November 3, 2020 Mountain Living

Get your Gear in your Garage!

By Kate Barker

Living in the mountains is amazing. There are so many outdoor activities that change with the seasons! From skiing to snowshoeing and getting outside in the winter, as well as hiking, biking (both road and mountain!) and watersports in the summer, being in the mountains can mean a lot of stuff.

Oftentimes, garages get filled with all this stuff, meaning your car lives outside and you have to wade through the disaster-zone before enjoying the mountain lifestyle.

We chatted with Curtis Scherer, co-owner of Enlightened Organizing, and got his top tips for getting your garage organized and functional.

“The end goal is we can get people’s cars in their garages with all their gear.”

Tip #1: Take Inventory

You need to know what needs to be stored: how many bikes, how many pairs of downhill skis, how many snowshoes, backpacks, poles, kayaks, garden tools, sets of snow tires and anything else you’re looking to store. As you’re going through this process, don’t be afraid to purge. Recycle, donate, give away or sell anything you don’t need. If you’re not using it, get rid of it!


Tip #2: Look Up

“It’s the vertical space that gets underutilized,” says Scherer. When it comes to garages, he recommends a slat-wall product. This durable, PCV product can stack as high as needed. Most garages are 8 to 10 feet tall, so that’s a lot of storage space. Sherer recommends installing this product on the side walls of the garage, and then using specialized hooks, baskets and other devices to fit all your gear accordingly.

“You can use every spare inch of these walls if you take some time and organize it.”

In addition to the walls, Scherer also recommends hanging things from the ceiling. A hoist system will lift kayaks above the garage door. This often-unused space keeps these large items out of the way, yet easily accessible when you want to hit the water.


Tip #3: Consider a Cabinet

Cabinetry or shelving is best placed on the back wall of the garage. This shelving is excellent for tools, boxes, recycling and tires. It can be incorporated as a work bench, or it can be stacked to continue to make use of the vertical space.


Tip #4: Be Better with your Bikes

Bikes are another cumbersome item that take up a lot of room. Living in the Bow Valley, it’s common for people to have multiple bikes for multiple purposes. Scherer recommends a Steadyrack®, which allows you to roll your bike into place, swing it to the side and get it out of the way. It is designed for all types of bikes, including winter fatbikes. Scherer often staggers bikes in height, so they can all fit along the same space, relatively flat to the wall.

“You really can compress a number of bikes down into a reasonable space.”

With a little effort, it is possible to fit everything into your space, and still be able to access your gear. The experts at Enlightened Organizing can help you with your journey, from supplying and installing the products to assisting with the organizing process.


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