In most parts of Canada when the sun is shining we all get the itch to go out and enjoy the weather. But some of us get this crazy notion: To tackle the odd jobs that linger on that long honey-do list. One of the most rewarding is to revamp the garage. Quite often, the garage is a cold, gloomy and over-stuffed outbuilding that screams clutter. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Better still, a garage update can help with finding more space in your home.
While a full garage conversion or building a brand new garage extension (check out this ultimate guide by Wessex Garage Doors on how to plan a garage extension) might take weeks and a significant chunk of cash. The great thing is there are some incredibly easy ways to reclaim your garage space in just one weekend. Let’s take a look at three ways you can get started.
1. Clean it out
Let’s be real. There’s no way your garage sees as much cleaning action as other indoor areas of your home and, given what it’s typically used for, nor should it. However, whether you use it every day to store a vehicle or once every few months for seasonal sports gear, your garage still deserves some TLC.
Start by completely clearing everything out. Organize it into piles on your lawn or driveway according to what you want to keep, sell and donate. Take all your donations to the charity shop on the same day. This is the easiest way to see just how much stuff you have (that you don’t need anymore) and access each corner of your garage for cleaning.
Next, grab a bucket, some brushes and some oil stain remover and get to work on scrubbing the interior, working from the ceiling, down the walls to the floor. Start with soap and water and let it dry so you can assess any oil or grease stains. If they haven’t shifted, it’s time to use a wire brush and that stain remover. We strongly recommend enlisting your family to help!
Once it’s clean and dry you can start rehoming the stuff that you pulled out of your garage. Consider the functionality of your storage, and maybe invest in some floor-to-ceiling shelves, peg boards or ceiling racks They’ll free up a lot more space and be way more safe than soggy cardboard boxes!
2. Transform it into a hobby space
Maybe you’ve got a budding guitarist or a keen scrap-booker in the family? If you’re already committed to revamping the garage and cleaning it out, why not make a few changes so that it can comfortably accommodate the hobbies and passions that there’s not enough space for in the home.
Firstly, set up the essentials. Sufficient lighting, somewhere comfortable to sit and a plug socket is a good start. You may also need to get a Wi-Fi booster so that the signal can be picked up in the garage. You’ll then need to work out what provisions can be made for hobby-specific needs. For example, crafters might need an extra storage unit to keep all their materials tidy, while a fitness enthusiast might need some rubber floor tiles for their workout zone.
If your home is already bursting at the seams, you may want to consider a professional garage conversion, but that’s not something that can be achieved in a single weekend!
3. Create a den
Need your garage to support more than one member of the family? Busy households might be better off using their extra room as an additional hang-out area. This can work particularly well for teenagers who want to feel independent of the rest of the household but still want the comforts of the family bathroom and fridge!
Dens require very little effort to set up. Again, the basics are really just some cool lighting, an old sofa and a coffee table. An inexpensive area rug will keep feet off of cold floors and some posters will make it feel more inviting. If you’re feeling generous, looking online or in a second-hand shop for a TV, mini-fridge and sound system will make it all the more teen-friendly! As a win-win, this can also be a low-effort way of dealing with old bits of furniture from the main house that need replacing.
With these three steps, your garage will soon transform from a forgotten space to an inviting extension of your home.