Carson Arthur's garage overhaul

I have a little confession to make…I have a lot of stuff that I plan to get to, but never really do. Unfortunately, all of these half-started projects end up in my garage.

Luckily for me, I am not alone in this dirty little secret. More than 70 per cent of Canadians admit that they can’t park their car in the garage because it has become the default spot to store all of their awkward items like ladders, wheelbarrows and garden hoses. What make this even worse, according to new online research, 74 per cent of new homebuyers are looking for a garage too. Is this a potential epidemic? While not likely, this is the perfect time to get motivated and do something about it.

Here is some valuable information that you need to know before starting your own garage clean-out or reno project.

Set aside more time in your calendar than you expect you’ll need. I’ve painted and furnished whole homes in the same amount of time it took me to do the garage. Moving everything out and boxing it all up to withstand the elements while it sat in the backyard was a full day. Who knew I had so much stuff in one space?

Go with one system. Garage organization systems are very different than the default recycled kitchen cupboards. Everything is stronger, tougher and interconnected. You need to plan out the space before you start throwing things up on the wall. In my case, I went with Gladiator GarageWorks. I had a couple of pieces from a previous renovation and liked that the cabinets lock and have big wheels making them easy to move. On my wish list was a charging station for batteries because I have a lot of them! This system even has a cabinet that does just that.

Don’t forget the floor. While it took the longest, several days of prepping, curing and drying, the floor of my garage is a showstopper. I did a moisture barrier first which prevents water from coming up through the floor from the ground below. I followed that with a product call RockSolid by Rust-Oleum. This floor protector prevents oil leaks, paint spills and even road salt from soaking into the floor. I added floor tiles overtop of the sealed floor because I liked the way they looked, not because I really needed them. (Call it my garage ego).

Finally, the most important thing to remember before you start is that this is a garage. It is not the kitchen, a bedroom or a family room. You have to change your mindset about how it is going to look at the end of the day. I know that designers have been showing TVs and comfortable chairs in this space and calling it a “man-cave” but this is the spot where most of us store things that shouldn’t be in the house; paint, yard tools, ladders, bicycles. Keep reminding yourself as you put your space together because this room is unique. Trust me…I know!

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