DIY Garage Storage Hacks and Tips

Updated: Jan. 23, 2024

Is your garage stuffed to the gills with stuff? You're not alone. Nearly everyone's garage can use some organizing and we've got some simple and clever tips to help you do it!

garage storage tipsFamily Handyman
If you've got a lot of stuff lying around your garage, then you're probably knocking over bikes and tripping over building materials more than you'd like. Check out this collection of clever, simple, low-cost garage storage tips that will instantly get your bikes, tools, construction materials and lawn equipment off the floor and out from under foot.

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Lattice rack

Use plastic lattice for long materials

Plastic lattice works well for storing long lengths of miscellaneous pipe, trim, flashing and conduit. Just cut matching pieces, then screw 2×4 cleats to the ceiling and screw the lattice to the wall studs and cleats. Now you can quickly find those oddball leftovers instead of going to the hardware store and buying yet another piece.

Easy garage chair storage

Build scrap wood brackets

Here’s how to store your lawn and folding chairs so they’re out of your way. Take two pieces of 1×4 lumber (any scrap lumber will do) and create some simple, cheap and useful brackets on the wall. Cut each board 7-3/4 in. long with a 30-degree angle on both ends. Fasten pairs of these brackets with three 2-in. screws to the side of the exposed wall studs, directly across from each other, and you’ve got a perfect place to hang your chairs.

Cord organizer

Stretch cords around PVC pipe

Elastic cords can quickly become a tangled mess. Find the one you need at a glance with this handy rack made from 3- or 4-in. PVC pipe. Just drill 1/2-in.- diameter holes in the pipe to match the slightly stretched lengths of your cords. Keep it in your garage, trunk or shop, out of the reach of children.

Editor’s Tip: PVC is affordable and versatile for home plumbing, but some health advocates warn against it. Here’s to know whether PVC pipes are safe or not.

Cord and hose hooks

Make garage hangers from ABS plastic pipe

Hanging electrical cords and hoses on thin hooks or nails can cause kinks and damage the sheathing and wires. Use pieces of 3-in. ABS plastic plumbing pipe to make simple, inexpensive garage hangers.

Construct garage hangers from end caps and pipe

Screw 3-in. end caps to a 2×6 with two 1-5/8-in. screws. Fender washers under the screw heads keep them from pulling through the plastic. Then cement on 8-in. lengths of end-capped pipe. These “hooks” are very strong!

Bike racks

Build a moveable rack

Build this moveable bike rack from a 2×4 and a pair of bicycle hooks. Cut four 3-1/2-in. blocks, stack two on top of each other, and screw them together. Now screw them on the end of a 4-ft. 2×4 and repeat the process for the other side. Drill a hole in the middle of the stacked blocks and screw in the bicycle hooks. Lay the rack across your garage ceiling joists, and hang your bike from the hooks. When you need to get behind the bike, simply slide the entire rack out of the way.

Use closet pole and shelf brackets

Closet pole and shelf brackets can also keep your bikes up and out of the way of car doors and bumpers. Just screw the brackets to the wall studs. Line the pole carriage with self-stick hook-and-loop strips so it won’t scratch your bike frame.

Garage organizer

Nail hose pieces to the wall

Cut an old hose into 7-in. pieces, slit them, and nail them to the wall to make good holders for handled tools in the garage.

Double-duty shelf brackets

Store equipment on closet rod brackets

Shelf brackets designed to support clothes hanger rods aren’t just for closets. The rod-holding hook on these brackets comes in handy in the garage and workshop too. You can bend the hook to suit long tools or cords. Closet brackets cost about $3 each at home centers and hardware stores.

Easy storage rack

Attach galvanized pipe sections to the studs

Use this storage rack for lumber and other long stuff. Simply drill a line of 3/4-in. holes about 1-1/2 in. deep in adjacent studs, angling the holes slightly downward. Then insert 15-in.-long sections of 1/2-in.-galvanized pipe. Keep the lowest pipes at least 6 ft. above the floor so you won’t crack your skull on them.

Overhead storage

Construct a PVC pipe rack

Stow bulky items overhead by cementing together a simple rack from 2-in. PVC pipes and fittings. Bolt the straight pipe to the ceiling joists to support heavy loads, and screw the angled pieces from the “wye” connectors into the cross brace to stabilize the whole rack. The PVC’s smooth surface makes for easy loading and unloading. Check out 56 more brilliant PVC hacks if you like playing around with PVC.

Yard tool organizer

Build a wooden yard tool hanger

Create a simple long-handled tool hanger out of two 1x4s. On the first one, drill a series of 2-in. holes along the edge of the board. The trick is to center each hole about 1 in. from the edge. That leaves a 1- 1/2-in. slot in the front that you can slip the handles through. Space the holes to accommodate whatever it is you’re hanging. Screw that board to another 1×4 for the back and add 45-degree brackets to keep it from sagging.

Heavyweight cord and tool hanger

Build a rugged metal pipe

Store a load of cords, air hoses, ropes and tools on this rugged rack. To build one, you’ll need:

  • One 3- or 4-ft. x 1/2-in. iron pipe threaded on both ends
  • Two 3-in. x 1/2-in. pipe nipples
  • Two 1/2-in. 90-degree pipe fittings
  • Two 1/2-in. floor flanges
  • Several 3-in. S-hooks
  • Cable Clamps ($25 for a 13-pack of medium-size clamps at home centers;; 727-528-1000). Or you can just use leftover strips of plastic-sheathed electrical cable.

Assemble the parts and hang S-hooks

Assemble the pipe, elbows, nipples and floor flanges, then screw through the flanges to a horizontal 2×4 set at shoulder height on a garage or shop wall. Attach your S-hooks. If yours don’t fit, clamp the hooks in a vise and bend open one end just enough to fit on the pipe after assembly. Now snap Cable Clamps on all your coils and hang them from the S-hooks.