How many people do you know who can actually fit their car in their garage? Storage seems to be a growing problem with today’s busy lifestyles so stuff often gets stored in the garage as a last resort.
We are generally wealthier than we used to be and, in real terms at least, many items are cheaper than before.
Couple that with the smaller sizes of the rooms in today’s houses and smaller gardens, and it’s no wonder we can’t find anywhere to put all our stuff.
The most basic storage solutions are shelves or shelving units, freestanding or attached to the wall. There are many different types available, from those knocked up with old planks and other bits of wood, to full-sized units with adjustable shelves and customised cupboards that attach to a framework.
The most basic shelving is probably planks supported by piles of old bricks at either end. This doesn’t need any tools and can probably be put together for nothing with a bit of diligent scrounging.
Wooden or chipboard shelves screwed to the walls with purpose built brackets are usually the next step for most people, but this can’t be done in rented properties and probably isn’t a good idea if you aren’t settled yet and tend to move a lot.
Add to that the fact that many people can’t, or don’t want to, screw things into walls and it’s not surprising that the market for plastic storage boxes has gone through the roof. There are many different sizes, with lids, without lids, interlocking and just plain boxes.
If you’re looking at some of these, consider how you’re going to use them before you buy. If you are going to use them for transporting items, you are probably better off with ones that nest inside each other, and so take up less space, when they are empty.
Often the lids are sold separately so you could save money if you buy the kind that nest if you have them one way round, then stack on top of each other if you turn them round the other way.
There are specialist shapes available too, such as underbed boxes or CD and DVD boxes.
Consider whether you’ll want to get things out of the boxes when they are stacked up. If so, there are boxes with angled tops and sides, so that boxes can be opened without having to lift off the boxes on top of it.
And although they can be bought in all sorts of sizes, transparent ones make it easy to see what’s inside.
If piles of boxes don’t really do it for you, then a shelving system from a furniture shop is probably the best thing. They are made from all sorts of materials and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so look around for the best one to suit your needs.
Usually there will be a framework of wood, metal or strong plastic, and then shelves drawer units or cupboards that mount onto that framework.
Sheds and Garages
Finishing off with the outside, there are now a number of ‘grid’ systems that are perfect for the garage or shed.
With these a grid, usually metal, is attached to the wall and you can then buy all sorts of customised fitting that clip onto the grid, like bicycle racks, ladder hooks, tool racks and baskets.
These are particularly useful in the garage as it helps to store everything against the wall, and that increases the chances of the rest of the garage staying clear for the car!