10 steps towards a single car garage workshop you can park in! – Part 1

Wish you could have a garage workshop PLUS park inside your garage too? You can! Here’s 10 steps on how I did BOTH in a tight, single car garage space!

10 steps towards a single car garage workshop you can park in!

Parking in a Garage Workshop Series


1 –  The Plan and the Clean Up (you are here)

2 – Easy and Free DIY Garage Shelving for tools

3 – Painting aluminum ladders with storage wall

4 – The finished garage workshop tour

Read all installments HERE

Take the tour of the original workshop

Take my original workshop full tour HERE

Locate stencils to make garage signs with HERE (Route 66 is no longer avail)

About the original garage workshop


As you may already know, my rather unique, all-repurposed garage workshop is located in my single car garage. And it’s worked well for my hobbies for many years! 

The garage is attached to the house, and includes insulation, outlets, concrete floor for easy dirt cleanup, 8 foot ceiling, baseboard heater, with plenty of fluorescent lights.

wood screwdriver organizer for a workshop

Make this screwdriver organizer HERE

It also houses super durable wooden folding tables as a workbenches, built-in cabinetry, pegboard, tool chest with plenty of drawers, another table for lots of work surface,

View: General Store stencil HERE / Make a General Store sign HERE

…along with plenty of storage for power tools, hand tools, lumber and these General Store rustic cubbies for rusty junk!

Ventilation for a dust-free environment and natural light is achieved by opening up both the main garage door and the back door.

enhanced pallet power tool shelf for workshop storage

Enhanced pallet tool shelf HERE

Visit all the unique workshop organizing touches HERE

The workshop is bright and cheerful, painted with bright white walls, but what made it extra special was all the repurposed touches such as reclaimed wood shelves, funky wall treatments and plenty of antique accessories for hooks to hang things.

Everything in it was found for free!

What the workshop lacked


But the workshop lacked square foot floor space for working on larger pieces of furniture or builds. I mean, who wouldn’t want as large of a work area as possible?

So for years, I worked as-is, in somewhat tight, cramped quarters, bringing larger pieces outside to work on or sand. But at least it was a full-blown workshop where everything was set up and ready to go any day of the year! 

Everything worked out great! Except when winter hit.

an outdoor parked truck covered in ice during winter

How to winterize an outdoor parked vehicle HERE

Why I wanted to park indoors


All winter long, I agonized over my truck parked outside. While vehicles are obviously made to park outdoors, with our prolonged winter this round, more ice and snow and freezing meant more work involved to get my truck drive-able during cold weather.

Luckily, my smart brother has shared many of his winter parking tips you can read HERE. They have been life savers!

But I haven’t parked inside a garage for over 20 years. And I yearned to better protect my truck from the weather elements rather than scraping ice off windshields!

However, that goal morphed from push to shove once I landed another truck.

Facebook marketplace cars - how I found my Dodge Dakota truck!

How I bought a truck on Facebook Marketplace HERE

Why yes, you are seeing double! Sort of.

The newer truck is the same truck as my old one but in better condition. You can read the whole truck story HERE

Among other things, the clear coat was melting off the old Dodge Dakota truck, and while it’s likely a factory issue, sitting outdoors certainly hasn’t helped.

So once the newer truck came home, I wanted to park it inside the garage workshop SO bad. But with not an extra inch to spare space wise, I talked myself out of it. I just didn’t see it happening.

That’s when I started to price out potentially building a workshop in my backyard. But after hearing how much a new workshop would cost, I didn’t want to take out savings or a loan at this stage of the game. I’m planning for travel and retirement!

And that’s when my eyes turned towards my overstuffed single car garage workshop one more time. With MUCH hesitation.

With 15+ years of stuff buried in that workshop, for me to be able to park in there would be nothing short of a miracle!

But after sketching out a plan and rethinking things through, I did actually come up with a garage workshop idea that I think could allow me to not only have a workshop fully ready to work in, I could also park in there too!

Sounds far fetched, doesn’t it? But I’m here to tell you, my plan has worked! And now even a year later, it’s still working!

Makes me wonder why I was so busy storing a work table that could collapse…

And now I’m going to share every detail on how I made it happen, so you can do the same for yourself!

