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Tips for making your garage more useful

Your garage isn’t considered living space when you measure your home, but it adds value to the way you live there. If that area has become a wasteland of disorganization, Kettler Forlines has some tips for making your garage more useful.

Stop thinking of your garage as an afterthought.

The garage frequently becomes the place where you store, toss, or temporarily place items that you don’t need inside your house. However, with the right approach to organizing your garage, it becomes a far more usable space. Stop thinking of it as a dumping ground and consider ways in which your garage can enhance your life. Create a functioning workshop where all your tools are organized and easy to grab. Add a second refrigerator or a freezer. Safely store your sporting goods. And get rid of the maze you have to navigate to find anything!

Get inspired.

Gather ideas to guide your garage makeover. Look at photos of garages that appeal to you. What is it you like? Is it the organization? The amount of empty space? The design of the workshop? Use these ideas to build a wish list for your garage makeover.

Set goals.

Decide on specific goals for your project: compacting the storage, making room for another vehicle or large equipment, setting up a workshop, or whatever you have in mind.

Empty it before organizing your garage.

You can’t effectively sort out your garage when there are still items in there. Just as you would when doing a room makeover, take everything out. Don’t stop to sort it (which causes distraction). Just move it out. Then you can get a really good look at your blank space and envision a better way to use your garage.


Be honest here. When something goes to the garage for an indefinite amount of time, how valuable is it to you? If you’re truly committed to converting your garage, then you need to reduce the load that goes back in there. As you pick through boxes and bins, ask yourself how often you will use each item. Is it worth keeping? Would someone else have more use for it? Set a goal for yourself for the amount of reduction you want to achieve—like how much square footage to allow for sentimental storage and things that might someday be useful. Help yourself by setting up barrels for anything being discarded and boxes to pack up items to donate. 

Consider your options.

Stand in the middle of your empty garage. Look around. How does it feel? This is your blank canvas, and it’s time to create a masterpiece! What would you like to be able to do in here? In addition to the usual suspects, how about a dog-washing station or mudroom? Do you want a maintenance area for taking care of lawn tools, sports equipment, and other mechanical tasks? Are you thinking about incorporating a workout area? Decide on the way you want to use the garage space, then determine the square footage you can allow for each task. Work through your floor plan in order of priority, like how much room you need to park your vehicle(s). 

Map out the zones.

Map out each function in the garage as zones: Storage, Repair, Lawn & Garden, and Recreation are a few areas. Mark it off with masking or painters tape so you can see how the space flows together. What looks good on paper can be very different when you’re looking at the actual area.

Prep the interior.

Take care of all the structural improvements first. Determine what you need to add, like shelves, racks, rubber floor tiles (for a garage gym), plumbing for a sink, and electrical outlets. Repair or resurface the garage floor, depending on how you’re going to use the garage. 

Reorganize the garage.

Once you’re satisfied with the space and flow of your new and improved garage, work on setting up one zone at a time. Make labels for the spaces you’ve so carefully organized so that others know where to find what they need and, more importantly, where to put it when they’re done!

Maybe you need a bigger makeover.

As your lifestyle changes, your home must keep up. That includes the garage. Is it large enough? Do you need to expand or repurpose the space? Maybe you’re looking to convert it to an office or living space. Kettler Forlines Homes does more than build new homes in the DC Metro area. We also remodel and renovate. Get the skills of our experienced craftsmen and the vision of our design team so you do it right the first time. Get in touch with us to plan the ultimate garage makeover! 

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