31 Garage Storage Ideas To Keep Your Space Organized


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Jan 03, 2024

31 Garage Storage Ideas To Keep Your Space Organized

By Michelle Mastro When garages become catchalls for everything from garden

By Michelle Mastro

When garages become catchalls for everything from garden supplies to holiday decorations, what are the best garage storage ideas that’ll organize this most daunting of home spaces?

To settle this quandary and more, we chatted with experts to uncover the preeminent garage organization tips that will aid you in optimizing every inch of the garage. This includes thinking vertically and adding hooks to dangle gear on wall space or finding ways to pop in clever items, like storage benches, that double as organizational features and help eliminate dust buildup.

You can even add in cabinets to literally elevate your garage organization. Lindsey Dyer, senior designer at Trim Tech Designs, custom cabinetry makers in Naperville, Illinois, points out that carefully crafted cabinets in the garage instantly enhance the amount of space, along with being nice eye candy. "While cabinet design may look like a bunch of pretty rectangles, there was a lot of math and project management that went into maximizing every square inch perfectly," she says. In a recent project, her team ensured that tall cabinets had rods to hang coats, while lockers held shelves and hooks inside for sports equipment.

With these garage storage ideas, you can learn to make the most of your garage. Change up the shelving unit into a space for all your household tools and supplies. Or discover how to make room for all your bike storage, motorcycles, and electric car accessories, transforming the empty floor space of your garage into a nifty showroom. Below are the 31 best garage storage ideas (plus product tips) to get you started on your garage transformation along with some advice on how to approach organizing your garage space.

When it comes to the best garage storage ideas, the point is to get as many items off the ground as possible, says New York–based professional organizer Ashley La Fond and founder of the home-organizing company Of Space + Mind. "Using vertical space is one of the best tips for organization," she says, "particularly in a garage where ceilings are generally high." You’ll want to utilize wall space when you can and keep the floor as open as possible to reduce all the visual noise a garage can often yield. "Add hooks, shelves, or even a full wall organization system to get items higher up and off the floor, protecting them from dirt, dust, and moisture."

Though it is typically cheaper to buy garage shelves than it is to build them, adding custom shelves can have the added benefit of augmenting them with custom cabinetry. For a recent Trim Tech Designs project, Dyer provided the custom cabinetry, cabinet hardware, brass toe kicks, ladder/ladder rail system, and custom-built the hat racks. All of which is just the beginning in terms of bespoke details.

"Customers could add inserts to hold things like golf bags or even a ball dispenser," she says. Rollout trays can be used in lieu of shelves and, if using laminate, you’d have 100 different hues to pick from. "Historically, wood has been the material used for garages. However, in this garage, we opted for laminate," she says. "Laminate will not expand or contract like natural wood and will maintain a seamless design no matter what the season brings."

Organize a two-car garage by getting everything out of the way and opening up more floor space. "The key to being able to park both cars in the garage and still have room for storage is to get things off the floor and use your walls and overhead space for storage," La Fond says. "But if you’re really pressed for space or need more storage, add a shed outside the garage for bulky equipment, sports gear, or gardening tools to keep your garage clear for cars."

The first step for organizing a garage is to eliminate surplus objects you’re no longer using. Donate or recycle these, and then clean out any obvious dust and dirt. After that, move items that complement each other to the same side of the garage, keeping all the garden supplies together, for example. "It's all about creating spaces and designated zones," says Danielle Dorn, creative director at mDesign in New York.

"Next, measure out your space and identify what your overall needs are," she says. This will help you determine what furniture you can add, like lockers, storage racks, tool storage, and shelves to help with your garage organization. Dorn recently made room in her garage for a mudroom type of space next to the garage door. "This way, everyone can drop their stuff in an organized fashion before entering the house." As a final fifth step, add in the furniture and other organizational devices that work for your space. Now that you’ve got the gist of it, here are 31 helpful organizing tips for your garage.

Don't stop with just wall shelving: You can use your garage ceiling to store items you don't often need.

Mounted overhead racks are another great solution to get items off the ground, La Fond says. "They are perfect for storing plastic totes and seasonal items you’re not using often. They come in a variety of sizes to fit any space—you can even get corner racks if your overhead space is limited!" Just think, this could be the best place to hide all those holiday decorations.

