Garages are notoriously messy. Unorganized. Frustrating. They become the dumping ground for all the “utility stuff” that definitely doesn’t belong in the house–along with the Christmas decorations, snow tires, and guilt that comes along with unfinished projects. The good news? Making the most of the wall space in your garage can tame the mess once and for all. Here are some of our favorite garage wall storage options to streamline your space.

1. Install a Slatwall Panel

PVC Slatwall panels are among the hottest items in today’s garage wall storage scene–and for good reason. The chic, modern-looking version of the old-school pegboard, Slatwalls offer robust weight capacity (40 lb. per square inch, or 300lb per panel) along with endless customization options. A Slatboard wall makes it easy to hang anything–from ladders to skis to power tools. It can be applied to drywall (finished or unfinished), concrete, or bare studs. And it looks good while doing it, providing a finished aesthetic that looks much like classic slatted exteriors. Choose your favorite of 7 colours, finally finish up your garage in sleek style, and solve your storage dilemma at the same time.

2. Add Shelving

Perhaps the easiest and most budget-friendly way to make the most of your wall space? Add shelves. Wire shelving that can be mounted to the actual garage walls is a solid option–and tends to look much nicer than many of the less-robust DIY versions, or the inexpensive freestanding shelving you’ll find at a hardware store. Before you install or purchase shelves, though, make sure you know what you’re going to want to store on them, and measure carefully. There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing your garage shelves are 5 cm too short for the items you wanted to store there.

3. Add Tire Racks

For much of Canada, snow tires are a fact of life during the long winter months. If you haven’t done it yet, installing tire racks now will free up a surprising amount of floor and wall space in your garage. You can choose from wall-mounted tire racks and ceiling-mounted options; either way, you’ll be better off than you would with your out-of-season tires stacked on the floor. Do it now. You’ll thank us later.

4. Splurge on Custom Storage Cabinets

If you can swing it, hands-down the most attractive, efficient storage solution you’ll encounter are the custom storage cabinets. The ultimate in garage wall organization, these are built to fit your space and accommodate your storage needs, keeping everything organized–from hand tools and power tools to larger items like snow shovels and gardening and cleaning supplies. The best part of this option? You can get exactly what you want, hide your mess behind professional-quality doors, and lock your valuables away for an extra layer of security.

5. Minimize Your Stuff

For some, the best starting place of the garage cleanout process is here. Decluttering. It can be tough to give yourself permission to let go of those would-be projects, that time you were going to learn how to use your lathe, or the kayak you spent too much on that never gets taken out on the water. Take a deep breath, let go, and ruthlessly edit your space down to the items you actually use on a regular basis. No amount of organization will fix a too-much-stuff problem, so minimizing your belongings is a great place to start.

For many, the garage is a workshop, not a place to park the car. For others, it’s a secure, indoor parking spot for prized vehicles. Keep in mind that if you keep your car garaged securely, you might end up spending less in maintenance costs.

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