Ideas & Inspiration
Garage Storage Ideas
A good set of garage storage ideas is the first step in organizing a garage. Garages often need to store so many household items, your car risks being lost among the lawn care tools, recycling bins, automotive accessories, sports gear and general hardware. This guide offers garage organization ideas such as how to use and install shelving, cabinets and tracking systems to regain control of an overwhelmed garage.
The first and most important step to take in organizing a garage is to invest some time to clear out the space. Before choosing new garage storage systems or implementing other garage organization ideas, you need to be able to clearly see the entire space you’ll be working with.
Get some garbage bags and divide items between what needs to be thrown away, donated or saved. Then look at what was saved and consider if some items could be better stored elsewhere in the home. Not only will this get rid of unwanted junk and make the garage less crowded, it’ll free up space to make installation and future storage easier.
Many garage storage ideas include placing items in shelves and cabinets. This will expose more of the floor, so consider upgrading the garage flooring. Installing tile flooring or foam mats and strategically placing doormats around entryways can help you keep things neat and tidy.
Once the area is cleared out, make a plan for your garage organization ideas. Consider designating a workstation with a tool bench, a place for trash and recycling and other zones based on your needs. Drawing a diagram of your garage can help.
During this process, you may want to identify the locations of wall studs, outlets and other fixtures that will influence the ideal placement of storage systems, especially wall-mounted systems.
Garage shelves can be freestanding units, anchored to walls or attached to ceilings to maximize potential storage. Ceiling and wall shelving offer the advantage of freeing up floor space.
- Choose from shelving made from different materials such as steel, plastic or wood, depending upon the desired strength.
- Check the manufacturer's instructions for the weight limit of each shelving system.
- Shelving installation is relatively easy and involves installing anchors, brackets and horizontal shelving surfaces. Make sure the system is level.
- Corner shelving is designed to maximize space in otherwise awkward areas.
- Items stored via ceiling-mounted shelving systems can be reached with ladders, pulleys and hydraulic lifts.
Garage storage racks are frameworks often made of bars, wires or pegs and used in conjunction with horizontal shelving. They should be installed at heights that are safe and convenient to the household members who will use them the most.
- Configurations such as sturdy wire storage racks with adjustable shelves provide easy access for such frequently used items as garden tools, car supplies and sports gear. Storage racks offer inexpensive options that can be used with wall hooks, cabinets and other systems.
- Overhead storage racks attach to the ceiling to provide a safe, dry area for luggage, seasonal items, holiday decorations and other belongings you need only occasionally.
- Racks can be configured to hold bulkier items or for more general use.
- Bike racks designed to hold multiple bikes off the floor may be ideal for larger families.
- Racks designed to hold sports equipment can keep skis, bats, balls, cleats and more all in one spot.
Garage cabinets can offer increased safety, as models with locks can keep dangerous items such as chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Cabinets can also make a garage look less cluttered by storing items out of sight, and many have shelves and drawers that can be adjusted to fit their belongings.
- Freestanding cabinets do not require special installation, but do take up floor space.
- When storing items in cabinets, make sure they do not exceed the weight capacity.
- When placing cabinets, allow ample room for the doors to open fully.
- Add casters to freestanding cabinets to make them easier to move over flooring or to temporarily relocate them when needed.
- Anchor cabinets to walls as recommended to avoid tipping.
Pegboards are often overlooked when thinking about how to organize a garage. However, they are a generally inexpensive and versatile way to organize garage clutter. Pegboards feature pre-drilled holes designed to be strong enough to support most household hand tools and offer a way to store and vertically organize items in plain sight. The vertical storage systems also provide a splash of contrast color on your walls.
- When hanging pegboards on drywall, install 1-inch furring strips to provide room behind the board for the foot of the hooks.
- Once the pegboard is hung, attach storage accessories like hooks, tool holders and organizers.
- Most pegboards can be cut to size and are easy to install.
- One option with pegboards is to draw outlines of the tools when they're hanging, so you know where they belong after use.
If you like the benefits of a pegboard but need more room or desire to store larger tools, consider installing slatwall panels or a track system. Like pegboard, track systems offer vertical storage options that can be used with hooks (as well as shelving) and customized to your needs.
- Metal tracks or channels can usually be mounted on bare studs or drywall.
- Tracks often have a high weight capacity for hanging heavy, bulky or unusually shaped items such as shovels, hedge trimmers and other large tools.
Tool chests provide organizational space for tools, hardware, car supplies and other frequently used items.
- Tool chests frequently feature multiple drawers of different sizes, lockable drawers and wheels for portability. Larger tool chests contain shelving and provide work surfaces.
- Tool chests often include small containers for screws, drill bits and other easily misplaced items.
- Stack and store tools and supplies using a heavy-duty steel cabinet system.
- Look for drawer units that ride on ball-bearing glides.
- Tool chest materials include aluminum, steel, plastic and more. If you frequently use your storage units and are often in and out of your garage, you may want items with high durability.
Workbenches can provide a surface and storage space that’s particularly helpful for DIY projects.
- Some workbench designs include adjustable legs so you can sit or stand while working.
- Most units have open space beneath the work surface for placing tool chests or storage cabinets.
- Workbenches are frequently placed against a pegboard to keep tools in close reach.
Tip: A wall-mounted towel holder and soap dispenser will come in handy if you do a lot of work in a garage equipped with a sink.
Wall hooks are particularly helpful for hanging bicycles, other sports gear and awkwardly shaped items, like weed trimmers, off the ground, making use of wall space and freeing up the floor.
- Smaller hooks can be used for tools, keys, extension cords and more, while larger ones can support bicycles and other heavy equipment.
- Styles of hooks include cradle, scoop, tool, twin, utility and more, typically constructed from metal or plastic-coated metal.
- Coat hooks can be used for garden gloves, hats, pet leashes and more.
Storage bins and baskets can be crucial to keeping your supplies organized. More durable than cardboard boxes, plastic bins, baskets and tubs offer storage solutions for items that may gather in piles.
- Lids protect the bins from dust and moisture.
- Bins made of transparent plastic allow you to see what’s inside without opening the lid.
- Stackable units are designed to use space more efficiently.
- Square or rectangular bins can more easily fit on shelves or in corners than round ones.
- Clearly label bins so you can easily tell what they contain.