Reclaim Your Parking Space
If carport clutter is driving you mad, start by reclaiming your parking space. The trick: Utilize the walls. A securely mounted pegboard system will get your tools — rakes, hoses, even wheelbarrows — off the floor and out of the way, plus you'll always be able to see what you have. Carve out even more space by mounting a row of shelves above the board. Just keep a sturdy step stool or ladder handy so you can safely access overhead gear. Also: Make sure to secure bulkier items to the board with a bungee cord.Ready to work!
If you can eke out the space, set up an area in your garage for doing those DIY projects and repairs. First, select a surface: a counter-height table, a rolling cart with wheel locks, or a set of sawhorses topped with a countertop or board is fine. Then, keep it clear — while keeping supplies in easy reach — with pegboard mounted over your surface, as shown. Pull up an adjustable-height stool so anyone (you, your hubby) can work comfortably. Last, a sturdy task lamp will help you see what you're doing; a small fan will ensure that your work space is cool and that any fumes dissipate.
Over and Out (of the Way)
Loft-like storage, such as a wooden shelf (shown) or easily installed rack units, is ideal for holding seasonal items such as holiday decor or outdoor gear; rotate out boxes or bins as needed (don't forget to label them). Corral sports gear in a go-to bin so family members can drop off or pick up things while passing through. Tuck bikes and scooters beneath the shelf, too.
Hide and Keep
Relegate dangerous chemicals to a well-ventilated, lockable cabinet to protect against prying hands and careless spills.
Keep vs. Toss
Keep: an old tennis ball to help drivers get used to any new storage systems in the back of the garage — before they run into them. How-to: Tie string around the ball; hang from the ceiling over the spot where a vehicle should stop when parking. It should be low enough to hit the windshield.
Keep: ponytail holders (the kind with plastic balls at the ends) to hold extension cords in place. While you're at it, be sure you're working with properly insulated extension cords designed for outdoor use.
Toss: the broom waiting by the garage door. Instead, prevent dirt from sneaking into the house with a rubberized mat in the garage and a cloth version where people cross into the house. Stash a boot tray near the rubber mat for messy clogs, cleats, etc.