Are you surrounded by sporting equipment, toys, tools, and what-have-you in your garage? You probably want to clear up all the clutter, but don't know where to start. Luckily, with a little forethought and planning, you can achieve a clean and well organized garage with little money or effort expended.
Build It Yourself
First, you must clear out all the items from the garage, and decide what you want to keep, and what you want to throw away. Then, draw up a plan for the garage. Decide where you want the storage units to be, and draw them accordingly. The units should be big enough to contain all the "keeps," along with a little extra room for future keep-ables. An often overlooked area in a garage is overhead. If you have the room, think about lofts, hanging hooks, or shelving. Again, draw up some plans, but keep an eye on roof pitch.
Shelving and storage cabinets are the most common way of organizing. With a little carpentry skills, these are quite easy to make. Common framing lumber and plywood are all you need. When putting together a shelf, make sure it is sturdy enough to hold your heavier items.
Use Recycled Materials
Of course you want to spend as little as possible. The first thing to do is look for used or recycled lumber. One good area to look is construction sites. Oftentimes, scrap lumber is just tossed in the dumpster. Ask the site Foreman if you could grab some. Since dumpster companies charge by the dump, more than likely the Foreman will gladly say yes, because it saves him money. After constructions sites, look to friends and family. Contact them, and ask if they have any scrap lumber lying around. The concept is to reuse, instead of buying new.
For cabinets, call up some remodeling companies, and explain to them your situation. Ask if they have any tear-out jobs that involve kitchen cabinets. If they do, you can mount the cabinets to garage walls, re-purposing them into tool cabinets or lockers.
Still another good area to look for materials is thrift stores. Oftentimes, they have shelving units that can be re-purposed, or old bed frames that have steel channels to use for supports. Shop around several stores, and adapt, convert, and modify what they have to suit your needs.
The key word in all this is creativity. You have to plan out storage units and shelving, and then go about finding building materials that can be repurposed or reused. With just a little effort, you'll save quite a substantial amount of money by utilizing pre-owned materials, instead of cleaning out your bank account by buying new.