Small Organized Garage

When you live in Southern California you must learn how to make the most of every square foot of space that you own. I wish I had a basement, or a big pole barn but that ain’t happening so I created some personal space in my 3rd car garage. The two cars that we use on a daily basis are housed in our main garage and then my 3rd car garage is MY space for my fun car and for hobbies that I enjoy. I also find it to be a bit of a man cave for personal time just tinkering around with tools or working on a car.

I am retired and our kids are both adults and out on their own. We have decided we are staying in this house, so I have customized the space in this small garage for my interests. The garage is very humble compared with some of the elaborate spaces I see on this forum (and I am very jealous of those garages). I wish I had more room for bigger tools, but the Corvette would have to go if I added more tools.

The lighting in the space is all LED lighting on motion sensors. I have used 5000 Kelvin color, because it looks best with my white walls and delivers the most usable Lumens for the human eye. I have two – 4’ fixtures on the ceiling that are controlled by a wall-mounted sensor that turns on when you enter the garage, and additional LED fixtures over the workbench that come on when you approach or sit at the workbench. The fixtures over my workbench provide 260 ft-candles of light on my work bench, which comes in really handy for my bad eyes.

My flooring is Racedeck tiles – 12x12 tiles in a black and white pattern. My daughter and I installed the floor 13 years ago. The tiles have aged quite well. I recently spent some time cleaning it and then sealing it with Racedeck’s product called “Restore”. I spent about 8 hours on my hands and knees scrubbing each tile, but it was worth it. The Restore added some shine, and it is supposed to keep the floor from picking up stains and dirt. I’m happy with the floor and my neighbors stop by and comment on it frequently. A push broom keeps it quite clean most of the time. The floor looks like new again after the recent cleanup and restoration effort.

I recently built a new cabinet / shelf space for all my Dewalt tools. I love the Dewalt line of cordless tools. I used to have to hunt around for all my tools, now they are all in one easy to access spot. It was a great project to kill some time during the Covid 19 quarantine period. My cordless tools are now easy to access and I don’t have to pull the car out of the garage to retrieve them.

The workbench is designed for hobbies and it's as big as it can be – while still allowing the 65 Vette to be parked in the garage. My car fits – with just enough room for me to squeeze in front if I need to access something. If I’m working on a project I pull the car out. I repaint the top of the bench every 12 months or so with whatever white paint I happen to have in the garage. I wish I had enough room for some of the tools I used to own when we lived in Ohio, but you do the best with what you have (or the space you have).

I built some overhead shelves for all my supplies that I keep on hand for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC repairs (we own some rental homes and something always need to be fixed). The storage boxes are clear so it’s easy to see what is in each box. The shelves are over-designed but my pet peeve is shelves that sag ☹.

I enjoy constantly adding storage space for everything from nuts and bolts, to batteries, ladders, and small parts. I find it to be therapeutic to organize things. (I recognize I have some control issues with this area of my life but I suppose it could be worse!) It seems we never have enough storage room inside the house for everything, so some of it gets relegated to my garage.