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Making effective use of garage space

Decanting your belongings to a garage or loft frees up space indoors, making it easier to keep your home tidy – and easier for Queen of Gleam to clean it


If we’re honest, we’d all love a little more space at home. Spare rooms don’t stay spare for long, empty drawers tend to fill up fast, and there never seems to be enough shelf or worktop space. Our houses and flats are big enough to accommodate us and our furniture, but they might not be big enough to accommodate the personal possessions we naturally stockpile over time.


An obvious way to free up floor space and clear out cupboards is to make more effective use of garage space, outbuildings and lofts. Some of this advice might not apply if you have a teenager, but for the rest of us, using otherwise redundant space could make it easier to vacuum and tidy your home. That’s good for you – and good for us too, since our Queen of Gleam staff can dedicate more of each visit to cleaning, and less to moving things or tidying up!


Buy cheap shelving units…


In garages and outbuildings, you don’t need to hide clutter inside cupboards. Shelving units are available from all the home furnishing stores, often slotting or clipping together one shelf at a time. They should be strong enough to support anything from spare pet food to garden equipment, making it easy to find things at a glance. Look for units with 15-18-inch gaps between shelves.


…and ensure they’re full height


Whichever room you’re in right now, look up at the ceiling. Does any furniture, storage or shelving extend that high? If not, you’re wasting cubic feet of living space. It’s a common mistake to only think about floor space – seven or eight-foot shelving units give you extra storage for occasional items. Metal units will be stronger than plastic ones, but the latter should be fine for lighter objects.


Fit hooks onto the wall


Expanding on the last point, keep things off the floor by hanging them up. Using a drill, attach large hooks or brackets onto the wall wherever there’s dead air space. These hooks can support anything from Cumberland Council recycling bags to power tools and fold-up garden chairs. Less clutter on the floor means fewer trip hazards, easier access and more efficient use of space.


Improve lighting


You could employ an electrician to transform your garage or outbuilding’s lighting, or you could do it yourself cheaply. Some stick-on LED lights automatically come on when they detect movement; others are manually operated. Illuminating dark corners makes it easier to find things, which in turn makes you more likely to store occasional-use items like Christmas decorations outside the house.


Add insulation


Finally, older garages or wooden lean-tos may be susceptible to damp and mould. Minimise this risk by gluing rolls of insulation foil onto doors or walls. Applying strips of rubber around the edges of doors prevents cold air getting in, while expanding foam will affordably fill gaps or cracks (as well as keeping insects and rodents out!) A spider-repellent spray also helps in this regard.

If your garage is internal, or your loft space has easy ladder access, it’s fine to put stockpiles of Spanish cleaning products or regularly used board games in these places. If it’s a detached garage or outbuilding, stick to items you don’t need on a regular basis – keeping them accessible while freeing up space around the home.

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