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Help me organize my garage

  1. #1
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Help me organize my garage


    We have a one-car garage that's underneath the house. It's cramped and dark and disorganized. But don't worry, you can help me!



    There are lally columns on the left-hand wall and a kind of stone ledge on the right-hand wall, which is probably the best place for actual storage is very limited. I think the best thing would be pegboard on the left & shelves on the right. Right?

    The two big problems I have are tool storage and parts storage. I have a ton of parts for the El Camino that are waiting to go on, from big to small to big again. Those I tend to randomly leave on shelves until I'm ready for them. I do slightly better with tools, as I have a couple of Craftsman tool chests and a Harbor Freight one as well. But then I keep tripping over the compressor, welder, table saw and the bulkier stuff.

    The ceiling is about 10ft so it's not really practical to hang stuff from. My fallback "plan" for storage is random totes and plastic tubs, which is fucking stupid because it doesn't work.

    In terms of working, I work on the El Camino a bunch and the VFR very little. With the Elky in there, there's very little spare room in there. Like a foot on each side and two feet at the front!

    How can I do this better?!

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  2. #2
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    I picked up two motorcycle dollies from HF. Lets me turn the bikes and slide them into funny positions and store them better. You could use that store the bike perpendicular to the car and utilize the couple feet of space at the back of the garage.

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  3. #3
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by 01xj View Post
    I picked up two motorcycle dollies from HF. Lets me turn the bikes and slide them into funny positions and store them better. You could use that store the bike perpendicular to the car and utilize the couple feet of space at the back of the garage.
    I didn't know they made such a thing. Did it look like this?



    Sorry for the huge picture.

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  4. #4

    Re: Help me organize my garage

    wow...it's not organized at all

    I am also trying to figure out ways to be more organized...but I'm not really smart enough to figure it out

    what little I learned is:
    1.) the stuff you use often - keep within close reach (most your tools)
    2.) the stuff you don't use often - ie. the el camino parts - organize (electrical, body, fuel, etc.) and box them up, mark the contents, put them on shelves as high up and away from you as you can. For me this includes tools like a tap-and-die kit, compression tester, etc.
    3.) the power tools that don't fit in your rolling cabinets, all go into kitchen cabinets so they are out of the way and don't clutter up your workspace.
    4.) One shelf should be designated for all your oils/chemicals/lubes/cleaners. A separate bin/container should be for used oil and other hazardous chemicals.
    5.) where is your f'n bench?!? - just kidding...build one. I also like when they are lined with power strips or outlets every 3-4 feet against the wall
    6.) purely from a personal preference - you need more light (get fluorescent light fixtures) and a stereo...I put fluorescent fixtures on the wall facing sideways or even on the floor facing up at an angle...lights on the ceiling cast shadows on the bike parts you're working on, so you can see a lot more with sideways light. Have 1 more retractable single bulb work lamp hanging from the ceiling for tight spaces.
    7.) can you put the compressor in a shed outside and plumb some air? That way you don't hear the thing and won't trip over it.
    8.) tools should all be organized in those rolling cabinets - wrenches all lined up by size...you use it, then put it back in the same place you got it from.
    9.) not sure if you have a laptop, but having internet garage side is awesome for looking stuff up...so if you don't have a laptop to bring down, but do have an old computer, set it up in a place it won't get trashed.
    10.) security cameras and alarm

    so yeah, I would empty the whole thing...plant your big stuff (compressor in the opposite corner so it doesn't block the door...and get a retracting hose), install a bench, more lights, kitchen cabinets, shelves for infrequently used parts, organize your tools, and leave an open working space for your bike...if you work on your bike(s) a lot, get a bike lift so you can work standing up to save wear and tear on your back

    optional: kegerator or fridge w' beer, pics of umbrella girls, water dispenser, paper towel holder, fire extinguisher, pics of umbrella girls, pics of umbrella girls

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    Last edited by breakdirt916; 01-13-15 at 04:13 AM.
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  5. #5
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    The Garage Journal

    I put a narrow shelf made from 1x4 around the top of the garage for paint, lubricant, etc etc.
    Lined as many of the walls as possible with pegboard so I can hang everything up.
    Got a larger tool box so even power tools fit.

    ...still a mess.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 01-13-15 at 07:23 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    I would also try to get the bike along the back wall across the width. You don't need a fancy stand, just jockey it in there until spring. I also second a full perimeter shelf all the way around. I would make it wider though and put it high enough so that it is out of the way even if you need a stool to access it.

