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Rethinking the Garage in the New American Home

The American home is changing dramatically. Houses are growing larger as the families who live there grow smaller. We’re replacing people with stuff. Storage space has kept pace with the growing size of the American home, so extra room isn’t the problem, nor is it the solution. Organization is . . . at least according to Randy Tallman, Director of Marketing and Product Management at ORG Home, a company specializing in home organization solutions.

According to Tallman, nowhere is the problem of ample space filled with clutter more prevalent than in the two, and more often three-car garages that are becoming standard in many new homes. “Traditionally, the garage has been the family dumping ground,” says Tallman. “Even when it was clean, it was usually a mess.

”But that is beginning to change. According to Peachtree Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in researching the storage and organization industry, the garage is becoming the number one area where upscale consumers are investing in storage and organizational products. And Tallman says that ORG Home is prepared to respond to this trend “with a new line of organizational products designed specifically for the garage that meets the needs and lives of today’s homeowners.

”After studying how people actually use their garages, the designers at ORG Home found common use patterns among the homes they visited. “Nearly every garage has a ‘transition area’ where the homeowner needs space to place groceries while opening the door, or for kids to take off shoes and hang their jackets,” says Jon King, Industrial Design Manager at ORG Home. There is also a “need it now“ zone where residents store easy to access, frequently used items such as dog food, soft drinks, or recyclables.

Using this information, ORG Home has created an organizational logic and designed an array of products that can transform the untidiest garage into an organized, efficient and usable space. In addition to the “transition area” and the “need it now” zone, ORG Home identified other storage areas called “elevation” zones. Higher elevation areas are reserved for seldom-used, large, lightweight items such as coolers or exterior Christmas decorations, while lower zones are meant for easy-to-reach kids’ stuff like sports equipment and outdoor toys. Specific zones for “long, tall, thin” items – rakes, brooms and shovels – as well as “large archive” items such as camping gear, or snow tires are given a spot with specific storage units designed for their size..

ORG Home has also infused improved ergonomics into its new garage products such as pull out cabinet shelves that provide easy access to whatever is stored inside and generous hardware like hefty, easy-to-grasp drawer handles that can be easily opened and closed even with gloves on.

The foundation of ORG Home’s garage product line is the slot wall – a heavy-duty, lightweight panel used to cover the interior walls of the garage. It’s weatherproof, waterproof, easily cleaned and guaranteed for life. The wall panel is a textured polymer on which storage and other organization accessories are attached..

ORG Home racks, brackets, shelves, utility hooks, bins and baskets all attach to the wall panel. They’re completely adjustable and can be moved to another spot, added to or rearranged whenever the owner’s needs change. These accessories also boast a unique “snap in and lock” feature that secures them in place. This is a real boon when mom, dad and the kids are grabbing balls and stowing bats and mitts, back and forth, on a daily basis. The brackets stay where they should and will not move or slide when they’re not supposed to..

ORG Home garage products are custom-designed, installed by an authorized ORG Home dealer, and easy to schedule. Homeowners can call the nearest ORG Home dealer and arrange for a free, no-obligation, design consultation. Based on their needs, ORG Home will create a 3-D rendering of how the garage will look with the wall panels installed. Once the customer approves the design, installation can begin within a few days and will take one to three days to complete..

ORG Home customers can select from a wide range of accessories that match their hobbies, interests, storage needs and possessions. These include cabinets, shelves, hooks and racks; plus special brackets to secure anything from ladders to skis, paint supplies to garden hoses, paper towels to bicycles. ORG Home dealers can recommend suitable accessories for each design, which can be added at any time. .

The goal of home organization, according to Tallman, is to make daily life more enjoyable and less stressful. “Tackling the garage problem is one way to achieve that,” says Tallman. “The garage is a unique area that is often ignored and a source of frustration to its owners.” What ORG Home provides, says Tallman, is a way to transform the garage into a space “where the stuff of life” is zoned, stored, stacked and stowed in a way that is logical, accessible and findable.

Rethink Your Garage in Five Easy Steps

  1. Establish the transition area in your garage – the space that’s reserved for hanging coats and taking off boots with a spot to place packages, groceries or mail when you’re opening the door.
  2. Next, determine the need it now zone that will provide quick and easy access to the things you use often – dog food and leash, soft drinks and other beverages, a place for recyclables.
  3. Identify elevation zones – high areas for seasonal or lightweight items such as exterior lights or ice chests. Reserve lower areas for the kids to store their shin guards and soccer balls.
  4. Then decide what zone or area of your garage is suitable for yard and maintenance tools that are long and thin – like rakes, brooms, shovels and hoes. Reserve another zone for items that are large but can be kept out of the way for months at a time – like snow tires and camping equipment.
  5. Finally, stake out specific areas for your hobbies and passions. Whether you garden or fish, work with wood or work on your car, you can set up a perfect place in your garage that will provide the space for you to organize your tools and equipment.

For the Avid Gardener

  • Super-strong double hooks on the easy-to-clean slot wall hold the heaviest tools and hoses.
  • A combination of base and wall-mounted cabinets, with solid maple or laminate work surfaces, offer plenty of room for working and cleaning up.
  • Shelves and baskets of different sizes can be positioned anywhere to hold just about anything.
  • Because gardening involves dirt, a convenient paper towel holder can be installed for handy clean up.
  • Since garage floors aren’t always perfectly level, garage cabinets feature adjustable steel legs. Optional metal extrusions protect cabinet edges and add structural strength.
  • Other accessories include tool holder, hooks and large and small tip-open bins. For the Sports Enthusiast
  • Organizers for tennis rackets, skis, golf clubs – you name it – attach to ORG’s heavy-duty slot wall.
  • Baskets of various sizes hold basketballs, volleyballs, softballs and tennis balls, so they won’t roll under the car or pile up on the floor
  • Hooks come in various sizes and are perfect for hanging everything from pogo sticks to hockey sticks, crochet sets to soccer nets.
  • Roomy storage cabinets have adjustable shelves so you can customize it to your particular needs. Adjustable steel legs keep things level and optional metal extrusions protect edges and add cabinet strength. For the Weekend Handyman
  • Tall cabinets come deep enough to accommodate bulky items like gas cans and a hanging rod for coats. Shelves are adjustable and doors are optional.
  • Drawers are constructed as sturdy, metal-sided boxes on quality glides with optional locks. The workbench surface is available in solid maple or laminate.
  • Accessories that attach to the heavy-duty slot wall provide plenty of options for keeping tools off the work surface yet still within reach.
  • Multi-use tool rack makes organizing your hammers, wrenches and screw drivers a snap. X Hooks come in multiple shapes and sizes – from 4-inch to 8-inch hooks plus hoop hooks for hoses, big hooks for heavy tools or extension cords and quad hooks for tools like pliers and cutters.