Yosemite Sam Earrings

These Are Original Yosemite Sam Earrings from the 1990’s.

Vintage 90's Cartooney Earrings
1990’s Plastic Earrings

How To Make Bike Storage For Garage Ceilings

Bike hanger image
Bicycle Hooks

The easiest and quickest bike racks for garage storage is hanging the bikes from the garage rafters using a large bike storage hook.  The hooks typically cost less than a dollar each at home improvement centers and only two are required per bicycle. This cheap storage solution replaces the need for a bike rack and costs less than $2.00 per bike.

bike tire and hook
Bike Hanging From Ceiling

The best location is in the space above the hood of the car, or in an unused corner opposite the overhead garage door.

To install the hooks overhead into the garage ceiling, begin with finding the overhead joists or beams.

Drill a pilot hole into the beam using a drill smaller than the hooks threaded end (about 3/16th of an inch.  Measure 48 inches along the ceiling and drill the next hole.  Please note.  This 48-inch measurement is chosen because garages are built using rafters that are spaced either 16 inch or 24 inch on center.  With 48 inch spacing, the hooks will end up in the center of the tires to suspend the bike above the vehicle parking space on most adult sized bikes.


Garage Storage System – The Tool Organizer

A tool organizer provides a fixed location for those over sized or odd sized tools unable to fit in a roll around tool storage box. The kinds of organizers discussed in this article are intended to be hung on a wall. If you are someone without a lot of tools, the storage you get from hanging your tools on wall-mounted pegboard may be all the wall storage you need. A tool organizer is or can be part of an overall garage storage system. It consists of pegboard, with approximately 3/16 inch holes drilled about 1 inch from each other and completely covering the surface of the pegboard. The purpose of these holes is to hold a one eighth inch round wire hook made specifically for mounting in this type of tempered wood. The best choice of pegboard material is Masonite brand, because it is available in a variety of weather durable strengths.
The best kind of hook to purchase is one that has an additional location peg welded onto the hook exactly 1 inch below the hanger hook. When inserting the hook into place, this second peg anchors the hook into one position preventing it from coming loose. The pegboard itself should be mounted to a wall with a spacer board in-between the pegboard and the wall it is to be mounted to. This spacer board can be as thin as one inch and can either be fastened to the pegboard as a frame on the back of the board or on the wall as a furring strip to which the pegboard is mounted. There are literally hundreds of storage systems designed for attaching to pegboard.

If you want to improve your storage, a tool organizer is one that can be used in many places through out the home.
Here are some of the uses for one made using pegboard:
Hang on a wall in the laundry room to hold brushes, brooms, and mops
Above a garage workbench for the most often used hand tools
Garden tool organizer for rakes, shovels, brooms

What you will discover after building your first tool organizer is they are one of the most versatile, cheap storage solutions that can be used inside or outside the house.

Cheapest Most Affordable Storage Solution

When deciding to store away any thing of value, the most durable container always provides the cheapest storage solution.  Here is why.  Most stored items are put away for an unknown period.  The changes in temperature and humidity affect the entire storage area; the package, the wrapping, and the item itself.  Choosing a robust container with tightly closing lids and absent of any air holes will keep most all of the elements out.  Keeping the item itself preserved is the primary objective, so choosing the best container regardless of the initial cost is the right choice.  Even the most affordable storage rental is worthless if your items are ruined during the process.

Assuming that the containers are fully packed, and stacked on top of each other squarely so the corner walls support the container above, here is summary of how various packaging and storage methods perform overall:

A strong plastic container, tightly sealed, with any air holes taped closed, works best in a humid environment.

A tightly constructed wooden crate or footlocker works best in a dry environment.

Inside every container, regardless of the outer wall construction, everything should be packed in a large, heavy, 3-6 mil thickness plastic bag that has been tightly closed or sealed with tape.  Inside the plastic bag, the packed items should be in their own environment separate from other dissimilar items.  Example: Items packed from a dining buffet cabinet such as scented candles, should be bagged and boxed to prevent any accidental melting from damaging items in the same container, such as cloth napkins or place mats.  The scented candle smell will still permeate the container, but will also prevent any musty smell from ruining the fabrics.

Next: strong, thick walled cartons with wax coating are moderately durable.  They will withstand approximately a one-year storage period in a four-season environment.  After a year, the sides of the container begin to deform and stacks of boxes collapse.  Boxes on shelves perform for a longer period, but moisture does affect the inside packaging too.

Tightly sealed, fully packed, ordinary corrugated cartons are next for durability when stored on shelves, no more than two in a stack.

Open containers, such as milk crates, provide a strong stack, but what is stored in them must be protected or not affected by weather changes (like paint cans, sports equipment).

Contractor trash bags provide a durable storage for outdoor items, such as chaise lounge cushions, but also can be easily ripped or torn open if moved around too much.

