Storage & Organization
50 Genius Ways to Clean Up Your Garage
Cleaning up your garage doesn’t have to be a huge chore.
Wire shelving in the garage
Fishing Rod Organizer
Drill 1-in. holes spaced every 4 in. in the PVC pipe. Use a utility knife to cut slits in the foam noodle, spacing them 4 in. apart. Line up the pool noodle on the wall so that at least two of the slits sit over studs. Pull those slits apart, slide in a fender washer, and screw the noodle to the wall with 2-in. screws. Then screw the PVC pipe to the wall beneath it at a comfortable height and insert your fishing rods. Look Ma, no more tangles!
Want some more garage organization ideas? Check out 27 Easy Ways to Organize Your Garage
Stack Bins the Easy Way
Plastic storage bins are a great way to separate and organize your equipment by sport or season. Unfortunately, they usually get stacked against a wall somewhere, which makes getting to the bottom bins difficult, especially for your household’s littlest teammates. Luckily, a permanent solution is only a weekend away with our easy-to-build storage towers that are an attractive and ingenious way to provide easy access to your bins. Consider different color bins for each sport to make finding what you need a breeze, and utilize the sides of the wooden frame for wall-mounted accessory items such as fishing rod holders or utility hooks for lightweight equipment.
Car care products cabinet
Store More on Walls
If you mount hooks, brackets and other hardware only on studs, you’re wasting lots of opportunities. The best strategy is to add a layer of 3/4-in. 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 plywood and inexpensive hardware.
Canvas Storage Bags Protect Decorations
Garage ceiling track storage
For more ways to use your garage ceiling for storage, check out these 14 products for garage ideas.
Flexible Garage Storage Wall
This storage system solves two challenges: first, how to design storage space for the narrow alley between the garage side wall and your car; and second, how to create a solid mounting surface to hold shelves and hooks that are capable of carrying hundreds of pounds of stuff.
The solution is to create a framework of horizontal wood strips and inexpensive shelf standards. It can hold almost any arrangement of shelving and hooks, at any point on the wall, and it’s easy to rearrange.
Add Garage Cabinets
Garage Corner Shelves
Overhead Storage in the Garage
Garage Storage Tubes
Garage-Wall Tool Holder
Monkey Bars Wall Unit
When you need storage above your wall unit, Monkey Bars has the solution. Engineered of steel for durability, the system offers custom solutions to get tools and materials off the garage floor and out of your way—but still within reach. You can modify the hook-and-bar system to fit changing storage needs in the future.
Image courtesy of Monkey Bars
Long-Handled Tool Rack
This compact rack is strong and simple to build. You can store shovels, rakes, a sledgehammer—any long-handled tools—conveniently up and out of the way. The unit holds up to 14 items, giving you more flexibility and storage capacity than nails pounded in the wall. See how to build it.
Gladiator GearTrack wall storage offers flexibility: You can mount the horizontal track, then choose suitable hangers and slide them where needed. See how to build your own flexible garage wall storage system.
Image courtesy of Gladiator
Storing large, awkward items such as wheelbarrows can be challenging. Gladiator’s GearWall makes it simple to peg a wheelbarrow safely and securely to the wall.
Image courtesy of Gladiator
Gladiator Heavy-Duty Rack
Talk about heavy duty, this Gladiator shelving unit is made of welded steel and holds up to 2,000 lbs. per shelf. It’s available in various widths: 48-inch, 60-inch and 77-inch (shown).
Image courtesy of Gladiator
Build a Customizable System
Corral sports gear
This sturdy ball corral holds a herd of balls and lets kids easily grab the balls at the bottom without unloading all the ones on top. It’s built from 3/4-in. plywood and 2x2s. We made our ball corral 24 in. wide x 33 in. high x 12 in. deep.
The hooks on Bungee cords can be a safety hazard for kids and adults alike. So cut the hooks off the cords (or use elastic cord available at camping, sporting goods and hardware stores). Thread the cord through predrilled holes and secure with knots. Drill the holes slightly larger than the cords to make threading them easier.
We added plumbing hooks and short gutter troughs on the outside of the corral to make it easy for kids to stash smaller balls, helmets and mitts.
Looking for ways to store bikes? Check out eight products that can help.
Throw and go
Shelves and cabinets are great, but when you’re in a hurry (and kids always are), it’s nice to just throw and go. Find complete instructions, including diagrams for cutting the wood, here.
Recycling bin rack
Space-Saving Sliding Shelves
Double-Duty Shelf Brackets
Store Lawn Chairs
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. Get more ideas for garage storage.
