Your living room would make Martha Stewart jealous, and your kitchen looks like it belongs in a Container Store catalog. But when it comes to your garage, it's better we not talk about it. With just a few tricks, though, you can apply the same organizational skills to your storage and work space that you do to the rest of the house.
Shelve it: First, you must get something to put all your stuff on. And no, the garage floor doesn't count. Instead, get one or three of those ubiquitous (and handy) wire shelving units. They take up minimal space, look clean and streamlined and are versatile — plus they can be used in different rooms (the kitchen, a bedroom and the garage). There are several brands to choose from. Walmart has the Whitmor Heavy Chrome 4-Tier Supreme Shelving ($63) or the Seville 4-Tier Chrome Shelf ($60).
Store it: You've got the shelves up, so now you need to put your stuff on them. Get thee to Kmart, where 17-gallon storage totes are sold in a six-pack for $32.99. The bins are available in blue and clear, and we prefer the latter so you'll always know what's inside.
With the Akro-Mils 44 Drawer Stackable Cabinet ($42.51), you'll never misplace a screw, tack, nail or picture hook again. The cabinet is available at Office Depot and has see-through plastic drawers.
Straighten it: You'll definitely need some sort of toolbox if you don't already have one. For those with minimal tool needs, something basic, such as the Keter 19-Inch Plastic Tool Box ($8.97), is sturdy and big enough to accommodate a hammer, drill and all the other usual tools in your shed. But if you have more than the basic tools, you'll need an upgrade to the Husky 18-Inch Large Mouth Bag ($49.97). It has 31 internal pockets and 12 external pockets to hold a variety of supplies. Both tool holders can be found at Home Depot.
But what to do about the awkwardly tall and oddly shaped objects, such as the broom, the rake and various mops? For $59.99, the Rolling Tool Cart from Target beckons. Push the poles into the cart's holsters and voila! Your broom, mop and rake are all standing upright and at attention. The entire car rolls easily.
Hang it: When really pressed for space, use every surface in your garage, including your ceiling, to create more room. For instance, store your bicycles on your ceiling with the Racor Pro Ceiling Mount Bike Rack ($25.49) from Sears. This holder is able to support up to 50 pounds, and the rope-locking mechanism makes it easy to access the bike.