From the experience of storing some items for over 20 years, preservation is almost guaranteed if the stored items are sheltered from environmental changes.

Storage Shed Plans Include Insulation

When selecting shed plans for building home self-storage, a wise decision is to choose one that includes insulation of the storage place.

An insulated storage area offers secure storage as well as a possible multipurpose use area.  Things like lawn mowers and garden tools do not need  insulated sheds, but items that can absorb moisture will benefit from a warm and dry environment. Insulated storage areas protect and minimize damage caused by seasonal weather change.  As an example, golf equipment. leather baseball gloves, and protective padding are usually stored outside but always ends up smelling musty. An insulated space and properly packaging the stored items in plastic bags, then placing them in storage boxes prevents the absorption, and the items remain unaffected.  Including a dryer sheet in the bag, box, or inside the item itself keeps away musty odors.

Insulating the ceiling and walls is also less costly if done during initial construction. Most of the savings is in the time it takes to finish the project, doing it now, as compared to removing everything from the shed and gathering the necessary tools later. Building materials continue to rise in price, so insulating sooner rather than later saves by buying it at today’s money.

Finished walls and ceilings means permanent storage fixtures can be installed in their finished location. Storage shelving, tool organizers, and storage racks all speed up provide a storage place for the items awaiting their new home.

Without knowing in advance all the individual items that will be stored, or all the eventual uses this type of storage can provide, insulating at the point of construction opens a wider range of options for secure self-storage. Long term options include a finished insulated space which later can be used as an outdoor playhouse, a hobby room, or even a workshop.

Tool Checklist For Installing Insulation

Here is a list of the basic tools needed to install insulation:

1.) Tape Measure

2.) Utility Knife

3.) Stapler and Staples

4.) Hammer

5.) Metal Yardstick

6.) Small Box Fan

7.) Work Light

8.) Safety Glasses, Gloves, Breathing Masks

9.) Protective Clothing

10.) Three Pronged, Long Handled Garden Cultivator

11.) 2 Foot by 4 Foot Plywood 5/8 Inch or Heavier

12.)  Caulking and Caulking Gun


How To Know If Your Attic Needs More Insulation?

This is what the experts say: If you have some insulation already but can see your attic joist, you need more insulation. The rule of thumb to reduce the monthly utility bill is to have a minimum of R-30 or 9½ inches of insulation. You will want to add “un-faced” insulation. This kind comes without any attached paper or foil covering on either side. You will typically be installing “batts”. They are pre-cut lengths of fiber glass insulation that do not have a vapor barrier. When installing new insulation over old insulation make certain that the only vapor barrier is between the ceiling of the floor below and the first layer of fiber glass. Do not place two vapor barriers so as to avoid moisture being trapped between layers. Trapped moisture negates the added “R” value of the added material.

If you do not have any insulation then 9-1/2 inches thick of an R-30 with a foil or kraft paper is what needs to be installed. This foil or paper acts as a vapor barrier.

Here is a procedure and a common formula for calculating the amount of insulation needed in an attic.
Start by measuring the distance between the joist, so you know whether to buy for 15” – 16” or 23”- 24” joists. Measure the overall length and width and multiply one measurement by the other.
Example: 25 foot wide by 30 foot long or 25 times 30 equals 750 square feet of attic area. Each roll of insulation has a label stating the number of square feet contained in that roll. Divide this number into the total number of square feet required to determine the total number of rolls required.

Cheap Toy Storage- Garage Toy Storage Solutions

This is the best and cheapest toy storage idea for a garage. It doubles as a bench while removing wet, muddy, snowy, boots and shoes.

Here are approximate sizes for a toy box, toy storage box, or garage toy storage solution: four feet long by two feet wide by eighteen inches high. Depending upon whether or not it is built in place, as a permanent garage storage cabinet and mounted to the wall as part of the structure or if is built to be movable, will determine how much wood you will need to buy. I have built about six toy storage boxes and they have been built both ways.

The instructions that follow are for a movable toy storage box. My toy boxes were used for sports equipment, like baseball bats and balls, gloves, golf clubs, horseshoes and croquet, badminton and tennis. It’s use changed over the years as interests changed. Because of the tools I have to work with, I can start with a full sheet (four foot by eight foot) of plywood. It is the cheapest way to purchase the material. If your tool inventory does not include a table saw, you will require a power hand saw to cut panels to exact dimensions. To reduce your cutting you may want to start with purchasing some sheets of plywood already cut to  eighteen inch by four foot size. They are typically available from a lumberyard or home improvement center as 2′ by 4′ handy panels. You will need 2 pieces of two foot by four-foot plywood and 3 pieces eighteen inch by four feet (or one sheet of four foot by eight plywood and one extra piece typically sold as a 2′ by 4′ size).  Keep the cut offs from the lumber yard,  The thickness of the lumber is a matter of choice. One half inch thick is the minimum and three quarter of an inch is the thickest, that I have used. The half inch thick is cheaper, less sturdy and requires some corner posts, but is lighter weight and easier to move around. The three quarter inch thickness is sturdier, does not require corner supports, and is much heavier to move around when full.  I would use five-eighths inch thick if available at your lumberyard. Now, to understand these instructions, you have to visualize a rectangular box about the dimensions given in the first line above. The controlling dimension on this type of box is the size of the lid or top of the toy box (24″ by 48″). From experience, if the box is built with the lid overhanging the front edge about one half inch,

