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.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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; cableclamp.com; 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.