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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Storing on the Floor... or Not

The garage floor often becomes the "catchall" storage location by default and the primary reason for this is that adequate storage systems that are appropriate and accessible have not been created. The garage floor is considered to be extremely valuable real estate, especially if you plan to park your cars there. Over time, a few objects here and there will eventually become a huge pile of clutter and edge your automobiles right out of the garage.

One of my cardinal rules is to get things off the floor whenever possible. This will maximize your space and your garage will seem less cluttered and look more spacious. There are many practical reasons for not wanting to store things on the floor. They become harder to find, and unless your garage is a climate-controlled room, things can get wet, dirty, or more easily come into contact with insects and rodents.

However, let me also be clear in saying that there are certainly legitimate reasons for storing items on the floor. Where else would you store a lawnmower, snow blower, generator, power washer, and other large, bulky, and heavy items, unless you also have the luxury of a shed? (You learn more about shed storage in Chapter 5, "Analyzing Alternative Storage Solutions.") Of course, many cabinets are designed to be placed on the floor, but be careful about using cabinets made from wood or particle board on a floor that is prone to flooding. My recommendation is that you carefully consider alternative options before deciding on the floor as a final storage place. If nowhere else makes sense, the floor could very well be an appropriate option for you to consider.

Protect Items You Store on the Floor

No matter how often I advise people not to store valuable and important items in the garage—and especially on the floor—they are still going to do it. If you are going to store on the floor, be sure you take every precaution to protect your items from damage. If your floor has a tendency to flood, raise things off the floor on wooden pallets or on elevated plywood sheets placed on bricks. Plastic or metal trash cans are inexpensive and ideal storage containers for items with long handles, balls, rags, and other items you decide to store on the floor. The trash can protects stored items from getting broken or wet. If you live in an area plagued with roaches, mice, and other vermin, you can use boric acid to cut down on the roach population as well as high-frequency plug-in bug and rodent deterrents.

Do not store bags of pet food on the floor because they can easily become wet and infested with insects or penetrated by rodents. Many types of air-tight plastic pet food storage bins are available, such as those shown here, that keep the food fresh and unwanted visitors out. Some of these containers sit on shelves or the floor, whereas others mount on the wall. They are all available in assorted stackable sizes in pet stores and discount stores everywhere.

To Do List

  • Analyze storage options on the ceiling and upper walls.

  • Consider loft and rafter storage to maximize space.

  • Create loft storage in many ways.

  • Lift large, heavy items out of the way.

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