In most homes today, unless you have a storage unit or shed, the most common place to store all of our extra items is in the garage. There are many garage storage solutions available today beyond home built shelves using scrap 2'x4's and plywood (though these have worked very well for many people in past). One great thing about shelves are that they take advantage of the vertical space in your garage, freeing up much of the floor space for other uses.
There are two main types of shelving: free standing and wall mounted shelves.
Free standing shelves can be made out of a variety of materials, including pressed board, resin, wood, metal and heavy duty wire that is often coated with rubber. The main nice thing about free standing utility shelves as garage storage solutions is that you can move them around, placing them where they are needed most. When placed strategically in the garage, you can even use them as a divider, such as to separate a shop area from the rest of the garage.
This style of shelves can come in a variety of depths, commonly from 12" to 20". These also can come in a variety of styles. Some come on lockable casters so that you can move them easily and them lock them into place so that they do not move. Others, such as some of the heavy duty plastic / resin shelves easily break down for portability. The solid, heavy duty plastic coated wire shelves will hold a large amount of weight, and will not rust if they get wet, which is a big advantage over the pressed board style and for many are a preferred form of garage storage solutions.
Wall mounted shelves also come in a variety of material, though it is best to get a heavy duty shelf that is specially designed for the garage, such as one that is designed to hold up to 100 lbs. per linear foot. Heavy duty wire shelves are ideal because they do hold a lot of weight, and because of their open design you can easily see from below what is stored on shelves that are higher up on the wall. The open wire design also allows for greater air circulation which helps cut down on any mold or mildew problems if you live in humid areas.
When hanging shelves on your walls, you need to make sure that you consider what you are going to store on them so that you can plan for the correct amount of spacing between shelves, especially since they are more difficult form of garage storage solutions to move around once they are hung. One advantage to hanging shelves on the wall over free standing shelves is that you can start the shelves on the wall where ever you want, allowing a greater amount of space under the first shelf. This allows you to store some taller items (such as stools or wheel barrows) underneath.
Besides shelves, there are also many other great garage storage solutions to help you make your garage a safer and more productive work area, such as garage cabinets and utility hooks. So, start with shelves, and then add other options until you have designed a garage that best suits your storage and hobby needs. After all, a garage should be more than just a catch all for miscellaneous items around your house.
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