The garage is usually the least organized and clean of any space in the house (other than, maybe, the attic). Considering you go in this "room" every single day, it can overwhelm and depress you. And that doesn't consider a lot of people see your garage (especially if it faces the street) every time you open the garage door or people visit using your kitchen door. It can make a first impression. How do you feel about this? Is your garage giving a bad first impresson? How does your garage reflect you? Does it show your neighbors a messy, packrat?
Don't get me wrong. A garage is a practical place and you need this area for storage and as a working area. It's not going to be as pristine and decorated like an additional living room. But it can look a whole lot better than it does now and it can be an organized, practical and working space. It needs to be a functional room. Not dysfunctional!
I got online and found some photos of great garage and storage ideas.
Notice some things:
*Floors are clean and swept up. Some of the floors have a rubber flooring. This is good to keep people from slipping but I don't know how easy it is to clean. I prefer a slick floor that can be vacuumed and mopped. You can do this by cleaning the floor, etching it with muratic acid and then using a heavy duty gloss paint for concrete floors. Do the best prep, and use the best paint you can because paint, on a concrete floor, can peel up if you don't do it right.
*Storage cabinets, shelving, overhead suspended shelving, hanging ideas, etc.
*Painted walls. Keeping a goodlooking paint job on the walls makes the garage look so much better. I always prefer semi-gloss or gloss paint because it makes it easier to wash and keep new looking. A flat paint will look grimy and will take marks and it's harder to clean the walls.
*Lighting is important. Don't skimp here. You need good flourescent lighting and a lot of it. It really makes a difference.
*Things are put back where they belong. You can do all this work and spend a lot of money in organizing but if you don't maintain it, it's a waste of your time. It's important to teach your children to put things back where they belong. (Teaching is a repetitive project that isn't accomplished with one admonishment so be ready to teach, teach and teach again. Don't give up.) It's important that you and your husband are committed to putting things back where they belong. Get everyone involved when it comes time to clean and organize the garage so that they see how hard it is and it behooves them to keep it up in order to avoid having to do the big job over and over again. Unless you keep a rein on it, it will be have to be done over and over again. Maintenance, maintain, maintenance, maintain!
If you are building a house, plan to put one of these in your garage floor so you and/or your husband can work on the car. I have seen these put in a home garage so it's something you can do. Of course, you want to add the lights and make it wide enough to easily accomodate you.
I like the chalkboard paint on these cabinets. You can label your cabinets. But these look like melamine laminate cabinets and I personally wouldn't recommend any particle board material in your garage. Face it, it's open to outdoor elements like humidity and that is a killer on particle board. Your shelves may sag, your doors may sag or come off. It's best to use pressure treated lumber, plywood, plastic, stainless steel or aluminum.
Here is a "man cave" type garage. I wish my husband's shop looked like this. I'm very organized but he is very NOT organized and the garage reflects him.
My husband would think he had died and gone to heaven if his shop looked like this. It could, but he's not willing to make it happen. And all that white would last approximately 1 hour! LOL! I know my dear husband too well so I don't even dream of a garage looking like this.
I have always been intrigued with a house having a "secret room". Maybe it goes back to The Diary of Anne Frank which I read as a child. Also, as a child, we lived in an old farm house that had storage under the eaves and it was accessed through a small closet that had a door to the crawl space under the eaves. It felt like a hidden play space to us. Here is a great idea for accessing hidden storage spaces.