Lid Overlap
Lid Overlap

there is no need for a handle with which to lift the lid. The flat top can then be used for a seat on which to sit while putting on and taking off muddy shoes, boots, etc. The lid is designed so that it rests on top of all four walls over which it covers. This means that when cutting the wood to size, the bottom piece is cut so that it fits on the inside of the four side walls, which allows the top to overlap and rest on the top of the four walls. The overlapping lid design the is way most toy boxes are built for strength and durability, when designed as a seat upon which to sit.
Here are the dimensions of each of the panels using 5/8-inch thick plywood
1.) The front and back panels are identical to each other. Their size is 48 inches wide by 18 inches high by the wood thickness (in this case 5/8 inch)
2.) The two side panels are identical to each other. Their size is 18 inches high by 22-1/4 inches wide. This dimension is determined by taking the 24 inch overall size of the lid and deducting the thickness of the wood times two (front and back) plus an extra half inch or more for the overhang. (Here is the math: 24″ panel minus 2 wood thicknesses minus 1/2″ for the overhang).  They are fitted in between the front and back panels
3.) The bottom panel is cut to fit inside the four sides. It’s size is best determined after assembling the four sidewalls together, but if 5/8 inch thick lumber is used the dimension would be 22 -1/4 inches wide (24inch lid width size, minus 1/2 inch overhang, minus two thicknesses of 5/8 inch wood (48 inches wide minus two times the wood thickness of 5/8″ equals 1-1/4 inches plus the 1/2″ overhang.
4.) The top panel remains uncut at the full 2 foot by four foot by 5/8 inch size. (Or see option at bottom of article)

Tapered head screw
PAM Brand Deck Screw

Use Philips head, 2 inch to 2-1/2 inch long deck screws every eight inches to fasten the box together.

Start by pre-drilling the front and back panels and countersinking for the tapered screw head.

countersink image
Countersink Drill

Then use a corner clamp or home made holding fixture to align the side panels to the front panel while drilling a small pilot hole into the plywood edge of the side panels (this is to prevent the screw diameter from bulging the wood thickness while entering. After pre-drilling, begin attaching the front panel to first one side, then the other side while resting all materials on a flat surface. After the side panels are attached to the front panel, duplicate your actions for attaching the back panel to the two sides. When done with this step you should have a rectangle shape with four walls and no top or bottom. The next step is to affix the bottom to the work you have done so far. The bottom should be square cut to fit tightly inside the rectangle. While resting this work on a flat large table surface, with the bottom panel in place on the bottom, move the entire piece close to an edge so as to get clear access for drilling and countersinking the pilot holes. Drill one end first, then the other end, then do either of the remaining sides next; then screw together the last side until complete. When this is done, the result is a box with a finished size 18 inches high by 24 inches wide by 23-1/2 inches deep (the lid will overlap ½ inch and act as a handle for lifting the lid).

The next step is to fasten the lid in place. The very best hinge to use for this is a Stanley brand piano hinge.

Piano hinge picture
Stanley Brand Piano Hinge

They come in various lengths. For this project purchase a 48 inch length. It is fastened first all along the edge of the lid of the toy box itself. For this step, purchase ½-inch long screws and screw them into every hole. The position of the hinge is properly placed when the round hinge edge sticks out from the back of the box evenly along the entire edge about 3/16th to ¼ of an inch. Assembling the top to the rest of the box can be a bit of a struggle to hold in place, so use a helper if available. If not, then position the box on the floor and support the lid in place with stacks of wood to get to 18 inches high (the height needed on which to rest the lid while finish fastening it to the box). The hinge is screwed into the back wall using 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inch tapered flat head screws slightly larger than the hole into which it is being inserted. Start by drilling a small pilot hole for the ends and middle. When doing this step it is best to insert screws in both ends and one in the middle to test the position and ease of opening and closing before finishing up the rest of the screws. After testing the lid opening and closing is found to be satisfactory and no further adjustment is needed, complete the assembly of the lid to the box. The project is now complete.

