Plastic storage bins can be the perfect solution for a cluttered garage overflowing with toys, sporting goods, gardening supplies, automotive supplies and seasonal decorations. Relatively inexpensive, plastic bins can be purchased in a variety of sizes and colours. They hide clutter and allow it to be grouped in a manner that makes items easier to find.
Maybe you’ve been dreaming of corralling all of the clutter in your garage, but you aren’t sure where to begin. Follow these simple steps and the organized space you’ve envisioned is within reach.
Step #1: Install overhead shelving for maximum storage space
Most garages consist of three blank walls, limiting storage space to the floor around the perimeter of the garage. When that space is taken, items stored in the garage begin to commandeer one or more of the parking bays.
Use the height of the garage to maximize storage space. This can be achieved by storing items in stackable bins. However, if bins are stored along the entire garage perimeter, little space is left for bicycles, the lawn mower and other equipment which requires floor space.
Professionally-installed overhead storage racks create secure, accessible platforms where plastic bins can be stored and stacked, saving valuable floor space for items that need it. High-quality steel storage racks, available in a range of pre-determined depths and sizes, can be configured to your space. Alternately, made-to-measure wooden platforms can be constructed to accommodate your unique space.Overhead racks should be installed by a professional who understands their weight-bearing nature. Always observe weight limits determined by manufacturer.
Step #2: Buy the best quality bins your budget can accommodate
There are a variety of plastic storage bins on the market, from easily-recognizable brand names to less expensive store brands. Paying more doesn’t always ensure quality. Examine bins carefully to see if they meet your needs.
Does the plastic feel sturdy? Does the bin have handles to facilitate lifting? Will the bin hold up during years of use? Consider these questions when examining plastic storage bins. Whenever possible, check product reviews to see how past users rated the bins. Then purchase the best quality bins your budget can accommodate. Well-constructed, highly-rated plastic storage bins will provide years of use.
Step #3: Save time by using clear plastic bins
If you’ve ever opened half a dozen cardboard boxes in search of a single item, you know how frustrating it is not knowing what’s stored in each box. So if you’ll be storing a wide variety of items, consider using transparent bins. Clear plastic bins enable you to see what is stored inside each box without taking heavy bins down from overhead shelves or digging them out of a stack.
Step #4: Group similar items
Grouping similar items in the same bin also simplifies storage and retrieval. If items are large or include a broad category, group all bins in that category in the same section of the garage. For instance, seasonal items, like holiday decorations, might require several plastic bins. One for each holiday, perhaps.
This category of items—holiday decorations—should then be stored in a single section. Since these items tend to be light in weight and infrequently used, an overhead storage rack is an ideal place to store them. Do the same with other similar items, like off-season sports equipment or garden supplies.
To keep items inside the bin organized and minimize breakage, store them in smaller plastic boxes inside the bin. For instance, holiday ornaments or shin guards can be stored in this manner.
Step #5: Clearly label bins
Not everyone wants clear bins, which put items inside on display. For many homeowners, the appeal of plastic bins is keeping everything stored inside out of sight and out of mind. Labels make it easy to determine what’s inside each box without dragging it out and opening it, even when using clear bins.
Step #6: Arrange items according type and frequency of use
Above we used the example of storing lightweight, infrequently-used holiday decorations on an overhead rack. Approach each category of items in the same manner. Items retrieved frequently should be stored where they are easily accessible. For instance, a bin filled with summer toys should be stored where children can easily access it.
To achieve this, rotation may be required. Make gardening equipment accessible during the growing season. Hockey equipment should be within reach during winter, but softball gear takes center stage during softball season.
Plastic storage bins can transform a cluttered garage. Get sturdy, overhead storage racks professionally installed. Purchase the highest quality bins your budget will permit. Use clear bins to make contents visible. Group similar items. Label all bins and arrange them according to timing and frequency of use. Follow these steps and the organized garage you envisioned is at your fingertips.