    I would leave the left wall in the picture totally clear. No shelves other than the high mount one, no toolboxes, nothing. If anything a narrow shelf no wider than the columns. Put all your stuff along the other wall which recesses once inside the garage. This would make the space feel way wider.

    That table saw is a killer too. Got a shed or nearby family? Hang or put away everything. The floor should be clear short of toolboxes/compressor/ heavy stuff.

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  7. #7
    TRACK RAT!!!!! Pigman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Caloots on here was selling a cealing Rack that would work PISSA for you FYI.......

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  8. #8
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Run two continuous rows of fluorescent lights down the ceiling about 1 foot out from the wall

    Shelves high up don't get in your way.

    I have a 2nd set of tools in 2 medium sized metal tool boxes which can be located an arms reach away from the job
    just reach over , there you are

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  9. #9
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    you can do a lot with pegboard

    Heavy Duty and Chrome Hooks for PegBoard

    you can even get baskets for pegboard

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    Last edited by RandyO; 01-13-15 at 10:52 AM.
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  10. #10
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    I see a table saw. Those make dust. Shelves may not work so good for you. You probably want cabinets with doors unless you want a nice layer of sawdust on all your tools, parts, etc. Ask me how I know. Plastic tubs are an alternative. Buy a label maker and label the tubs before you put them on the shelves.

    They make caster wheel base things for table saws and similar equipment. Best thing ever. Lets you easily push the saw out of the way and then pull it back out only when in use.

    Installing a crapload of lights will change your life.

    Elevate everything you can off the floor.

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  11. #11
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    . You probably want cabinets with doors.
    I have an old kitchen cabinet in my mancave

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  12. #12
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Ace Hardware has some very low prices on plastic storage tubs this month.

    I got a couple of these 4-bulb light fixtures last year, easy to install:
    Lithonia Lighting 4-Light Grey Heavy Duty Fluorescent Shoplight-1284GRD RE - The Home Depot

    And, yes, put the old stereo in the shop -- no volume limits (not in my detached garage, anyway).


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    Last edited by whynot; 01-13-15 at 11:25 AM.
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  13. #13
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Used kitchen cabinets. Cheap and you can put your own top on for short money.

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  14. #14

    Re: Help me organize my garage

    lotsa good ideas here...turn it into a build thread!

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  15. #15
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Burn it down and start over.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ^sarcasm.

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  16. #16
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Burn it down and start over.
    Or another classic: "Blow in place."

    Been cleaning garage since 8:30am, I can see some of the floor!

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  17. #17
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by breakdirt916 View Post
    wow...it's not organized at all

    I am also trying to figure out ways to be more organized...but I'm not really smart enough to figure it out

    what little I learned is:
    1.) the stuff you use often - keep within close reach (most your tools)
    2.) the stuff you don't use often - ie. the el camino parts - organize (electrical, body, fuel, etc.) and box them up, mark the contents, put them on shelves as high up and away from you as you can. For me this includes tools like a tap-and-die kit, compression tester, etc.
    3.) the power tools that don't fit in your rolling cabinets, all go into kitchen cabinets so they are out of the way and don't clutter up your workspace.
    4.) One shelf should be designated for all your oils/chemicals/lubes/cleaners. A separate bin/container should be for used oil and other hazardous chemicals.
    5.) where is your f'n bench?!? - just kidding...build one. I also like when they are lined with power strips or outlets every 3-4 feet against the wall
    6.) purely from a personal preference - you need more light (get fluorescent light fixtures) and a stereo...I put fluorescent fixtures on the wall facing sideways or even on the floor facing up at an angle...lights on the ceiling cast shadows on the bike parts you're working on, so you can see a lot more with sideways light. Have 1 more retractable single bulb work lamp hanging from the ceiling for tight spaces.
    7.) can you put the compressor in a shed outside and plumb some air? That way you don't hear the thing and won't trip over it.
    8.) tools should all be organized in those rolling cabinets - wrenches all lined up by size...you use it, then put it back in the same place you got it from.
    9.) not sure if you have a laptop, but having internet garage side is awesome for looking stuff up...so if you don't have a laptop to bring down, but do have an old computer, set it up in a place it won't get trashed.
    10.) security cameras and alarm

