16 Clever Space Saving Ideas for Your Garage

Updated: May 23, 2024

Your garage is a warehouse, a toy shop, a workshop, and maybe even your favorite place to hang out. This collection of great space saving tips will help you maximize your garage space.

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Family Handyman

Build a Compact Folding Workbench with Storage

Here’s a workspace that’s huge and accessible from all sides yet folds up and stows away easily. If you don’t have room for a full-size permanent workbench but really need space to spread things out, this workbench is it. It opens to a solid 4 ft. x 7 ft. surface with both wings up yet closes and rolls into a small 4 ft. x 18 in. spot in a corner of the room. It’s a perfect workspace for the garage or basement.

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garage space-saving tips
Family Handyman

Store More on Walls

If you mount hooks, brackets and other hardware only on studs, you’re wasting lots of opportunities for garage wall ideas. The best strategy is to add a layer of three-quarter inch plywood over the drywall or bare studs. That gives you a continuous fastening surface so you can mount storage hardware easily, arrange items in a space-efficient way and cram more stuff onto the wall. See how we doubled the storage capacity of this wall with just plywood and inexpensive hardware.

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Family Handyman

Don’t Waste the High Space

If all the stuff in your garage is within easy reach, you’re probably wasting lots of garage storage space. The high spaces may not be prime real estate for often-used tools, but they’re perfect for long-term storage. Deep shelving or cabinets near the ceiling can hold a ton of seasonal stuff like holiday decorations or camping gear.

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Family Handyman

Ceiling Storage Bonanza

If all the stuff in your garage is within easy reach, you’re probably wasting lots of storage space. The high spaces may not be prime real estate for often-used tools, but they’re perfect for long-term storage.

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Benchtop Organizer
Family Handyman

Easy-to-Build Bench-Top Organizer

A stack of plastic bins can organize thousands of small items. But it’s not so convenient when the bin you need is at the bottom of the stack. That’s the point of this cabinet: You can slide out any bin — no stacking and unstacking. You can easily build a cabinet identical to this one. Or you can customize it, using larger or smaller bins, more bins or fewer. Whatever configuration you choose, this project is a great clutter solution for the garage, workshop or craft room.

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Space-Saving Workbench

If your garage isn’t big enough for your car and a workbench, you could get a smaller car. Or you could build a fold-down workbench. This one sets up in seconds and eats up zero floor space when not in use. It makes for a perfect mechanic workbench in your garage!

The only things you’ll need are a 2×4, a pair of beefy hinges, a couple of threaded pipes and flanges, and a handful of screws. For a work surface we used a 30-in. solid-core door, but you can use other materials such as two layers of three-quarter inch plywood glued together. To set up the mechanic workbench, just screw the pipes into the flanges.

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Family Handyman

Roll-Around Workshop

If your garage does double duty as parking space and work space, a rolling workbench is essential. It lets you convert your garage into a workshop quickly and rolls up against the wall to restore parking space. The version shown here began as a standard rolling bench made from 2x4s and plywood.

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Family Handyman

Build Big Cabinets in Place

You don’t have to be a cabinetmaker to build big, sturdy cabinets, especially if you build them in place. All you have to do is screw 2x2s to the wall and ceiling and then screw plywood panels to the 2x2s to form the top, bottom and sides of cabinet boxes. This approach is simple, fast and economical; the materials cost about $250.

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Family Handyman

Wheelbarrow Hang-Up

Don’t waste floor space on your wheelbarrow — hang it on the wall! Special hardware is available at some home centers, but you can easily build it yourself. Substitute a scrap of 1×4, a pair of mending plates and screw hooks that act as latches. Then you can easily lock the wheelbarrow against the wall.

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Family Handyman

Add Outlets

Most electrical codes require only one outlet in the garage. And that’s just what most builders give you — one measly outlet for all your tools and toys. If you have open studs, you can easily run wire and add outlets as long as you follow a few basic rules.

If your walls are covered, you don’t need to cut into them to run wires. Instead you can mount metal or plastic wiring channels and outlet boxes right on the wall.

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Fold Up Workbench Lead

Build a Fold-Up Work Surface with Storage

Every good workshop, even if it’s just a sliver of your garage, needs a quality workbench with ample storage. Begin this space-saving starter workbench in the morning, and you’ll be using it to work on projects by the evening!

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Family Handyman

Add Outdoor Storage

Sometimes the best cure for garage chaos is to add storage space elsewhere. A small locker that holds garden gear provides big relief to a crowded garage.

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Keep Ladders Out of the Way

Hang ladders from the ceiling so they don’t hog prime storage space. The rollers on this carriage let you easily slide in one end of the ladder, then the other. The materials are all inexpensive. Fasten the corner braces to ceiling joists with two-inch lag screws. Secure the ladder with an elastic cord so it can’t roll out and fall.

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Family Handyman

Enlarge Your Garage

Whether you need more storage space or more work space, the ultimate solution for a too-small garage is an addition. In many cases you can knock out a section of garage wall. Install a header to support the weight of the roof and build a large “bump-out.” It’s easier than you might think to build a 5 ft. x 12 ft. bump-out without adding a full concrete foundation.

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FH08NOV_493_57_122 garage paint cabinet storage
Family Handyman

Get Ultra-Organized with Customizable Garage Cabinets

For smaller items and tools, cabinets can be custom-made. Customizable cabinets are the perfect solution for small painting supplies, glue and more. Want to upgrade your garage? Check out these clever garage paint ideas for your garage door, floor and walls.

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Store Bikes Up High

It can be difficult to store bikes out of the way while keeping them readily available. But you can hang them vertically to minimize the amount of space they take up while also keeping them accessible.