Don’t Waste the High Space
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. Deep shelving or cabinets near the ceiling can hold a ton of seasonal stuff like holiday decorations or camping gear.
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. Then we added a slick feature: heavy-duty shelf brackets that make it the Swiss army knife of workbenches.
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.
Add Outdoor Storage
Sometimes the best cure for garage chaos is to add storage space elsewhere. A small locker that holds garden gear, for example, provides big relief to a crowded garage Find step-by-step directions for building an outdoor storage cabinet.
Here’s a slick use for that old wooden tennis racquet that’s gathering dust in the garage. Drill a hole in the handle and screw it to the underside of a workbench. Position the racquet so it can swing in and out from under the table. Use it to hold tools, parts or other small items. Do you enjoy finding unusual uses for everyday things? Here’s a collection of DIY home hacks you’ll love.
Pretty and Practical Box Shelves
These simple box shelves work equally well in a formal setting and a utilitarian room, like the laundry or garage. They offer an unlimited number of uses and arrangements. Hang some above the washer and dryer to store detergent, dryer sheets, and other laundry room necessities without taking up any valuable floor space.
Add A Hook
Try Attic-Decking Panels
Pull Power, Light and Compressed Air From Your Ceiling
The base unit plugs into a nearby receptacle and houses an air compressor capable of putting out 100 psi (great for bike tires). Pop two MR16 halogen bulbs into the ceiling unit to get 100 watts of area lighting in addition to the LED work light on the retractable hose. Find the Garage Power Station at home centers and online.
Efficient Bike Storage
This system also makes it easier to take down the bikes when they’re hanging over a parked car, a boat or a big mess like in my garage. That’s because you can pull or push the bikes clear of the obstruction before you lower it. I’ve been using mine for almost a year now, and I love it. You can buy a Saris Cycle Glide for $245 at bike stores or online.
If this style isn’t to your liking check out other bike storage ideas.
Jeff Gorton, Associate Editor
For the Cyclist: Hoist Your Bike Out of the Way
When it comes to garages, there’s no such thing as enough space. One product we find useful to free up some floor space is a bicycle hoist. It’s easy to install and very easy to use. When shopping for a hoist, beware of models that have undersized ropes. They can slip off the pulley wheels and jam. Look for one with a good, hefty rope.
When it comes to bin I.D. tags, we like adhesive storage pouches that let you slip index cards in and out easily. You can find these at office supply stores or online retailers.
Find out another reason why three-ring binders come in handy around the house.
Most home centers carry only hardboard pegboard, but you’ll find other materials by searching online for ‘metal pegboard’ or ‘plastic pegboard.’
- Metal pegboard has 1/4-in. holes and L-shape edge flanges that create built-in standoffs. The panel sizes are normally in 16-in. and 24-in. increments. Metal pegboard has a cool industrial look and is darn near indestructible.
- Metal pegboard strips are ideal for situations where you need a single, sturdy strip of pegboard—like in the garage for hanging long-handled tools. The strips have 1/4-in. holes and built-in edge flanges for standoffs, and they’re outrageously sturdy.
- Plastic pegboard has 1/4-in. holes, folded edges to create standoffs and center ribs for rigidity. Many systems come with slide-in connectors for joining panels. It’s at least as sturdy as hardboard pegboard.
Create pegboard walls by running 1×3 strips horizontally at the top and bottom of the panel and every 16 in. or 24 in. between. Use 1/4-in. pegboard and attach it to the strips with washer-head screws. The strips will also allow you to mount screw-on hooks to the wall for very heavy items like bikes and wheelbarrows.
Joist Space Storage
Extension Ladder Storage
An extension ladder is 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 when it just gets in the way of everything else in your garage. Here’s a good solution: 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 garage door.
If you have kids, you have balls—basketballs, soccer balls, rubber balls and other round objects that roll around underfoot. Here’s a perfect way to use that narrow gap between a pair of garage doors (if you’re blessed with such an awkward spot). Just install angled “ball ramps” made from scrap wood. The balls fit neatly in the gap, and because the ball ramp is right there at the edge of the garage, kids are more likely to use it.
Here’s a slick way to store a whole cluster of tools on pegboard with only two pegs. Cut some 2-1/2 in. wide mini shelves; drill holes or slots for router bits, screwdrivers, chisels and files; then drill a couple of 1/8-in. holes in the edges for the 1/8-in. diameter pegs. With a vise and pliers, bend the pegs to about 85 degrees and hammer them into the holes. Be sure the pegs fit tightly in the wood so the shelves can’t fall off.