you want them all to match and stack easily? Buy what makes you happy and get more than you think you’ll need. It’s always easier to return any extras than to try and rebuy the same ones later.
For example, if your new garage shelving is going to be 24” deep, use storage containers that are less than 24” deep so you can store them front to back on your new shelves. They will take up much less room on your shelves and you’ll be able to get more containers on your new shelves. If you’ve planned how much space you’re going to have from your shelves to your ceiling, get totes that will easily fit into this space. As an example, if your new shelves will be 36” from the ceiling, get storage totes that are about 15” to no more than 17” in height so that you can stack 2 totes high and double your new storage space! Lastly, depending on how your new shelves will be mounted, whether the brackets are above or below your shelves, you can plan on how many of your new storage totes will be able to fit across the shelves. At Square 1 Garage Solutions, we plan shelving at 32” and 48” wide and all combinations thereof. Knowing that the ideal storage totes for our shelves are 15” to 16” wide allows us to advise our clients that two totes can fit across a 32” section and three can fit across a 48”.
Now you can really plan your storage space!