Whether you have read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or not, the chances are that you have, at least once, asked yourself if your garage truly sparks joy. Or, at least, if your garage is the secure, efficient, and livable room you wish it to be.
As the UK navigates one of the busiest housing markets in over 15 years, the “race for space” continues at an unprecedented rate, leaving families longing for more livable square footage. Luckily, you don’t need to invest in a larger home or afford a major renovation to enjoy more space for you and your family.
In this guide by Kay Garage Doors, you’ll find all you need to know to turn your garage into an energy-efficient, comfortable, and organised space that you can truly enjoy all year around.
First Things First: Declutter
According to recent statistics, over 50% of UK garages aren’t used as parking spaces for vehicles – and, of these, around 83% are used as extra storage for belongings, tools, garden furniture, push bikes, clothing items, and camping equipment.
But while some of these items are essential to your daily life, not everything that is currently homed in your garage serves a purpose.
So, the first step to organising your garage is to take stock of your belongings and get rid of the ones you no longer need or use.
- Pro tip: While you might not be able to host a garage sale, you might consider selling your items on online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Alternatively, you might consider donating to a local charity.
Know Where You Stand by Drafting a Garage Floor Plan
Once you have reduced the number of items to be stored in your garage, you’ll find it much easier to make a plan for what you wish your garage to look like.
While your garage might not be big enough to park one or more of your cars in it, the average residential garage in the UK varies from 8x16ft to 10x20ft. When well organised, this is enough space to park your bikes and store your belongings. That is why an important step to take towards a better-organised garage is to draft a floor plan.
When doing so, consider these key rules:
- Group items in accordance with their nature (i.e: all gardening equipment should be stored together)
- Keep bulky items and machinery out of your car’s way
- Keep chemicals out of reach, away from sunlight or heat, and off the floor
- Store the items you use more frequently near the door
- Ensure that each area of the garage is dedicated to a specific use
Increase Garage Accessibility With a New Door
Garage accessibility remains one of the major issues for most households. Today, nearly 40% of people who own a garage report feeling uncomfortable about parking their car in such a tight space, while another 23% say that their garage is too small for their vehicles.
However, there is more than one option to boost the space available in your garage. And, upgrading your door is one of the most efficient solutions to choose.
For example, upgrading to an up and over garage door allows you to make the most of your ceiling space, while also automating your entrance. What’s more, since the garage door won’t require any extra space for opening and closing, you can maximise the available room.
Alternatively, a sectional garage door is ideal if you use your garage as a DIY or workshop area, where you might need to optimise the available space while adjusting lighting and door aperture.
- Pro tip: upgrading your garage door isn’t just a great way to boost the livability and accessibility of your garage, but it is also an efficient way to increase your property’s market value. Indeed, such a simple project can yield a whopping return – something to consider if you are looking to take advantage of today’s seller’s market.
Use the Walls’ Full Height and Keep Items off the Floor
Your garage’s walls, when well organised, can help you store most of your belongings in an orderly and accessible way. Some key tips to keep in mind when purchasing ready-made cabinets or shelves include:
- Invest in close and lockable cabinets to store away chemicals
- Choose open cabinets and shelving to store the items you use more frequently
- Choose wire shelving with raised legs to keep belongings away from humidity and pets
- Store clothes, boots, and games in stackable bins (ideally made in see-through plastic)
- Use pegboards, track-based systems, and panels to store items vertically or along the walls
Don’t forget to invest in a high-quality label-maker – you will need to label all of your items and boxes before storing them away!
- Pro Tip: depending on the kind of garage door you have opted for, you might consider using your garage’s ceiling to store rarely used items, such as ladders.
Increase Livability Through Insulation
While energy prices continue to rise, it is important to understand the role that proper insulation plays in determining the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. In a poorly insulated home, on average, a third of the heat produced by the central heating is dispersed, meaning that you could be wasting £1 for every £3 spent on energy!
Of course, upgrading your windows and doors is important to boost insulation quality, but your garage – especially if sharing a wall with other rooms of the house – could be just as impactful.
Consider upgrading your garage door and sealing and drafts to create a more comfortable and energy-efficient room all year around.
Boost Security and Comfort With the Right Lighting
Upgrading the lighting in your garage is a great way to create a safer and more welcoming area. Especially if regulated by a motion sensor, internal and external garage lighting can make it easier for you to park, work on your DIY project, and look for items when you need them.
Even more importantly, proper lighting can act as an effective deterrent to criminal activities and burglars attempting a break-in.
Work on Keeping Your Garage in Tip Top Shape
If you use your garage often, it might feel frustrating seeing the area you have taken so long to organise getting cluttered and untidy. However, don’t forget that keeping your garage clean and orderly is an ongoing project, in which the whole family should be involved!
- Pro tip: You or a family member got a new hobby? Your garage is the most versatile of your home’s rooms, and it can be easily turned around to accommodate your needs. Just make sure to keep on top of your cleaning and tidying duties!
Work With a Specialist to Build the Garage of Your Dreams!
As we have seen above, your garage door is potentially the most important aspect of your garage’s organisation and livability. The right door can boost security, insulation, energy efficiency, livability, and storage space, and can improve the access to your garage. At Kay Garage Doors we can help you choose the best door to transform your garage. Get in touch today to explore your options.