Sneak Peek: Ingenious Garage Storage Ideas

Check out these great space-saving tips!

OK, raise your hand if you “store” things on your garage floor or on shelves that are already too full of other stuff. Let’s all put our hands down now. I stood in my garage the other day, contemplating ladders, fishing rods, basketballs and a bunch of other important stuff that was lying around. I was wondering how to make room for two cars before the snow hits—and I know I’m not alone here. Lack of garage storage seems to be a universal condition, and certain items are harder to store than others (like the aforementioned ladders). I am not going to freak out, and you shouldn’t either. An article I’m working on for the February 2011 issue of The Family Handyman has the working title “Where the heck do I put this?” I’ve found 15 easy-to-execute ideas for storing challenging stuff. The cool thing is that none of the projects costs a lot in terms of time or money, but each offers a huge payback in terms of sanity. Here’s a sneak preview of what you’ll find in the article.

Fishing rods

Fishing Rod Rack

This is for all you fishing addicts out there. When the season ends and the gear comes out of the truck, where do you store your rods? You can buy a fancy storage rack or make one of your own.

But either way, you’re giving up precious wall space until spring. Here’s a quick solution: Screw short sections of wire shelving to your ceiling. If the handles don’t fit, just clip out some of the wire with bolt cutters. Your poles will be safely out of the way until your next fishing trip. My thanks to The Family Handyman reader Thomas Doty for this tip.

Extension ladder

An extension ladder has to be one of the most difficult things to store. When you need to use it, it has to be easy to get to. But there are long stretches where it just gets in the way of everything else in your garage. Here’s a good solution from The Family Handyman reader Art Lockett: Mount it on your garage ceiling on sturdy racks made of scrap 2x4s that are screwed into the ceiling joists. Use two 3-1/2-in. screws at each joint to make the rack secure. These racks make it easy to slide the ladder out when you need it. Just make sure to position the racks where they won’t interfere with your overhead garage door.

Extension Ladder Rack

Cool, huh? There are 13 more instant storage ideas coming in our February issue, so be sure to check it out!

For other garage storage ideas, check out these helpful articles on

Easy garage storage solutions

Garage storage ideas: Finding unused space

Elisa Bernick, Associate Editor