In The Workshop-Help Me Organise The Garage

Gents, the recent tool box thread started me thinking about our own mess in the garage of our home. Like most home owners, I am none too keen on constantly organising our living space. It takes discipline to maintain it. Anyroad, here we go.

The biggest issue aside from getting the excess 'belongings' out is organising the stuff that is left. I've a small two level roll away chest that is perfect for my modest collection of mechanics tools. It's the rest that's proving hard to sort. I learned one thing in thirty-one years of maintenance work. If you cannot find stuff when you need it, you will buy, borrow or steal(well, not steal but you get the drift) more and that's how you get MESS.

I also learned a few things about having too many tools or odd bits of kit around. So getting rid of excess 'stuff' has been ongoing for over a week. Most of my time is being spent sorting through what I really need to keep and how to best store it. I have already installed multiple wall shelving units that are configurable which is beyond handy.

So far I have been sticking to what we did at work. If you were working on something that was not your day to day trade, then keep minimal amounts of it. So lets look at my plumbing kit. Two pipe wrenches about 10 and 12 inches in length, a pvc shear(kind of like pliers), 1 jar each of flux, pvc cement and cleaner, pipe thread sealant, and a small roll of solder. Add in a couple of extra stop valves and bits and it will all easily fit in a plastic tote or bin(latched lid only here don't want it coming off) around 14 inches long, 8 inches wide, and about six inches deep. No big issue.

It gets dodgier with carpentry and painting supplies. Carpentry tools are minimal right now. Circular saw, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, and a few levels and other odd bits. I do not keep building materials on hand. See second paragraph about that... And the painting items. A roller pan, a few roller handles, brushes, a number of putty knives, can openers, etc. This stuff is bulky and hard to deal with. Should I look at a flat plastic tote and lay it flat in it? Or should I be looking at some other solution?

Car care and lawn care products will go in tall narrow bins and on the shelves. But boy, rakes, shovels, etc. All that stuff is a royal pain. I am looking for any tips, ideas or links to sites to help manage space in a regular old American two car garage. Work bench will be home built and able to stand upright on its end to keep it up against the wall and out of the way. Fire away lads.
 
Big labels designating categories such as Painting, Plumbing, etc help. A plastic garbage can weighted with a concrete block makes a good place to store rakes and shovels and brooms.

And that badmitten set no one has used in nine years? Get rid of it.
 
Mac, definitely labels. Great idea. And yeah, a big plastic dust bin. We used them all the time at work for the custodians mops, brooms, and similar. Easy and cheap. Thanks for reminding me.
 
If your garage is tall enough and used to park your vehicle(s), you could also consider building shelves above the door openings. Access to items stored there will be more difficult but good to keep infrequently used items in order to free up other space. I am referring to things like Suspended Garage Storage Shelves. I have been considering this myself to store things like leftover paint, Christmas decorations, extra scrap lumber, power washer, etc.
 
I need some ideas for storing sandpaper; full size, pieces, belts, discs, etc.

Also bungee chords, no matter how I store them, they always pull them all out whenever I get one out. Dang hooks.....


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I need some ideas for storing sandpaper; full size, pieces, belts, discs, etc.

Also bungee chords, no matter how I store them, they always pull them all out whenever I get one out. Dang hooks.....


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Indeed, sir. Sandpaper. One of the issues with my paint/caulk/finish storage is sandpaper. I have both half sheet and full sheet packets in 220, 400, 800, 1600, 2000. This is wet/dry paper I used for straight razor restorations. If you have purchased 3M sanding products you understand you are not throwing them away casually or mistreating them. So I need something that will alow them to lay flat and keep tidy and free from damage. Same for a couple of sanding belts. You really cannot roll them and you definitely cannot tmfold them up. At the same time I am full up in the rolling cabinet and cannot dedicate a drawer. Just one of the little hurdles.
 
I had a small shop, but it turned into a storage building. Now I dream of a large shop, with the only set of keys in my pocket.
YOU keeping the only key...is the key. I know what you mean. Somehow people you know always figure your garage is THEIR storage area.

One thing about organising a small garage area is it will teach you to keep things picked up and in their place. Space is beyond a premium when you are limited to that small an area.
 
I need some ideas for storing sandpaper; full size, pieces, belts, discs, etc.

Also bungee chords, no matter how I store them, they always pull them all out whenever I get one out. Dang hooks.....


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Indeed, sir. Sandpaper. One of the issues with my paint/caulk/finish storage is sandpaper. I have both half sheet and full sheet packets in 220, 400, 800, 1600, 2000. This is wet/dry paper I used for straight razor restorations. If you have purchased 3M sanding products you understand you are not throwing them away casually or mistreating them. So I need something that will alow them to lay flat and keep tidy and free from damage. Same for a couple of sanding belts. You really cannot roll them and you definitely cannot tmfold them up. At the same time I am full up in the rolling cabinet and cannot dedicate a drawer. Just one of the little hurdles.
For sandpaper, something like these "literature/brochure Holders" are handy for storing the sheets and some can be wall mounted...

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 12.25.56 PM.png
 
Old thread i know ... for sandpaper i use a divided accordion type folder, organized and all together in a fairly small footprint.

Something like this;


dave
 
For the most used hand tools, a pegboard with the hooks is what I use. That will free up some drawers in your tool chests.

I don't have the overhead storage shelves like mentioned above, but those are good. Labeled drawers in a cabinet are good, just make sure the drawers don't get junked up. Small internal boxes for the drawers should help with that...or something like the different size screw, bolt, and nut drawers. I would say something like a tackle box but my tackle box is a mess. I need to clean and organize it.

TAFCO Product 30-Compartment Small Parts Organizer, Yellow-DSOR30TYL - The Home Depot

Great idea keeping one key handy to keep other people from messing things up. I got a good door lock for my office to keep SWMBO out so she doesn't go in and mess with things. I'm also thinking about getting a guard dog.
 
Last year I saw an add on Nextdoor. It had a picture of a tool chest and on a whim I emailed the owner and said I was interested. I got to the sale as it opened and saw this tool chest. I immediately said yes and as I opened it I found it was packed. I looked at the owners and told them they needed to remove all the tools . To my great surprise they told me the price was all inclusive. I went through everything and gave all the duplicates to my son and still had tools left over. This was the one and only time I had ever gone to a garage sale. The cost ? 125.00 . Best deal ever.
 

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