When you think of garages you think of a guy’s space. A space for men to do manly things in the manliest of ways. However, as a twenty-first-century woman, I for one, know this is bonkers and the space in a garage goes beyond the stomping ground for dads.
The space of the garage is multi-purposeful. It is the place of the home where things are built, mid-night projects are cranked out, scratched knees return home for fixing, where mom and dad come in after returning home from work, and much more.
It’s the place in the home where the most traffic walks through but is often overlooked and neglected. This space has so much that it can provide for functionality beyond dad’s tools and the kids’ bikes. Moms can utilize this space to organize, prepare, and situate the day to day lifestyle of being a mom.
Moms are pulled in every which way and are stretched thin, like Mrs. Incredible, and with these simple garage tips, you can snap right back into the same incredible mom bod that she has.
1. Cubbies for the Day to Day
Cubbies are one of the best organizational tools for the garage because there are so many options one can take with these. They are flexible enough to change up their use as life and needs change with the aging family.
For mamas with kiddos who have a different activity each night of the week, create a cubby space that will help keep your child organized in their extra activities. You can make one for your husband too, in case he can’t get his life together either.
The options for this are nearly endless – you can purchase single cubbies and organize them in rows, columns, or squares to accent that wall space before you enter the house. They also come in any color you heart might desire from a red that makes the space pop, to a nice muted gray that will match the hubby’s toolbox. Cubbies also come in eye-catching units that double as storage benches, all in chic farmhouse style – because we all want to live in a house that looks like Chip and Joanna Gaines stopped by.
You can also find (or make!) shelving with hook storage for all the baseball gloves, backpacks, winter coats, and umbrellas that might otherwise disappear into unknown reaches of the hall closet or the trunk of your already full car.
Organize this space, and it’s a guarantee that you will gain back a few precious moments that are spent looking for someone’s something before an event. Or, worse, after dropping your kid off at a sports practice, getting a text “I forgot my ____, can you bring it?”. There goes your liturgical moment of an hour of peace and quiet at the local Starbucks.
Through the cubby system, you teach your kids their own organizational system (and the responsibility to maintain it!) and help ensure that when it’s time to go everything they need is already in the garage.
2. Pool Noodle Bumpers
This is a simple hack for any garage with littles. It’s so ingenious, yet not as common as it should be. One common mishap when your children are big enough to get themselves out of the car is accidentally bumping the car door into the garage wall. This not only leaves dings in your high-tech soccer mom car but also leaves dents in your garage wall.
A simple way to save your car door and your garage wall, through everyone’s favorite pool toy and weapon, the pool noodle. The first step is to cut a pool noodle in half. Next, open your car door and place a mark on your garage wall on where the door and the wall kiss. Then, take two screws and screw the pool noodle to the wall.
Boom! Instant and cheap door bumper. Saving you money by not taking to repair your garage walls when it’s time to sell and saving you from the judgmental looks from the other parents in the student pick-up line because of all the dents in your car doors.
These also come in a variety of colors, and even shapes, if you are concerned about the aesthetics of your garage. Or you can also grab a can of spray paint and give your bumpers a nice black finish to look like sleek and functional as the Batcave. And maybe while you’re at it, you can add your own personal fireman’s pole, equipped with your own personal clothes changer (let’s face it sometimes you can’t change out of the baby vomit) as an entrance into your garage. Nananananana Bat- MOM! Just my dream…? Well, anyway.
3. Stroller Storage
Strollers are amazing when it’s time to take the kids out on a walk, to the mall, the grocery store, the zoo, the park…you name it. However, they become a big hassle for storage. They’re bulky, they take up lots of room, and they’re difficult to store away.
One of the main difficulties of storing strollers is simply knowing you are going to need it again soon. Putting it away and knowing you’re going to have to get out again the next day or within the next hour, is a bit of a first world-inconvenience. But it is an inconvenience.
So, to put your mind at ease and to save room in the trunk of your car, you can easily create a mount on your garage wall to place the stroller on. Yup, hang your stroller on the wall like you would your gardening tools. This allows to keep the stroller off of the garage floor and out of the way for any projects or car parking that may be taking place in your garage.
With your stroller on the wall, you make for a convenient place to put away your stroller and grab your stroller in between the coming and going with and without your booger and poop monsters.
4. Craft Table
When you think of a garage you think of a “man cave”. While garages may be the stereotypical male stomping ground, you can easily turn your garage into your own “she-shed”. Who said women do not want to work with power tools anyways?