Wanna get more space out of your own garage of ANY size? Get ready for some major inspiration, because here’s exactly how:

This post contains some Amazon affiliate links in which I earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases through these links, at no extra cost to you. Thank-you for helping to support my blog!

10 steps towards a single car garage workshop you can park in!


planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

The before


The above photo is how my mess of an overstuffed garage workshop looked when I started in winter.

So first up was time to draw up a plan to start, to ensure my ideas would even fit!

Single car garage workshop plans by Funky Junk Interiors

New garage workshop design


While the above drawing is not to scale, the zone plan is pretty accurate, using any and all available space wisely.

My one-car garage measures 12.5 feet wide by 24.5 feet long.

After chatting with my smart brother, he suggested to get the bulk of the workshop to one side of the garage, so I have the ability to back into the garage and open the driver’s door.

After measuring, he was right! 1 worktable that housed my Bosch miter saw and all the building materials could still sit out all the time, which was a must.

The main garage plans goal was to have the ability to simply move my truck out of the garage, and get right to work without setting anything else up aside from an additional folding table (if needed) when the need hit.

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

Here’s my fancy blueprint on where the miter saw on a worktable would eventually sit!

Can you too vision how gorgeous this will ultimately be? LOL

So let’s do a major clean up first. Ya think?!

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

10 ways to gain more garage workshop space


1. Get rid of good stuff for free!


This wood storage bin was indeed handy for long pieces of lumber, but it was sticking out too far if I wanted to park inside, so it was the first thing that HAD to go.

This bin, along with anything else that I felt was in the way, was placed on my front porch, then posted on Facebook for my neighbours to take for free. Lots was picked up that very evening!

Tip: Want quick pickups? Offer good stuff for free! Or if you don’t mind storing and waiting, you could  sell some things as well.

2. Search for new storage space


Being a woodworking shop, I have lots of reclaimed wood to store. (THIS is my fav rack!) But with losing so much space, I needed to find a new place for it.

As luck would have it, last summer I reorganized my garden shed that stores firewood. A middle isle had been created, which became a new wood storage area for plenty of reclaimed wood that I didn’t have room for in the garage. So out a bunch went! Perfect.

Find lots of ideas for lumber storage on Amazon HERE

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

3. Reuse what you have in new ways


For years, I had the miter saw sitting on a long workshop table to the right, and another worktable in the center of the garage workshop. It’s been nice having all that table space ready to go, however space has always been tight for larger projects that needed to sit on the floor.

Regardless, if I wanted to park inside, BOTH tables would have to go! Yikes.

And then I came up with a better plan. After measuring, it was determined the smaller table would now house the miter saw, and the larger table could be collapsed along the wall, ready to use when needed. I didn’t have to get rid of either work table after all!

Check out lots of work benches and work tables

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

4. Throw out what you don’t need.


One worktable had a massive shelf built under it to store a ton of reclaimed wood. It’s been handy, and when I knew it had to go, this one hurt. But after realizing it fit in the garden shed, what a relief!

But not all would fit. So it was mandatory I go through every board to determine if I’d actually use it or not.

This is a good practice to do at least once a year, because I found a lot of garbage wood I’d likely never use. So out it went into the back of the truck, bound for the dump! Other clean, untreated wood boards were cut down for fireplace kindling.

While shuffling your stuff helps condense space, getting rid of stuff really truly is the key to gaining more space with less clutter. 

Tip: Something that really helps me clean are large reusable yard bags. I like to fill them, throw them in the back of the truck then dump and return them home to reuse again. They are very strong, large and easy to store.

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

With the work table now free, it was time to move the miter saw on it.

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

And then move the miter saw table into place! 

The workshop plans were working! This is more floor space than I’ve had in 15+ years! I quickly realized, while I may be out a work table, the space it ultimately would give made up for the loss, big time.

So let’s work on the workshop table on the right next.

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

4. Consider collapsible tables for when needed only


This wooden collapsible work table is no slouch. It’s huge, measuring a whopping 11 feet long! And that workspace is hard to let go of. But I had a grand plan on keeping it after all!

