Any handyperson is good at finding creative solutions to common household problems. It’s part of creativity; the process of thinking outside the box. Just recently we were raiding our own kitchen for a container to keep nuts and bolts in when it dawned on us how many “garage-useful” items there are in a typical house’s kitchen.
The best part is that this sort of thing really represents recycling at its finest; locating performances for objects that ordinarily would be thrown out, no longer able to serve anybody.
Let us start with a very brief list of some miscellaneous items:
- Steel wool— to clean almost any surface. It’s very effective!
- Old wash cloths and sponges – to clean up spills
- Toothpicks—for cleaning in tight areas in or on small components
Now we’ll get to the very interesting objects that may be used for your vehicle:
Old pans and pots:
Pans and ports that are retired are fantastic items to use for cleaning small parts. Suppose you are working on a greasy lawnmower and it is time to place the carburetor in some carb cleaner. For a job like this, you simply cannot beat an old pot. Not only is the metal going to resist any effects of the carb cleaner, you have a good handle by which you can move the pot around your shop.
Snap-lock style containers are a no-brainer. Those containers are bought (think: Tupperware containers) or occasionally given to you when you buy something (think: deli meat containers). As any handyperson will tell you, when you take just about anything apart, it is best to put the bolts, nuts and other components into a container for safekeeping. This is especially true if you are not going to reassemble the item for a while.
If you have to store a lot of something, use some of those big two-pound metal or plastic coffee canisters. Those canisters are great. They have nice large openings and the covers on them are made for frequent openings and closings. Face it, if you had to buy these containers just for storage, you might. That is how well they work!
Ziploc plastic bags:
Another “can’t live without” item in your garage is a good amount of Ziploc bags. While the small ones (“baggies”) are quite cheap, the larger baggies that have reusable Ziploc tops can be more expensive. The solution of course, is to grab the large ones when they are free from kitchen duty and put them to work in the garage. Note, ones of various sizes can and will keep small parts clean and dry. Even these old kitchen cabinets work great for storage in the garage.
OK, not a kitchen thing but a very useful one. Hair dryers let you concentrate heat on objects so you can strip off paint, loosen adhesives, etc. You really need to have one of these in your garage at home. The Managers at the Schaumburg and Naperville, IL collision centers of Patrick Auto Body recommend it!
Featured image by Kevin Hornby