Let’s face it, ladies, most of those mom DIY’s involve the power tools that are found in the garage. In fact, some of these DIY’s involve tools that are found within the garage space. You can easily create your own ultimate craft space right inside of your garage. Simply take your typical garage storage, workbenches and make it into your own craft space. Put up a pegboard, find some cute buckets and bins, and your scissors, wire cutters, glue sticks, paintbrushes, and sanity will all be tidy and ready to create!
Tight on space in your garage? You can create a workbench that flips out from your wall with a simple piece of lumber and a couple of hinges. Oh yes, you heard it right here! Go look at your Pinterest page and see how simple this truly is!
With this craft station, you can become the ultimate Pinterest mom with the proper stage to work on all those lovely ideas that you have had pinned for so long.
5. Get a Deep Freezer
In families of three of more shopping and meals throughout the week can often feel like a second full-time job rather than an enjoyable time to spend with family. Meals take time to plan out, cook, and shop for.
With a deep freezer, you provide yourself more space to stalk up on frozen food and meats on the trips to the store when there’s a great sale on that delicious Angus steak. Sometimes in the busy day to day life, making a trip to the grocery store to stalk up on this week’s groceries can be a pain. And target pick-up/delivery is for chumps. (Just kidding. I’ve definitely done that in a pinch. But now I don’t have to!)
With a deep freeze, you allow yourself space to store things that you can buy in bulk and not have to go bad within the week. So, go ahead, if there’s a sale on the organic chicken, stalk up on it now so you don’t have to buy it next week. In fact, most meats can last up to 3 months in the deep freeze after the sell-by date. You’re welcome.
The deep freeze also provides a space to store meal prepped foods. If stored correctly, you can store meal prepped food in the freezer for roughly 3-6 months. Meal prep helps provide healthy, organic meals for you and your family that simply need to be defrosted on the nights where the kids are in a mood, your husband has the flu, and you’re just trying your best.
6. Shoe Storage
There are lots of ways to store shoes in your home. You can have a pile by the door, a shoe rack in the entryway, a pile on the bottom of the closet floor. The ideas are endless, but one way to help keep the floors clean after mopping is to store the shoes in the garage. You can place a shoe rack next to the door, add a shelving unit that organizes all of your family’s shoes in their own separate cubbies (see what I did there? Full circle!!!)
We all live in places where different seasons bring a variety of weather to our footwear. Winter boots and galoshes are not what you will be grabbing out the door for a day at the beach, but they still need to go somewhere. Designating an accessible space.
There are multiple ways you can do this for your garage. Wanting to go the Joanna Gaines route? Buy a couple of milk crates, screw in a piece of wood in the middle of the crate to create a shelf within. Lay the milk crates on their sides and stack them up and – voila! You have a cute, chic shoe rack for the family!
Got lots of shoes for multiple occasions, buy a bundle of PVC pipe and some industrial glue. Then you want to cut the PVC pipe into foot-long pieces. Next, create your own design along an empty wall in your garage and hang each individual piece of PVC pipe with the industrial glue. This creates a fun, organizational create for everyone’s individual pairs of shoes. You can even purchase spray paint, or paints, to color coordinate your shoe rack to fit the aesthetics of your garage.
If you are thinking long-term storage for your shoes, you may want to look into storage options that are enclosed. Yes, you want to keep out dust and dirt off of your sleek snow boots, but you also want to keep out any critters from creating a home for the next 6-8 months. Trust me, nothing is more terrifying than pulling out your winter boots and not being able to fit your foot inside because there is a wolf spider inside. I am still shaking as I typed out that terrifying sentence. Pray for me.
This is the most common use of utilizing the garage space, mainly because the garage is the only place to store the things, we do not use every day. From holiday décor, to summer pools, to seasonal clothing the garage is used to store lots of things.
However, most people who store things in their garage just throw everything into a corner, but then when it comes to the time of year to pull out the storage bins it is impossible to find what you are looking for. Lids are being opened and closed, dust is flying everywhere, the kids are crying, and you are wondering what you were thinking 6 months ago when you were putting these things away.
In order to save you from yourself, you can easily create a space that will make looking for your seasonal boxes a breeze. Simple shelving and labeling can help combat these troubles. You can either build your own shelving unit that fits your storage needs or purchase one that fits your storage needs. Depending on how crafty and how much effort you really want to put into your storage needs.
Once you have your shelves in place, use masking tape and a sharpie to label what is in each storage bin or box. Utilize the masking tape because you can easily replace the label if you pack things differently when it comes time to store your things again. High-five for organization!
The garage is one of the most neglected spaces in the household. However, there are endless opportunities to make space functional for families of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. Simply assess what things in your household are not the most efficient and think of a creative way to utilize your garage space to increase efficiency. Happy wife, happy life!