It's funny, isn't it, whenever we thinking of giving our home a makeover, either to sell or just for ourselves, we never think about the garage. And yet the garage has the potential to be the best room in the house!
We know the garage is for the car/s - but I actually know people who can't get their cars in there because the garage is full of so much junk!
It's what we do, isn't it? When we're not sure what to do with something, but we don't want to get rid of it, we stick it in the garage.
So, maybe it is time you actually considered a makeover - or at least a really good clean-up for your garage.
Firstly, get rid of what you don't need/want, and organise what's left. As with sorting out any storage space, it's a bit of a relentless task and there could even be a few tears as you chuck stuff out. The best way is to separate the contents into four piles - keep, garage sale, op shop and bin.
Remember, if you haven't used it in the past year or two, the chances are you never will, so get rid of it!
A clean sweep
While everything is out the garage, take the opportunity to give it a really good clean. get rid of the cobwebs and give the floor a good sweep. If necessary, just hose it out but make sure it's completely dry before you put everything back in.
At this stage, you could even re-paint the garage floor. There are a great selection of products available at your local hardware store.
Before you buy any kind of storage item, take a look at what you've got. The secret to a well organised garage is making the best use of vertical space, and roof space.
Shelves and hooks are a great start, and can accommodate more items than you may think. The secret is to get stuff off the floor. If you have rafters of beams in your garage, use them to store lengths of wood, sheets of ply, fishing rods et cetera.
It's even possible to buy storage systems that simply slot into your roof area these days. Or you might consider building a mezzanine level to store boxes, paint pots, camping gear and so on.
Custom-made tool boxes are a great way of keeping all your tools clean and safe, without taking up too much space. These days you can even buy tool boxes with built-in stereos and bar fridges, if you've got a few thousand dollars to spend!
And do you remember the old shadow boards? They are one of the cheapest and simplest ways to store tools, taking up virtually no space, because they hang on the wall.
Now all you have to do is get in the habit of putting things back in there proper place after use!
Best room in the house
As we said at the beginning, your garage can really be anything you wish. In the old days, it was somewhere our dads went to tinker with machinery or mend the car - probably just to get away from our mums!
Garages then became extensions of our homes, somewhere to keep the chest freezer, or the washing machine. Or even set up a home office or gym.
Some families convert their garage space to a teenager's rumpus room, or even a granny flat. Or how about a useful 'outdoor' entertaining space with pool table, mini fridge and a big screen TV.
You'll be amazed at the ideas you come up with once you throw out the junk!