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In our home, our garage is a hardworking space. It not only stores vehicles, but also shoes, coats, outdoor toys, sports equipment and tools. Since the space is designed to fit two cars, that means we have to truly maximize the space. And it can too easily become a dumping ground.

But we have a few simple tools and ideas that have made this small space work better for our family.
Maximize vertical space
The space in a garage is not unlimited and when cars come into the picture, there is little space to store all the gear that families can collect. So using the wall space is probably the most important way to maximize the garage and make it useful.

Shelves and hooks are key – you can use them to store almost anything. We repurposed the giant DIY pegboard from Henry’s bedroom on the large wall in our garage. But you can use any inexpensive hooks and shelves for the storage you need. 

This is an easy, flexible way to store things like jackets and bubbles (which can be kept out of reach of my toddler). We also have pegs and closets inside, but it’s nice to have a little space to store the things we use more frequently. And to be honest, this is where most of the folks in my family take off shoes and coats, so they end up in the garage anyhow.

I also hung up the kids’ boots here to keep them out of the way.

I noticed that they were collecting grime on the ground, so this is a great alternative.
Find a solution that kids can use
In the past few years, the sports gear has gotten OUT OF CONTROL. My son is sports-obsessed. But for a while, we didn’t have a great option for all the balls, bats, gloves and gear.

This Rawlings sports equipment organizer has been a game changer in our garage. No more tripping over basketballs or losing Nerf guns. All very important things when you are the parent of a 7-year-old boy. And it’s just another example of how much you can store in a vertical space. And also, it’s under $30. Win-win-win.

And the very best part – my kids can actually put their own things away. The balls actually make it back into the bins. Because I tell them that if I find them on the garage, they will disappear forever. (You have to gently encourage these habits, friends.)
Don’t forget maintenance
While cleaning out the garage, we also took some time to get the garage door and track in working order. 3-IN-ONE® Garage Door Lube is designed to help to maintain the operation of your residential or commercial garage door system.

Use it on garage door tracks, hinges, chains, pulleys, and latches prevents rusting, corrosion, sticking, and squeaking. It dries quickly with no residue, and it even helps to minimize dust.

We sprayed the door tracks to keep them working properly and also cleaned the sensors to be sure they would continue doing their jobs.
Create a drop zone
In our house, the space right before the door is a true drop zone. It is where shoes and backpacks and stray socks end up. So instead of fighting it, we just found a way to make it work.

Ryan built a small bench to sit and put on shoes – which is great for us and our kids. There are a few extra hooks here and also spots for shoes. (We only keep a few pairs here and the rest in the mudroom in the shoe cabinet.)

Also in our drop zone? The deep freezer. Because when we unload the car after grocery shopping, it’s nice to be able to put them right into the freezer without dragging them into the house. It’s right outside the back door, too. So it’s easy to grab things for dinner.

So, that’s how we have made our garage work well for our family. It’s not perfectly coiffed, but neither are we. Just a few simple tricks can make your garage a better fit for you, too.
Do you have any tips for a hard-working garage?
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