Here are a couple of tips regarding design of this toy storage solution. Because the box is 18 inches high, there will be some excess wood left over. From an approximately 6 inch wide piece, cut four triangular shaped pieces as supports or for fastening casters to the bottom four corners if desired. Mount the triangles flush to the outer edges fastening them into the vertical walls for added strength.
A variation of the top can be made instead of a 24 inch by 48-inch piece, cut the top into two pieces possibly 20 inches and another 4 inches. Fasten the 4 inch piece along the back panel at the top just as if it was the original 24 inch wide piece and then attach the piano hinge to this piece and the 20 inch piece as the top follow same piano hinges instruction as above). What this design variation provides is a way to lean the lid back against a wall for support when opened, which the original design does not.

Garage Shelving As Part of Garage Storage Systems

Depending on whether you have a wood frame or cement block style garage will determine what type of garage shelving you should install.

A wooden frame garage with finished walls and a cement floor almost demand the use of wall mounted shelves, and overheads  offering a complete storage solution.  To maximize the amount of affordable storage, select a brand like Closet Maid from a national home improvement chain. It is a complete garage storage system whose components work well with a cement floor for the free standing garage storage cabinets and wooden framed walls for mounting the same brand wall units.

Planning for flexibility at the beginning pays dividends as your needs change. Choose the kind of shelving that hangs from a wall mounted track, which allows for quick installation, and is both strong and adjustable.  This kind of shelving is commonly made of wire with a heavy white epoxy paint coating.  This wire style garage racking provides ventilation, a desirable feature if using corrugated storage boxes.  In just a few minutes these shelves can be disassembled and remounted to change the configuration of the space for different sized cartons or containers without added cost.

A cement block garage is best suited to the kind of metal shelving units that sit on the floor and do not mount to the walls.  These kind of shelves are termed bolt-less shelving.  They are very similar in design to storage racks used in large warehouses, but on a smaller scale.  They come in units sized to provide about a 6 foot height to the top shelf for easy access self storage. The shelf brackets and uprights fit together with interlocking tabs, inserted into each other and then secured using a rubber mallet.  The way to make this choice one of the cheap storage solutions is to choose a size that maximizes the amount of space it provides, possibly 2 feet deep by 4 feet wide by 6 feet high. The  shelving requires use of cut sheets of wood.   As an example, the wooden shelving is available in 4 by 8-foot sheets that can be cut down to zero waste sizes.  Depending upon the depth (front to back measurement) you need and the weight of items stored, the common sizes of storage shelving in this type of product are 12 inches deep, 16 inches deep, and 24 inches deep. widths all by 48 inches long.  This maximizes the number of shelf boards that They can all be cut evenly from a standard 48 inch by 96 inch sheet with no waste.  Choose particleboard for lower weight needs and plywood for heavier weights requirements.  The advantage to this type of shelving is that it is adjustable in 2 inch increments and the bottom shelf can be off the floor at a 4 inch to 6 inch height to provide ventilation.

Cheap Storage Solutions Are All Above You

If you want cheap storage solutions, just look up. There is a lot of cheap storage space right in front of your eyes. It is found above cabinets, at the tops of closets, and on shelves near the ceiling. A person typically pays for square feet of living space  but what you actually get is cubic feet of living space: so safe storage space is abundant if you just look up..

You don’t have shelves in each room? By simply adding tasteful storage shelving to each room near the ceiling, one provides an out of the way cheap storage solution. Storage shelves can be painted to your taste, and made attractive by buying interesting containers to store your items inside.   Containers like small boxes with a telescoping lid are attractive and interesting when gift wrapped and placed on a shelf. Small decorator boxes that look like treasure chests or jewelry chests can hold quite a bit of “not needed right now” items. Sometimes, old cookie jars are the perfect place for small quantities of odd shaped keepers, like memento jewelry. Often the most affordable storage containers are available at tag, yard, and garage sales.

Whenever I store anything, I go to extremes trying to preserve the items condition. I generously wrap the item in “cushion y” paper towel, and add a small bar of hotel travel soap. I then seal it in a plastic bag. It then goes in a secure storage container. This container can range from a sturdy cardboard box that was retrieved from behind your corner market to the drawers in a hand-me-down dresser being abandoned by a relocating neighbor. Never pass up a chance to take an old dresser or chest of drawers and convert it to a secure storage cabinet. It can be a lot of fun to transform the former drab hand-me-down into a brightly painted locker for some infrequently needed items. One of the advantages of re purposing old dressers, chests of drawers, and even hutches is that they are already up off the floor. This protects against flooding if placed in a basement or in an unattached garage. The free acquisition price also helps reduce self-storage costs.

If your budget for storage includes spending, the best choice is plastic storage containers for sale that stack one on top of the other.  They nest together neatly and when placed in a group together in a storage room they provide a sturdy base for placing lighter weight bags full of bedding or other fabric items on top of the stack.