Everyone needs storage and most need more storage space than their house provides. Which is why most people end up using their garage to store their stuff.
But the problem with garage storage isn't a lack of space, but how to best use the space that is there. And that can be a challenge.
The Tale of Too Much Stuff
How much stuff do we own?
Most of us likely feel that we own too much stuff. We our constantly reminded of the burden of our clutter. For many, the challenge of constantly cleaning, uncluttering, stacking, organizing and managing all of our stuff is maddening. Our living spaces are often messy, our drawers are full, and our closets can't hold any more.
So, many of us end up stuffing our excess stuff into our garage.
And it doesn’t matter if we only have a small, one car garage or an expansive three or four car structure. It seems that we are quite adept at filling up any space available and still have stuff left over.
So, who uses their garage for home storage anyway?
Well, if you actually park your car in your garage you are one of the few in America who do. In fact, it’s estimated that less than 25 percent of people with a garage in the United States use them for parking cars. Instead, most of us use our garages as a convenient "storage units."
Granted, if you choose not to park your car or cars in your garage then it does make for a great storage space for all the excess belongings in your home.
But a big problem with storing things in garages is that simply stacking boxes and storage containers or creating piles of stuff doesn't work well.
And this is a common practice for most American homeowners and renters. In fact, the only ones who don't use their garage for storage - assuming they have one, of course - are those individuals who value their cars enough to insist on being able to park them inside.
And even those people probably have some storage set up in their garages!
How Much is Too Much?
Here are some interesting statistics that help give a clearer picture of how much stuff people in America possess:
- 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally.
- The average American woman owns 30 outfits—one for every day of the month. In 1930, that figure was nine.
- Some reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago.
- Shopping malls outnumber high schools. And 93% of teenage girls rank shopping as their favorite pastime.
- Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods—in other words, items they do not need.
What to Do With All the Stuff in the Garage?
Most residential garages are not built for storing “stuff” as much as they are storing cars. Oh - and maybe a water heater and even a furnace, in many homes.
Consequently, most garage spaces are quite bare. In other words, there are no shelves or closets. In fact, most garages are left with unfinished walls and open ceilings with exposed rafters after a home is built.
Which is why so many people tend to simply piles boxes and other items up against the walls. Then, when the walls run out, they start stacking on the floor. Eventually, if they have a lot of stuff to store, the entire garage is filled except for a little “path” between the stacks and piles.
In addition, all the doors into and out of the garage must be kept clear, including the large garage door, as well.
What this means is that there numbers of unsightly, disorganized piles of junk taking up all the open space in the garage. This is awkward to move around and can even be dangerous. Piles of boxes can fall over and can also become a fire danger as junk piles up everywhere.
So, what can you do? The first step, then, is to get organized.
Staging, categorizing and then separating your belongings will help in organizing all your things. You should try to do this on your driveway or in your yard, although it may be possible to so inside the garage itself. The separating step involves setting aside anything you don’t want to keep. That step is a big part of a successful organizing process.
Those unwanted items can then be sold online on Craig's List or eBay, in a yard sale, or simply donated to local charities. If you don’t want to bother with any of that, you just give them to willing friends or neighbors who can then store them in their own garages!
The important thing is to reduce the amount of stuff in your garage before you decide on your storage options.
One of the best methods, of course, is use shelves. While putting everything that can fit into plastic storage containers is a good approach, you already know you can’t stack them too high without creating a hazard. But putting them on shelves is an efficient and safe method.
The idea is to store your containers "up", not “across”, as in all across the floor!
Using Shelves and Cabinets to Optimize Garage Storage Space
Storing your stacks and piles safely and efficiently is best done with shelving.
One of the great things about garages is the variety of shelving methods that can be used in them. Shelf space is only limited by wall space, the height of the ceiling and the methods used.
There are basically four different options for garage shelving:
These can be anything from old kitchen cabinets re-purposed for your garage, to high-end units especially designed for use in a garage. While this last option is usually the most expensive, it can also look the nicest while providing sufficient "out-of-sight" storage for most homeowners.
These range from all plastic shelves that are usually designed for lighter weight storage, to professional-grade units built to withstand almost anything. Typically, the stronger the shelf unit the more weight it can hold, but also the higher the price tag. They can be quite versatile as they provide easy access and can be re-positioned, if need be.
Building shelves along the walls can provide the best of both worlds for storage. These shelves can’t fall over like free-standing units might, and they can often be built all the way to the ceiling, providing maximum storage capacity. Shelves built along the walls can also be designed to run above doorways and with different heights between shelves.
Suspended Ceiling Shelving
An often-overlooked option is the empty space in the ceiling of your garage. This will require proper hardware to secure the shelves safely, but it allows you to make efficient use of overhead space that is also "out-of-sight." These units should be used for items that are not large or heavy, and things that are not used and needed very often.
Got Your Garage Uncluttered and Need to Get Rid of Junk?
Once you have all your stuff separated and organized, you will likely end up with some piles of stuff that you now need to get rid of.
If you're not able to sell it or donate it - or you simply don't want to bother with all that - then the services of a good junk hauling firm are your best option. And Junk King is your best choice for taking care of your unwanted stuff.
Our residential junk removal services provide an easy and affordable solution for removing clutter and hauling away unwanted junk.
And Junk King can provide a variety of other junk removal services,as well, such as:
- Hauling services for large and bulky junk items
- House cleanouts for moving, spring cleaning, or converting rooms
- Property cleanouts for landlords, real estate agents, or estate cleanouts
- Trash removal for yard waste, construction projects, and large cleaning projects
Junk King provides the highest level of professionalism and fantastic customer service. You get a no-hassle experience with upfront pricing, easy scheduling, and fast service. Schedule a no-obligation appointment, and when you say the word we’ll haul away the junk and sweep everything clean.
And we recycle as much of your junk material possible because we believe that junk doesn’t have to end up in a landfill.
So, when you call on Junk King you can feel good knowing that you’re doing the eco-friendly thing. We also send usable items to local non-profits and donation centers to help the community. One person’s unwanted furniture or electronics may do a stranger a world of good!
Our professional and insured trash removal team will show up at your home or office; we call 15 minutes before we arrive on site and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your items take up in our truck. You simply point, and we’ll haul your items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
So, are you ready to get rid of that excess and unwanted junk? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).