Since the table was fully collapsible, it could sit closed along the right side of the wall so I have the opportunity to use it just when needed!

5. Set small, obtainable goals on cleaning areas


There was 12 years of clutter to remove underneath that table, filled with wood and very heavy tile flooring. It was a BIG task. And way to much to do in a short time span.

So to get the job done without injury or overdoing it, I broke up all the clean up in small increments, or rather, smaller obtainable goals.

For example, all the tile was moved during one session. And the wood in another.

Remember… this whole garage workshop process took me a month! So patience was key. Whenever I had some time to spare, I’d plug in an hour or two on clean up alone, set a small goal and accomplished at least that one area. And if I could do more, it was a bonus.

Tip: A heavy duty moving dolly is your best friend where heavy loads are concerned. I picked mine up at a garage sale many years ago, and while it’s a pain to store sometimes, it’s sure worth it with the amount of times I use it!

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

With the table now collapsed on the right side, it was time to try and park inside!

I never thought this day would come.

But before I started ripping stuff off walls, painting, and building garage shelves, I decided to do a dry-fit with parking my truck inside first, just to make sure my space planning actually worked.

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

6. Do a trial park to ensure the vehicle and workshop needs fit


Measuring my truck, I marked off where the back tires would need to stop when backing in, with an 8′ board positioned across the entire parking spot.

This board would stay in place, indicating where to stop before I hit anything.

parking in a garage workshop

And by golly friends, I did it. After 15+ long years of parking outside, I was now inside! With plenty of room to open my driver’s door! WOW!

PS: the table is screwed to the wall in case if fell over.

Now knowing everything would fit, it was time to finish up the finer details and get this workshop to really sing!

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

Right after I cleaned up all the clutter I threw on the miter saw in order to get the truck inside!

Bear in mind, I was working in winter, so shuffling was the key to getting this done during this time of year. Trickier, but not impossible as you’ll soon see.

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

7. Paint the walls for a fresh start!


So the painting began. I removed all the old decorative woodwork off the walls only to reveal a bunch of drywall holes I completely forgot about. Ah… that’s why I hung the wood there. Right.

I wasn’t about to slow this down with a bunch of drywall filling, so I made other plans. The holes could stay and I’d figure something out to cover them after painting for now. Maybe forever.

There was a cold snap due in a couple of days and my self-induced deadline was to get my truck nice and warm before that hit! There was no time to learn how to become a pro dry waller at the moment.

garage workshop redo

Wall paint: Cloverdale eggshell pure white straight out of the can

Table paint: General Paint HP 2000 semi gloss pure white straight out of the can

This wall was painted pure white eggshell along with the table also receiving a semi gloss pure white top as well. Nice! And this area even appeared to have its own workshop lighting fixtures perfectly positioned up above!

This bench will also house some custom shelves for the drills, coming soon!

8. Install full swivel casters on the work table for extra saw space


When I initially decided on the miter saw table to be in this spot, space was an issue. My original 11 foot table plus lots of extra room was a prime area to cut long planks of wood. This tighter 6 foot table space was much more limited.

But here’s the fix!

By installing full swivel casters to the table legs, the table slides forward, offering more cutting space for longer boards!

Two door pulls were installed along the front of the table, making it very easy to pull forward, offering LOTS of space to cut the longest boards. It works perfectly!

planning a single car garage workshop I could park in

9. Plan to store very shallow things on the driver’s side of the garage


Next up, the wall space and underside of the collapsed workshop table got painted to clean things up.

The previous shallow shelving was rehung on the wall, positioned so it would clear the folded table. This would ultimately become my car care station for car wax, engine oil and such.

And above the table proved to be the perfect space to hang two aluminum ladders, all taking up very little space!

What. A. Fit!

Tip: The table was screwed to the wall with 1 screw hitting a wall stud, to ensure it didn’t tip over.

10. Protect walls from hanging apparatus with vertical boards


To hang the ladders, I decided to do a little decorative touch that would also protect the walls.

Marking off where the wall studs were, 3 molding boards were painted, then screwed into place. This allowed the hanging ladders to rub against the boards rather than mark up the wall. It worked out beautifully while giving the wall a board and batten look which you’ll soon see!

