Here’s some motivation to get stuff off your garage floor; light your garage; clean your garage; control your garage’s temperature; make your garage more secure; make your garage more beautiful; make your garage more functional; make your garage healthier and safer; make your garage multi-purpose; and make your garage smarter!
This article was updated February 23, 2020 with new links and product models.
Get Stuff Off Your Garage Floor
The single best thing you can do to start rebooting your garage is to get things up off of the floor. Storing things on the floor is a huge waste of space and it makes it hard to keep your belongings clean when they are resting on the dusty cement.
Rhino Shelf is one of the best wall shelves we have come across. Ultra-strong and easy to install. Just grab some 2x4 from your local lumber yard and you're good to go. Rhino Shelf is really deep and really strong so feel free to load it to the max! Each 4' section holds up to 650lbs so this is your go-to shelf for heavy things.
Fleximounts is a really great system in general and my favorite ceiling mounted storage system. Ceiling storage is perfect for all those not-too-heavy items that you only need occasionally, like holiday decorations or other seasonal items. Just be sure to spread the load across your joists and don't overload them, it is a ceiling after all and gravity is not your friend here.
The Partsam Electric Winch will hoist 220 to 2,200 lb., depending on which model you buy. It is hands down the highest quality winch we've been able to find, especially for the price. Use this much-higher-quality hoist over dedicated ladder and bike hoists/pulleys, i.e., rope-based ceiling storage. The Partsam is more reliable.
After you get your stuff off the floor, you should consider some cabinets. Wall mounted cabinets are great for smaller that would otherwise roll off shelves or get lost in the shuffle and items that need securing such as weed killers, insecticides and other chemicals that should be kept from children and pets. The Suncast Commercial Wall Cabinet is one of the best wall cabinets we've found. It's metal reinforced and holds 50 lb. per shelf.
Hobbyists should also consider workbenches with cabinets and drawers to create a great and organized workspace. The Seville Classics Workbench has ball bearing drawers and holds 500 lb.
Install Rubbermaid FastTrack rails across your garage wall studs, then insert hooks, bins and baskets to get all the stuff off your garage floor and onto the wall. Once the rails are installed, you can move the hooks around with a simple unlock and re-lock 5-second move. This is one of the most cost-effective garage wall organization systems and comes with a wide variety of bins and baskets as well as a huge assortment of hooks.
Garage wall systems save you a ton of time and headaches. You don't need to use the drill after the tracks or panels are installed. Gladiator GearWall covers more area, while Gladiator GearTrack is easier to install. We recommend Gladiator GearTrack and GearWall systems for their durability, cost, and versatility.
If you want a pegboard system go with a steel solution like Wall Control. It's tough and magnetic. Using a simple magnet to hold things in place like project instruction or to do lists can make all the difference.
If a new year brings thoughts of better habits and a fresh start, there is no better place to look for changes than the oft-neglected garage. If your garage is a dusty disorganized mess — or even if it just needs some sprucing up — read on.
Of all the garage storage methods, garage shelves and cabinets will hold the heaviest amount of stuff. Rhino Shelf is one of the best wall shelves we have come across. Their shelves are ultra-strong and easy to install. Just grab some 2×4’s from your local lumber yard and you’re good to go. Rhino Shelf is really deep and really strong so feel free to load it to the max! Each 4 ft. section holds up to 650 lbs. so this is your go-to shelf for heavy things. Check out Rhino Shelf on Amazon.
Fleximounts is a really great system in general and my favorite ceiling mounted storage system. Ceiling storage is perfect for all those not-too-heavy items that you only need occasionally, like holiday decorations or other seasonal items. Just be sure to spread the load across your joists and don’t overload them, it is a ceiling after all and gravity is not your friend here. So long as you do feel confident installing ceiling storage in your garage, Fleximounts is hands-down the best ceiling rack choice. Check out the latest prices here.
Ceiling racks aren’t the only game in town. They are plenty of ways to hang and store things from the ceiling, including winches and pulleys. But don’t buy just any winch or pulley, as only a few offer real quality construction. See the slideshow for our recommendations.
Cabinets are one of best ways to get garage stuff off the floor. They hold the items on the wall while protecting them from dust. Wall mounted cabinets are great for smaller stuff that would otherwise roll off shelves or get lost in the shuffle and items that need securing such as weed killers, insecticides and other chemicals that should be kept from children and pets. Suncast makes the best garage cabinets. They’re incredibly strong, have adjustable shelves, and are easy to assemble. Check out their Commercial Wall Cabinet here.
Hobbyists should also consider workbenches with cabinets and drawers to create a great and organized workspace.
There are lots of garage wall organization systems to choose from and a lot of good things to say about many of them. The important thing to remember is: accessories! All brands have their own set of mini-shelves, hooks, and other attachments for specific purposes. So my advice is to find a system that meets your needs and stick with it. We really like Rubbermaid FastTrack and Gladiator GearTrack. Learn more about FastTrack and Gladiator, and view the slideshow for more wall storage ideas.
Light Your Garage
There are some great bright solutions for your lighting needs. Ultra bright LED is the way to go for garage lighting. New LED lights are bright and energy efficient and best of all they are inexpensive. The numbers on the box are less confusing than they first appear. View the slideshow to learn about watts, lumens, LED brightness, K and CRI.
