Hanging Things Up
Whether you are a visual person who likes to see everything or you are just trying to make the most efficient use of your limited space, it is hard to beat the functionality and versatility of a hanging system. As you can see in Table 3.1, hanging systems are commonly used for storing many of the items commonly found in the garage. From conventional pegboard, standalone hooks, and multi-item holders, to the gaining popularity of slatwall systems, which will be discussed in Chapter 4, there is a hanging system to match everyone's budget.
Whether you have decided to hang your folding chairs or stack them upright on the floor, it can be a chore to keep them clean between each use. Consider putting a slipcover over them to keep them from getting dusty and having to clean them every time you use them. One easy way is to cut open the bottom of an old garment bag and slip it over the stacked chairs. You can also use a large plastic lawn-and-leaf bag for this purpose. Slipcovering is also an excellent way to keep luggage and other less frequently used items clean while they're stored. To protect your clothing, hang it in a cloth garment bag rather than a plastic one, so the clothes can breathe.
A slatwall system is a grooved panel or series of panels installed directly onto the garage wall. A wide variety of accessories (hooks, shelves, and baskets) are manufactured to fit into the slotted grooves that hold just about anything. More than likely, you have already seen them in clothing stores and other retail establishments, but only recently have they become prominent in higher-end garage systems as well.
Things You'll Need
Hammer and nails
Utility hooks and/or wall-mounted holders
Pegboard and hooks
Simple, Inexpensive Hanging Storage Solutions
You don't have to break the bank to create a simple hanging storage system. Here are some economical ways to hang things in your garage:
The most inexpensive way I know to hang any object from the wall is by hammering a nail into the stud and using the nail head as a hook. Most "hangable" items have a hole in their handle specifically for this purpose, so use large finishing nails with heads small enough to fit through the holes. If an object you want to hang has a solid wooden handle, drill a hole through it. If you find it difficult to drill a big enough hole for it to fit over the nail, insert a piece of string or cord through the hole, tie a knot, and hang the item up.
Another easy way to hang something is to hammer two nails in half way, side by side, spaced far enough apart to accommodate the width of the handle. With the tip of the handle pointing downward, as shown in Figure 3.1, the nails will support the larger end of the object.
In an unfinished garage, you can make good use of the exposed studs and slats by hanging things on nails or hooks attached to the fronts or sides of the studs themselves or from the support ledge between the studs, as shown in Figure 3.2. Another clever way to hang things from the support ledge between the studs is by using large screw-in cup hooks.
Nailing clothes pins to a stud with finishing nails enables you to clip small items, such as goggles, to the stud, as shown in Figure 3.3.
If you are storing items between the studs, suspend bungee cords between two nails or nail small braces (1''x2'' furring strips cut to the desired length) into the studs to hold the items in place, as shown in Figure 3.4. This is a great way to store long items such as rakes, skis, and lumber, keeping them out of the way and off the floor.
Be careful to hang sharp objects safely. Sharp objects such as hoes or rakes can harm you if you brush up against them or if they fall and strike you. This danger is increased when you hang these objects with the handle pointed down.
Figure 3.1 This is an economical way to hang shovels, brooms, and rakes.
Figure 3.2 If your garage has exposed studs, you can store many items on hooks or shelves.
Figure 3.3 Using clothes pins is another way to maximize storage space between exposed studs.
Figure 3.4 Adding support braces enables you to store items between exposed studs with no risk of them falling.
Hang It with a Hook
Many types and varieties of durable hooks are available at hardware and discount stores. These can be purchased individually or in assorted packs, as shown in Figure 3.5, to hang items large and small. Some are specifically designed to hold tools, whereas others are better suited to hold larger items such as ladders, brooms, and bicycles. The most common types are rubber coated to protect your items from getting scratched and damaged. The opposite end is threaded like a large screw. After pre-drilling the appropriately sized hole, simply screw the hook in to a stud, and it is ready to begin working for you.
Figure 3.5 The utility hooks in this multipack are designed to hang a wide variety of items.
And trust me, ladder hooks (the largest hook in the package shown in Figure 3.5) aren't just for hanging ladders. It is amazing how something so inexpensive can have so many uses and be so versatile. By screwing ladder hooks in to ceiling joists, you can hang a multitude of large items on them, including bicycles, tires, fans, and lawn chairs, just to name a few.
When using screw-in hooks to hang items, be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations for weight limitations. If you are in doubt, use a stronger hook than you think is necessary; better to err on the side of safety. This will ensure that the item won't fall and injure someone and damage your car or other nearby items.
Now that your creative juices are in overdrive in your quest to utilize every conceivable place on the garage ceiling and walls to hang things from, be cautious about hanging heavy items from exposed pipes. These pipes are not designed to support much weight and can easily be damaged. However, by exercising a little common sense, these pipes can be utilized to hang lightweight items such as dust mops, dust pans, paint rollers, and empty buckets with the use of large S-hooks.
Hose hangers are a relic from the past that many have discarded in favor of portable hose reel carts. However, they are a great example of how, with a little ingenuity, we can find new uses for something old. By attaching a hose hanger to the wall of your garage, you can store heavy-duty extension cords on itand even the flexible tubing from your shop vacuumwithout damage.