11. Create custom storage to suit…


Because of my condensed workshop space, some added customizations would be required.

So in Part 2 HERE, I’m sharing how I built additional DIY shelving!

I promise, things start to get a WHOLE lot prettier in the next posts… with  plenty of intentional rust too! You just wait…

What do you think of the plans so far? Think my pipe dreams of parking in a single car fully functional garage workshop actually pan out?!

Parking in a Garage Workshop Series


1 –  The Plan and the Clean Up (you are here)

2 – Easy and Free DIY Garage Shelving for tools

3 – Painting aluminum ladders with storage wall

4 – The finished garage workshop tour

Read all installments HERE


Other workshop ideas:


Visit a completely repurposed workshop!

Visit my original repurposed workshop HERE

landing the perfect wooden workshop tables from the curb

How I landed the BEST wooden workshop tables HERE


A wooden folding workshop table find (plus plans to make your own!)

Each step of building my original workshop is HERE

See many other workshop organizing ideas HERE

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11 thoughts on “10 steps towards a single car garage workshop you can park in! – Part 1

  1. You have definitely inspired me to grab hubby and start cleaning up the garage. It is certainly ready for a clean out and reorganizing everything we do need to keep and will use! As our Ontario weather is still a little wintery, starting a general tidy up will be a good place to be begin!
    Can hardly wait to see the end result of your garage! It’s going to be perfect for you! Well done!

  2. I can’t wait to see it all. I feel like I rearrange my garage 2-3 times a year. Ha!! I have a Ford Ranger and a VW Bug ~ and both fit in it with stuff along the walls. I do have a shed, so that helps too.

    • Wow, impressive you can park two inside! That must take determination not to fill up every square inch of all that space! haha

      And big yes to a decent shed. I’m using two outbuildings that are kinda sorda sheds in which one needs a revamp. Any additional storage absolutely helps though!

  3. You can be so proud of yourself for a major accomplishment! I too had a two car garage (30’long) filled to the ceiling with all the “junk” I was going to use someday. When my daughter moved in with me, she offered to pay for a new overhead garage door (had an old wooden one with no opener) since she had a motorcycle she wanted to park inside. Slowly but surely I went though everything the first 15′ to make room to have a garage sale. My goal this summer is to go through all in the back 15′ ft. of the garage, where our workbench and saws are. Living in SD with harsh winters, it’s an absolute joy to get in & out of my car in the garage.

    • Thanks Luane, you truly get it! And way to go on your 15′ accomplishment!

      Yup. And you can get the rest done too. Set a goal for your why, then keep working it until you accomplish it! Uncovering your saw would be a nice bonus I’d bet! haha

      Summer certainly helps. But know what? I did mine in the dead of winter and managed. It takes more shuffling, but still not impossible. I wanted my truck warm after all. LOL

  4. I love how you condensed all your precious junk! Last summer my husband announced he was going to get someone to pressure wash our garage–yikes! It’s full of future makeovers and stuff. I had to get busy finishing furniture makeovers, and even opened another booth to sell the stuff in. Finally, I finished cleaning the garage out and after the pressure washing, it was beautiful! Now, 9 months later….sad news. I have filled it back up! But it took me 9 months to get there. I know your garage will stay cleaned out and be ready next winter for your new truck to live in! Great post!

  5. Where there’s a will there’s a way! You have certainly proven that Donna! I can’t wait to see the final reveal.
    Way to go!

  6. Inspirational. I don’t need to keep my car in my shed, but it is full of tools and garden equipment and no matter how many times I clean and tidy, it always ends up an utter mess again after a hard day’s work, too tired to put everything away. I am going to see if I can steal some of your ideas for organisation to help me keep things tidy. I find having something nice to look at, motivates me to keep it that way. Look forward to your next update.

    • Awesome Shelley! I actually have more room than I EVER have thanks to the vehicle space. I’m rather shocked it’s working as well as it does! Yep, need to finish up this series! On it!

  7. Wowza, that was a lot of work. I dread cleaning out our garage one day. The cars still fit, but only just 😀

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