We love the Honey Bay garage LED lights because they’re bright, cost effective, and you can link up to 20 of them together. This means that you only need to plug in one light. The other lights plug into each other. That saves a ton of wiring and annoyance when lighting your garage. Check out these garage lights on Amazon.
U.S. light manufacturers stopped making old school incandescent light bulbs in 2014. LED lights are more energy efficient and brighter, making them the best choice for garage lighting...
Because there are a few different types of bulbs on the shelves, It is helpful to know about the different numbers used to compare them. Read the next slide to find out Watt you need to know, (pardon the pun).
Watts are a unit of energy. Back when there was only one kind of bulb, watts were used to compare bulb brightness. That is no longer the case. Nowadays, a "watt" means only one thing: how much money/energy will the bulb use. So how can you tell how bright a bulb will be? See the next slide. It will be i-Lumens-nating...(I really can’t help it)
"K" is the color temperature of the light. Bulbs used to be "soft white" or just "white." Now there’s a number for the color. The lower the number, the “warmer” the light. For example, "soft White" is now "2,700." 2,000 to 3,000 K is a warm white. 3,100 to 4,500 K is a cool white. 4,600 to 6,500 is daylight. 4,600 and greater K is best for the garage. There is one last number that can appear on a bulb package. Read on.
Color Rendering Index measures how close a color appears under this lamp compared to under daylight. A CRI of 100 means the light produces color the same as if you were looking at the object in daylight. All the lamps we recommend have good to great CRI of 80 and above.
Not only are LEDs energy efficient, but they also last around 50,000 hours. That is many many times longer than an old-school bulb would last, which was only about 750 hours. (That’s over 66 times longer, fyi). LED's are very cost effective, but vary in quality, so look for the Energy Star designation. This indicates that the bulb has met several quality-control tests and should last quite a while.
This 40 watt Honey Bay LED Garage light puts out 4800 lumens. An old school 40 watt bulb puts out 450 lumens. Ever try reading under a 40 watt bulb? Much less doing car repair? So what else is there to know about these new fangled lights? Read on ‘K?.
You need only one electrical outlet to run 20 Honey Bay LED lamps. Plug one light into an outlet, then plug the next light into the first light. Plug the third light into second. Run as many as 20 lights all from one electrical outlet.
Clean Your Garage
Now that you have a nice bright garage, you can see all that dust! Untreated garage floors are dusty by their nature. Microscopic particles are constantly being abraded off the surface and kicked into the air. You breathe it in, it gets on everything, and you track it into the house. It’s just pretty gross; no wonder you don’t want to go into your garage unless you have to.
I know right? There’s lots of reasons to get a broom even though you already have an awesome vacuum cleaner. Sometimes you need the bristle action to remove stubborn things and sometimes debris is simply too big to suck into a vacuum. This one is designed for garages and rough surfaces. It also addresses the most annoying thing about using a broom: when the handle becomes loose and starts to rotate. O'Cedar uses a technology that prevents the handle from coming loose.
We did a lot of research on garage vacuums and found this one to be the best. It can be mounted on the wall, has really a long power cord and hose and can be used with the optional rollers in case you need to pull it around. It’s powerful, durable and works wet or dry.
A densifying sealer like PS104 actually strengthens your garage floor and seals it below the surface. This greatly reduces dust and protects your floor from harsh chemicals that cause damage. If you like the look of plain concrete flooring you can use the densifying sealer on its own but you can -- and should -- use it in combination with other flooring options such as staining or painting.
Epoxy paints and sealers require much more prep work than the average person is willing and able to do, so you might want professional help. But, if you’re after a high-gloss glass-like finish on your floor this is the way to go. Don’t kid yourself all those pictures of gleaming garage floors were done by pros.
Every garage should have a vacuum to keep it clean. Standard household vacuums are not designed for garage crud. After a lot of research, we found the best garage vacuum to be the Vac Master VWMB5080101 (formerly VWM510). Learn more about the VWMB5080101 (formerly VWM510) in the slideshow.
Control Your Garage’s Temperature
Guess who wants to work or play in a garage that’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter? Not me, and you neither I imagine. Before we talk about heating and air conditioning, we have to address insulation. There’s no point in using energy to change the garage temperature if there’s a constant exchange of inside and outside air.
Covering garage windows with plastic is very cheap compared to replacing and properly insulating them. Use the 3M Window Insulator kit to block out cold air coming through open areas in the windows. Spread across the window frame, seal to edges, then shrink using a standard hair blow dryer. Plastic covering helps keep the room cooler in summer, warmer in winter. Comes in patio, 1-window, 2-window and 5-window sheets per pack.
The Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation Kit insulates two metal garage doors. It helps stop heat loss while lowering noise entering and leaving the garage. This package insulates one door.
Attach a weatherstrip to the bottom of the garage door where it meets the floor. The Clopay door seal fits most garage doors. Or, put a seal on the garage door floor threshold. Universal is one of the better seals to install where the garage door meets the floor.
Mr. Heater is the ETL-certified liquid propane forced hot air heater that warms 1,250 sf. of garage space. This is a cordless heater that warms the iciest garage with 60,000 BTU. One tank runs 14 hours. The battery requires re-charging, but it will charge while also heating your garage.