    so yeah, I would empty the whole thing...plant your big stuff (compressor in the opposite corner so it doesn't block the door...and get a retracting hose), install a bench, more lights, kitchen cabinets, shelves for infrequently used parts, organize your tools, and leave an open working space for your bike...if you work on your bike(s) a lot, get a bike lift so you can work standing up to save wear and tear on your back

    optional: kegerator or fridge w' beer, pics of umbrella girls, water dispenser, paper towel holder, fire extinguisher, pics of umbrella girls, pics of umbrella girls
    No, it's really not organized at all Part of the problem is my laziness. Another part of the problem is that, at the moment, we're working on our house at the same time I'm working on the El Camino. And because the house is for the wife, it takes priority. Meaning that if I have to roll the El Camino out to get the table saw in, well, that's what happens. So because it's not a "permanent" place for me I have been reluctant to take the time to organize it. Also partially because I'm lazy.

    #1 is obviously something I should do. #2 is a good idea, but I have to build the shelves first. Fortunately that shouldn't be too hard! #3 most of the power tools go in the actual basement, not the garage, with the exception of the table saw because we often use it to rip long pieces of lumber. #4 is also supposed to be in the basement too, but umm I'm lazy and don't put things back where I should. #5 is something I definitely need to do! My nice bench is up in Maine and I haven't brought it down yet I'd need a truck to do that and the El Camino doesn't run (yet). #6 I just bought six sets of lights (4' 2xT8 bulbs) from Home Depot, but haven't hung them yet, mostly because I need to rewire the electrics in the garage. Which of course isn't a priority for the wife to help me with (her old man is an electrician). #7 I would be wary of putting it outside because it's so cold, a better idea would be to put it in a corner of the basement. Where it is now though isn't so bad because it's tucked right behind the wall next to the garage door, which isn't really a great space to begin with so I'm not losing too much there. #8 Yeah.. laziness #9 I just bring my laptop down, and for music I use a small Jambox which actually works out awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    The Garage Journal

    I put a narrow shelf made from 1x4 around the top of the garage for paint, lubricant, etc etc.
    Lined as many of the walls as possible with pegboard so I can hang everything up.
    Got a larger tool box so even power tools fit.

    ...still a mess.
    Do you have any photos of your 1x4 shelf? I would love to see it. I think putting pegboard in between the lally columns is a good idea because that part of the wall is too "narrow" to do much else with.

    Quote Originally Posted by klp View Post
    I would also try to get the bike along the back wall across the width. You don't need a fancy stand, just jockey it in there until spring. I also second a full perimeter shelf all the way around. I would make it wider though and put it high enough so that it is out of the way even if you need a stool to access it.

    I would leave the left wall in the picture totally clear. No shelves other than the high mount one, no toolboxes, nothing. If anything a narrow shelf no wider than the columns. Put all your stuff along the other wall which recesses once inside the garage. This would make the space feel way wider.

    That table saw is a killer too. Got a shed or nearby family? Hang or put away everything. The floor should be clear short of toolboxes/compressor/ heavy stuff.
    Honestly unless I'm actively working on the bike, I leave it outside the house. In the winter I can leave it under the rear porch (which is on the 2nd floor, basement is at ground level) so it doesn't get snow on it. And I pull the battery and leave it on a Battery Tender so it doesn't die. But yeah, putting it on the back wall would be the best place for it, especially if I had one of those little dollies to put it on.

    The thing with the left wall is that I feel so tight for usable storage space that I want to make the most of what I have. But of course that goes at a cost of making the space feel crowded. Which it does now because everything is all over the fucking place...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pigman View Post
    Caloots on here was selling a cealing Rack that would work PISSA for you FYI.......
    I'll check it out, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromper View Post
    Run two continuous rows of fluorescent lights down the ceiling about 1 foot out from the wall

    Shelves high up don't get in your way.

    I have a 2nd set of tools in 2 medium sized metal tool boxes which can be located an arms reach away from the job
    just reach over , there you are
    Yeah, I will run the lights ASAP. I will also paint the walls white to reflect as much light as possible. I'm told that makes a big difference! High up shelves is something mentioned here already and I never would have thought to do it before now.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    you can do a lot with pegboard

    Heavy Duty and Chrome Hooks for PegBoard

    you can even get baskets for pegboard
    I actually have a set of hooks like that (from HF) but haven't bothered to buy the actual pegboard

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I see a table saw. Those make dust. Shelves may not work so good for you. You probably want cabinets with doors unless you want a nice layer of sawdust on all your tools, parts, etc. Ask me how I know. Plastic tubs are an alternative. Buy a label maker and label the tubs before you put them on the shelves.

