Two weeks ago I decided to start clearing out our garage. This escalated into a full-blown garage renovation. If you missed last week's post, you can check that out here.
Welcome to Week 2 of the Take Back My Garage Renovation Series, wherein I turn our messy garage into a streamlined, multi-purpose space.
This week was all about designating zones.
That may not sound like much, but it meant emptying out our entire garage and moving a (heavy!) 100-inch shelving unit made of 2x4s to an opposite corner.
And right as I finished filling our entire driveway with household crap, thunderstorms loomed.
Even my husband got involved with this one. You KNOW things are tough when I have to call for backup!
Our garage zones: a visual guide
Here's what our garage looked like three months ago, before I inherited kitchen cabinets from a neighbor. It was a dumping ground.
The mockup is much prettier than the actual "before!"
Not only was there a lot of wasted wall space, but we weren't taking advantage of our almost 9-foot ceilings.
Here is my vision for the space going forward.
During Week 1 I painted one wall white and built a mega miter saw station using Ana White plans.
This week, I relocated shelves, which meant having to empty out the entire garage.
Then my husband and I moved these shelves from one corner of the garage to the other. It was like playing a supersized version of Tetris.
Initially Ken thought we needed to chop off the top. I'm so glad he was wrong!
Once the shelves were moved to the new corner, we quickly brought everything back inside.
With the major pieces in place we can finally start building new shelving and organizing by category!
Taking Back the Garage: what does this mean exactly?
This means staking a claim on your personal space, because a garage should have areas dedicated to everyone in your household!
In order to better serve our needs, this garage renovation will encompass the following:
- Painting the walls a lighter color to make the space feel bigger.
- Utilizing wasted ceiling space with new storage units (either by building my own or purchasing pre-fabricated shelving).
- Designating zones for specific purposes (hockey gear, woodworking, kitchen pantry, gardening).
- Creating better systems for organizing items of a similar design (rakes and shovels, drill bits, power tool batteries).
- Identifying any logistical barriers to making my vision come alive (electrical wiring, water lines, wall partitions).
- Identifying solutions for personal barriers (time, money, manpower).
The Four Phases of a Garage Renovation
A garage renovation can be categorized into four phases:
- Brightening (*optional, but important for me)
Even as we move forward to building things like shelves, we will continue to purge and relocate items.
Now, onto the shelves!
Easy Garage Shelving from 2x4s
This shelving design is not new by any means – in fact, I built this unit to match our other shelf. What's unique about our situation is that it needed to be built around a deep freezer unit.
I made the shelves relatively shallow (15" deep) because they sit directly to the side of our garage/kitchen doorway.
*This post includes affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission should you purchase any of the products recommended below. Thanks for supporting Top Shelf in this way!
- (10) 2x4s @ 8'
- (1) 4x8 sheet of 1/2" plywood
- 3" construction screws
- 2" wood screws
- wood glue
- Miter saw
- Table saw
- Power drill
- Impact driver
- Stud finder
- Measuring tape
- Builder's square
- Your Free Plans - available for download here!
(4) 2x4s @ 93"
(6) 2x4s @ 55 3/4"
(9) 2x4s @ 9" (you'll have plenty of leftover scrap to make these)
(3) plywood sheets cut to 12" by 55 3/4"
Cut your legs, side braces, and plywood to length. Assemble each shelf while checking for square.
Secure your legs to your shelves, leaving a 15 1/4" gap between each level. If you're building your unit to go above a deep freezer, be sure to leave enough space above it to open the lid.
Before securing your shelving to the wall, mark the studs and attach horizontal cleats at the same level as one of the shelves. I simply used more scrap 2x4s to make my cleats.
Double check that your shelves are 90-degrees with your framing square. Then secure your shelving unit to the wall by attaching it to your cleats.
Note: High topple risk. To prevent personal injury, do not skip this step!
If your garage floor is sloped (most are) you'll need to add shims underneath one side of your legs to keep everything level.
And that's it!
Now you can get all of your pantry items organized and off the garage floor.
Reconfiguring your garage can feel like a superimposed game of chess.
The hardest part is getting started.
If you liked this post stay tuned for future projects in the pipeline:
- Painting one more wall white (Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore).
- Installing a French cleat system above my workbench.
- Creating built-in organization for my husband’s hockey gear. I installed a clothing rod for his jerseys this week, and he absolutely loved it!
- Creating a barrier for Ken’s hockey gear – to keep OUT my sawdust and to keep IN the stench of his gear.
- A DIY raised dog food stand for our chocolate lab, Lucy
- A scrap wood storage cart made from scrap wood
- A lumber storage wall rack for larger pieces of wood
- At least one ceiling shelf for storing seasonal items in large plastic bins.
It’s a long list but I know it will make a world of difference.
For real time updates, follow along on Instagram where I share daily updates. You can also vote on my choices for the space!
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