garage organization: 11 thrifty diys

Organizing this tricky space, which is part storage and part entryway, doesnt haveto mean a trip to a big box store or a secret stash of cash. Just try our thriftytips below. Shop your house.

Sometimes the best solutions are the ones you already own -- repurposed to fit yourlife now. 1. Renew old storage.

Becky Barnfather, who dispenses organizing advice on her blog, Organizing Made Fun, suggests moving outgrown toy cubbies into the garageto store balls, helmets and gloves. Placing wire baskets inside makes it easy tostack cleats, shin guards and other outdoor footwear that would get lost in a largerbin. 2. Breathe new life into a bookshelf.

A taller shelf can hold gardening tools, empty flowerpots and seed packets in abucket. Or top a table or old desk with a short bookshelf to create an instant craftbench, and unify it all with a coat of pretty paint. A row of Ziploc brand Twist n Loc Containers can keep frequently-used suppliesin order, right at eye level. 3. Recycle a hotel-style towel rack.

Roll beach towels and stack them on top, and use the hooks or hanging bar on thebottom to hang a whisk broom, shop apron or that one tool you always misplace. Thrift wisely.

Keep a running list of garage make-over items youre looking for. Then drop intoa thrift store, where you might find just what you need (see ideas below) allfor pennies on the dollar. 4. Think inside the box.

Large file cabinets (yard sale, here we come!) turned on their backs and emptiedof drawers can hold garden tools as well as bags of soil, compost or fertilizer.Dont forget to transform the cabinets drab outsides with paint or easily appliedvinyl decals! 5. Rethink desk supplies.

These castaways abound at thrift stores, and you can use pencil holders to corralscrews, bolts and more on a workbench. The narrow slots of a drawer divider areperfectly sized to hold rulers, carpenters pencils and foam paintbrushes. 6. Go upright.

Metal file folder organizers can hold pieces of plywood, stray bin lids and anyother lightweight item that fits. 7. Stash it.

Use metal or wire wastebaskets to keep bamboo garden poles or odd lengths of scrapwood in line. Paint them for a pretty alternative to the industrial look. 8. Resurrect a picnic table set.

Stack a wood picnic bench on top of a table, add a second bench on top of the first,and secure everything together at the back and sides with fence boards. Voila! Instantshelves and workspace. (A coat of paint can turn any mismatched wood into a showpiece.) Build or adapt what you need.

A hammer, a screwdriver and a paintbrush can breathe new life into pieces in needof refurbishing. 9. Construct a mini-mudroom.

Install a simple shelf with hooks over a bench and turn your garage entryway intoa hardworking drop spot. If you back the space between shelf and bench with pegboard,youll gain even more vertical storage. 10. Adapt or repurpose a larger piece.

Barnfather painted two bathroom vanities she found at a thrift store, topped themwith a sanded, stained door for a countertop, and created a designer-worthy workbench.A sheet of pegboard, painted with a monogram, holds garden tools. 11. Small pieces live large.

Barnfathers husband built a simple kids scooter stand out of scrap wood, turninga cluttered pile of scooters into an orderly parking spot easy for kids to use.Want to make your own? Just look at this easy plan.