    They make caster wheel base things for table saws and similar equipment. Best thing ever. Lets you easily push the saw out of the way and then pull it back out only when in use.

    Installing a crapload of lights will change your life.

    Elevate everything you can off the floor.
    I would love old kitchen cabinets. Guess I better start scouring CL for some. And yeah, the dust gets everywhere; whenever I use the table saw I have to get all of my mechanical stuff that's exposed (like when I was building the El Camino engine) out and then vacuum scrupulously to clean up the dust before I could move stuff back in. PITA. Wheel base sounds like a great idea...

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    I have an old kitchen cabinet in my mancave
    Quote Originally Posted by whynot View Post
    Ace Hardware has some very low prices on plastic storage tubs this month.

    I got a couple of these 4-bulb light fixtures last year, easy to install:
    Lithonia Lighting 4-Light Grey Heavy Duty Fluorescent Shoplight-1284GRD RE - The Home Depot

    And, yes, put the old stereo in the shop -- no volume limits (not in my detached garage, anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Used kitchen cabinets. Cheap and you can put your own top on for short money.
    Quote Originally Posted by breakdirt916 View Post
    lotsa good ideas here...turn it into a build thread!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Burn it down and start over.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ^sarcasm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Or another classic: "Blow in place."

    Been cleaning garage since 8:30am, I can see some of the floor!
    Keep the great ideas coming people. I'll post a date when all y'all can come over and help me organize

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  18. #18
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post

    I actually have a set of hooks like that (from HF) but haven't bothered to buy the actual pegboard
    e:
    $15/sheet at Lowes Shop DPI Brown Hardboard Pegboard (Common: 48-in x 96-in; Actual: 47.75-in x 95.75-in) at Lowes.com

    space it out from the wall with 1x3 strapping

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  19. #19
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    I've done this on one wall. As for the others: my basement and garage are under the house, and the walls are built out of stone. I don't know anything about stone. It looks like this from the outside:



    Most of the interior walls are painted, which look like this:



    One of the walls has a kind of stucco finish, which looks like this:



    My question is: how do I drill into these walls so that I can hang shelves and whatnot? I have an impact drill/driver, but not a hammer drill or any masonry bits. Is it just as simple as drilling holes and inserting anchors?

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  20. #20
    TWINS! xrocket21's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Use a ramset to mount strapping, then shim and attach 4x8 sheets of advantech and mount shelves to that?

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  21. #21
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    My question is: how do I drill into these walls so that I can hang shelves and whatnot? I have an impact drill/driver, but not a hammer drill or any masonry bits. Is it just as simple as drilling holes and inserting anchors?
    Ramset, as mentioned.

    Other option is to rent an SDS hammer drill from HD/Lowes. Either way, you're renting tools. Regular rotary hammer drill won't cut it, they're pretty useless.

    Strapping, as mentioned, then whatever your finished board is on top.

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    I went to MMI I know what Im doing here chief

  22. #22
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Quote Originally Posted by xrocket21 View Post
    Use a ramset to mount strapping, then shim and attach 4x8 sheets of advantech and mount shelves to that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Ramset, as mentioned.

    Other option is to rent an SDS hammer drill from HD/Lowes. Either way, you're renting tools. Regular rotary hammer drill won't cut it, they're pretty useless.

    Strapping, as mentioned, then whatever your finished board is on top.
    Ramsets are the gunpowder-actuated things, right? My father-in-law has one I could borrow. How would I stop the ramset from punching through the strapping and the rock?

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  23. #23
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    Yep, that's them. You need to determine what fastener you're going to use, then use the correct powder charge. You may need to try a couple of different shells but here's a chart to get you in the ball park.

    Ramset Fasteners—How They Work

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    I went to MMI I know what Im doing here chief

  24. #24
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    What are you guys doing with your old helmets? I have a couple with sentimental value that I'd like to hold on to. All I can really find are hooks like this:



    I'd rather hang them on a wall than put them in a display case, I guess.

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  25. #25
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Help me organize my garage

    A single 10d nail into a stud hangs helmets invisibly.

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