Other Types of Wall Holders for Hanging Items
There are many different types of wall-mountable holders commercially available and designed to hang tools, cleaning items, sporting goods, and lawn and garden equipment in a variety of ways. The simplest types, as discussed earlier, involve a peg or hook from which you can hang the handle of the item. Wall-mounted holder grips are another option; you press the handle of items into the grips, which lock it into place. Another type of wall-mounted holder allows you to slide the handle through the holder's opening.
The holder shown in Figure 3.6 accommodates handles that have been outfitted to hang from pegs, as well as handles of varying sizes which fit in nonslip rubber-coated hooks.
One of the newest and more innovative types of holders is the Grook Tool Holder, shown in Figure 3.7, made by Casabella products (http://www.casabella.com). It has nonslip rubber rings that accommodate handles in three ways: through the rings, between the rings, and on hooks in front of the rings. The Grook is durable and guaranteed not to rust. The smaller 11'' size retails at around $20, whereas the larger length (17.25'') retails at around $29.
Hanging on Pegboard: New Systems for an Old Favorite
Nothing seems to come close to matching the popularity, flexibility, convenience, and low cost of pegboard. Pegboard is a Masonite sheet perforated by regularly spaced holes through which you can insert specially designed hooks, as shown in Figure 3.8.
Figure 3.6 This inexpensive wall-mounted holder is one of the many types available to hold brooms, mops, and shovels.
Figure 3.7 The durable aluminum and rubber Grook holder offers three options to maximize hanging storage and is guaranteed not to rust. (Photo courtesy of Casabella.)
Figure 3.8 There are many specialty hooks you can use with pegboard.
Pegboard is used to hang everythingtools above the workbench, sporting goods, extension cords, and large lawn and garden items. Hooks are available in a large variety of shapes and sizes, and many are designed specifically to hang certain types of items. They are sold in combination packages and can sometimes be bought individually.
Hooks are available in lengths up to a foot, and you can hang several lightweight tools on each one and conserve even more space. Although this is a great space- saving idea, there is a downside. To get to the fifth paint brush, you would need to remove the four in front of it first. Only you can decide if this minor inconvenience is worth the space savings.
Many people choose to leave pegboard unpainted in its natural state, but some prefer to paint it a light color, to help make hanging items easier to see. Some even go a step further by outlining the shape of the hung object with a dark marker to ensure that each item gets returned to its proper place.
How to Install Pegboard
If your garage doesn't already have pegboard on one or more walls, you can install it yourself. One of the easiest ways to install pegboard is in an unfinished garage. You simply nail the sheet of pegboard over the exposed studs and you are ready to go. If you are lucky enough to be in this situation, you can create an entire wall of hanging space in no time! However, don't overdo it. One 4'x8' sheet is ample for most people.
If you are going to put pegboard on top of finished garage walls, you will first need to install spacers on the wall to create a gap between the pegboard and the wall in order for the hooks to hang properly on it. The inch of space needed between the wall and the back of the pegboard is most easily attained by nailing 1''x2'' furring strips to the wall at designated intervals.
One of the newest innovations in the world of pegboards is the Bunjipeg, shown in Figure 3.9. Winner of the most outstanding product at the 2003 National Hardware Show in Chicago, the Bunjipeg can hold tools and items of virtually any size or shape firmly to the pegboard, with no custom metal hangers, hooks, or adaptors needed.
Figure 3.9 The Bunjipeg system provides a whole new way of hanging things on pegboard. (Photo courtesy of Bunjipeg.)
To set up the hanging system, you simply insert a forked peg over the elastic cord at one end of the pegboard, as shown in Figure 3.10, and continue this process in a straight line, skipping a couple holes between each peg to hold smaller items and skipping three or four holes to hold the larger ones. Slip the tools in behind the cord so they are held snugly in place. The pegs hold the elastic cord in place, and they are easy to move and rearrange as your needs change. The Bunjipeg system is especially great for tools with no ready-made holes for hanging or that common pegboard hooks won't accommodate.
Figure 3.10 The Bunjipeg system can be installed in a matter of minutes to provide a hanging storage solution with a wide range of flexibility. (Photo courtesy of http://www.bunjipeg.com.)
Currently, the Bunjipeg system is only available online at http://www.bunjipeg.com. Ten feet of the elastic cord can hold anywhere from 25 to 50 tools. A set of 24 pegs with 10' of cord sells for $9 and is enough to hold 50 tools. The best deal is a set of 40 pegs with 18' of cord, which is sold for $10 and holds up to 80 tools. The budget pack includes 100 pegs with 40' of cord for $20. Plans are in the works to offer the Bunjipeg system as a set with the pegboard included.
A new and innovative soft-sided product manufactured by Case Logic is a modular storage solution called Space Logic, which is designed to hang from just about anywhereincluding pegboard! The tool and accessory organizer shown in Figure 3.11 has two easy-access sturdy shelves to store bulky items easily and two large tear-resistant mesh pockets below. The complete Space Logic system is available at Target, ShopKo, and Fred Meyer stores nationwide and online at http://www.stacksandstacks.com. Prices range from $10 to $30 per component. You learn more about this system in Chapter 4.
Figure 3.11 This tool and accessory organizer installs in seconds and provides a unique and quick solution for garage storage. (Photo courtesy of Space Logic.)
To Do List
Use shelves to your best advantage.
Keep things organized on shelves.
Use shelving in cabinets or closets.