From Messy Garage To Enviable Workspace Part 1
But if you’re into tools and DIY then you know that maintaining a tidy workspace in your garage is not easy. Somehow, we always manage to fill it up with all of our unnecessary clutter, and when you add a car to the mix, there’s not much space left to work on any projects!
The truth is, with a little bit of work, planning, and organisation, anyone could easily have the ultimate workspace in their garage.
A tidy work environment can help boost productivity and act as an incentive for you to do more creative things with your free time. In fact, scientists from Princeton University found that physical clutter can negatively affect your focus and ability to process information.
To transform your garage into the ultimate, enviable workspace, there’s a lot to be considered, from cleaning, lighting, and ventilation to safe and smart methods of storage.
We’ve made this 2 part guide to get you started.
Part 1. Preparation
First things first... You can’t start doing anything if you don’t organise yourself first, and if you do, there’ll be lots of backtracking to be done (trust us!)
1. Get rid of what you don’t need
Before you even attempt to start anything with your garage, you’ve got to get rid of all the stuff you don’t need anymore. This isn’t just to create more space but also for safety reasons. You’ll be working around the garage a lot, and it could be dangerous to trip on something while working or holding tools that could cause damage to you or the space around you.
Consider having a garage sale, contact family members to see if anyone’s interested in your old stuff, ring up the salvos or donate to charity, and if all else fails, call the council for a pickup.
Keep in mind that if you’ve not used something in the last year, chances are that it won’t be needed again.
Be brutal and be honest with yourself here. It’s hard to let go of objects, we know the feeling, but it’s even harder to enjoy a nice workspace in a cluttered garage.
2. Plan your space
You can just tear everything apart and then hope it all fits together again. Planning how to allocate space and use the garage ahead of time is extremely important.
This plan will all depend on how you intend to use your garage. If you still want to fit in the car then you’ll need to find a way to make that happen. Draw a plan of your garage with the car inside, and allocate space around the car for a workbench and so on.
You may find that your space will be limited if you still want to park the car in the garage, and that’s another reason why a plan is so important. Prioritise what you intend to use the garage for, and plan for the most important first.
There’s nothing worse than working under bad lighting! This is your chance to change that. Most garages don’t have windows and have minimal natural lighting.
If there is space for a window in your garage, consider building one! Natural light is always better than artificial, and sunlight not only provides wonderful workshop lighting but is also healthier. You could also consider installing a skylight if possible.
Even if you have access to natural light, however, artificial lighting is still very important in a workspace. Having multiple sources of light is probably the best idea here so that the angle from which you’re working doesn’t affect your work by projecting shadows.
Again, plan how you intend to use the garage and consider what kind of lighting would be best for which areas.
4. Heating and cooling
Garages tend to not be very well insulated, making it very cold in winter and boiling hot in summer. That’s not very ideal when working on a big project.
Consider installing heaters for winter, and a ceiling fan or air conditioning unit for summer. If possible, adding insulation can also help to stabilise the temperature inside the garage.
Your comfort is of the utmost importance here. A well equipped garage won’t be enough incentive to work if it’s hot and stuffy inside!
5. Ventilation and air quality
For a safer and cleaner work environment, you’ll require proper ventilation. Oftentimes opening a window just isn’t enough to keep the air flowing.
Because garages generally don’t have windows, consider installing an exhaust fan, air ventilation system, or even a dust collection system to protect your lungs and keep the dust and dirt away.
6. Re-think your door
If you don’t want to park the car in the garage anymore, then perhaps you could reconsider the garage door entirely. You could exchange your garage door for one that will allow you to have windows, or for a regular door that would give you an extra wall for more storage and space.
Now that we’ve gone over all the preparation required for the ultimate garage makeover, we can explore some great ideas and suggestions for how you could build your workspace.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next month, which will bring some awesome ideas for setting up a workspace your neighbours will envy!