Mags: being much older than you, and a homeowner for decades, and having bought our latest -- and last -- house six years ago, I offer the following for your consideration. These are my suggestions for usefulness and cost-effectiveness for the garage:
1) This workbench from Sam's:
Seville Classics Ultra HD Workbench - Sam's Club
This is a really solid mofo, with a solid, thick (c. 1.85") top (maple?), 6' long, with leveling feet. My local Sam's has had these for a few years, at $200.
Nice as those toolchest wood tops are, it's often really convenient to be able to have your feet somewhat underneath the work surface. Also, as you can see in my pic, you can store some other stuff under there. And I have a big ol' vise mounted on the right end, with bolts drilled through the top.
2) The NewAge ceiling racks, if you have a tall ceiling in the garage:
NewAge Pro Shelving and Ceiling Storage Racks
You can get these at Home Depot: NewAge Products Performance 96 in. L x 48 in. W x 45 in. H Adjustable VersaRac Ceiling Storage Rack in Gray-40151 - The Home Depot
. They were on sale last fall -- I was paying attention, because a neighbor was interested, after seeing mine -- for around $125, and you can get free shipping if you pick them up at a store. I have two of them.
(If you're interested in some garage ceiling ideas, this is an interesting page: Designing for an Organized Garage, Part 1: Using the Ceiling - Core77
3) As you can see in the ceiling-rack pic, I have two pull-down cord reels, one with a light and one with just a triple tap.
No particular brand recommendations here, just that ceiling-mounted extension cords are really freakin handy, and you don't trip over them.
4) LED ceiling lights.
Most garages have a couple of those ceramic bases, where you screw in one bulb. I replaced those in our old house with florescent fixtures, but they're a pain in the ass, with ballasts, starters, and the bulbs get weird in cold weather.
In the new house, I have two of these Cree light fixtures:
Cree 40 in. LED Linear Light Fixture-RL40-40L-35K - The Home Depot
The RL40 and the SL40 are the exact same thing -- I wrote to Cree about this -- with the RL just being the designation for Home Depot. See, e.g.,
. The other 40 is the length.)
This model looks like it's discontinued these days, so you may have to choose some other model and brand. BTW, I paid c. $100 for each of mine, one on sale on eBay and one on sale from Home Depot.
In any case, each unit consumes 55W, and puts out much more light than a single screw-in bulb (even big LED ones, which I had for a couple of years here). So my point is that upgraded lighting is very useful in the garage.
I'm done here.
Okay, I'm not
done yet. A few I forgot:
5) Chrome shelving:
I've purchased these at Sam's over the years: http://www.samsclub.com/sams/sandusk...prod6710488.ip
The same thing is available at Lowes, except the wheels are extra there: http://www.lowes.com/pd_71034-80752-...ductId=3473479
I now have seven(!) of these, four in the garage and three in the basement (for extra dishes and other kitchen stuff, canned food, etc.).
You can actually get a better idea of the garage in this video I made for the bike flasher unit (from my page http://www.billanddot.com/customled-...t-flasher.html
). Just ignore the bike:
6) A chock. In my case, I use a Wheeldock: http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...eldock-review/
I assert that this is relevant to this topic because you'd be surprised at how much bigger a garage seems if the bike is straight up, as opposed to leaned over on the sidestand. Taking the bike outside, when doing work, is not an option in the winter where I live.
Now maybe I'm done.