Place similar items inside simple bins that can be lined up against a wall, getting objects off of the floor and adding height to your garage space. These steel frame bins are great for holding heftier items. Or choose these color-coordinated bins to help organize by exact item type.

Even lackluster drywall can work for organization. "This Gladiator GearTrack Pack can be placed on any wall in the garage, whether it be poured concrete or wall studs in drywall," says Blake Bancroft, Gladiator e-commerce manager in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Place it in a convenient visible spot, so you can utilize the product and easily put everything back. It can hold 225 pounds of evenly distributed weight. "We’ve seen hoses, watering cans, rakes, and heavy-duty shovels stored on this product without issue," he says.

Look up (like, way up) to store miscellaneous products like paint cans or power tools, "stuff that you want easy access to but don't need every day," Bancroft says. Or place your shelf above your workspace area, if you want an overhead storage space reserved for all your crafts and DIY projects. Use a stepladder to reach items.

Hooks don't have to be hideous. Find a style that works for you, so your storage isn't an eyesore.

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For La Fond, the Elfa track system is one of her favorite affordable systems for garage organization. "The track mounts to the wall and has specialized hooks and baskets which clip into store anything from bikes to balls, tools, brooms, and cords," she says.

Made from heavy-duty steel, these hooks can hold up to 265 pounds. Use them to hold extra party chairs or garden supplies in areas where shelves won't work.

7. Install a vertical organizing system

Slatwall panels offer easy and customizable wall storage solutions.

"A slatwall solution is another great way to get things up off the floor," La Fond says. "Slatwall panels are mounted directly to garage walls, turning every inch into an opportunity for storage." After the panels are installed, you can then add hooks, cabinets, baskets, and shelves to enhance the storage possibilities for garage organization from everything like mops to bound extension cords.

When out of season, patio cushions can be stored in storage bags for safekeeping until next spring and summer.

Wire shelving helps you see what is where—especially if you label your bins and boxes.

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Insert some industrial wire shelving units to stock full of garden tools or unwieldy seasonal items like holiday decor. With added wire shelving like these, you can pick your desired height, width, depth, and number of shelves, La Fond says. Try to fit in the maximum amount of storage space. "We then add accessories like S-hooks and bins, to create a system for storage that protects items while still keeping them accessible," she says.

Fill every cabinet drawer with dividers to make extra room as a tool organizer for handhelds like hammers and other small items.

Add in a bench for changing into and out of your garden boots. You can place the bench wherever is most convenient for you. "However, we recommend placing it near a door to keep any mud or dirt in a confined area," Bancroft says. "We most often see this bench used for shoes, but it could absolutely be used for other miscellaneous items like storing cleaning supplies or sporting gear."

Whenever possible, pick items that can multitask. This bike rack from mDesign is the perfect fit to keep all bikes out of the way, with room for helmets and accessories on the shelf.

For those with garages on the smaller side, as La Fond says, "the key is to get things off the ground;" bikes and helmets can be added to this small bike rack.

In addition to working as a seat, this bench organizer from mDesign has pegs for scarves, purses, dog leashes, hats, and more.

Secure a shelf over the garage door to hide away lightweight seasonal you might not always need. Vertical one-off spots like this area above the garage door make for neat hideaways for seasonal items, like inflatable pools and large plastic planters used to grow tomatoes, that you can't always fit on wall shelving units.

Make your belongings effortlessly stackable with large containers. La Fond suggests labeling them to make them a cinch to identify.

Some homes have a washer and dryer in the garage. In cases like these, a storage cart with wheels makes storing the detergent, bleach, and other easy and transportable from the house to the garage.

A mounted storage cabinet keeps cumbersome items tucked away and off the floor. "While snow blowers are big and bulky if you have the space in the garage," La Fond says, "they are best stored here to keep them protected and dry."

A locker or locker-like cabinet is a fun visual alternative to standard shelving.

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As you would in a mudroom, if you have the space for it, add lockers that are able to be closed. This will protect kids’ spare raincoats and other outdoorsy items from too much moisture and humidity.

Place all sports equipment together. "With kids, you can accumulate so many things, but this sports equipment storage is so useful to organize all of my families’ bulky outdoor toys and sporting items that otherwise take up so much space," Dorn says. "There's a place for everything, and it sits cleanly against the wall—the best part is that it is on wheels, so I can wheel it out to the backyard for easy playtime."

If folks use basketballs and soccer balls frequently, you don't want any chance of these items rolling away, so pack them into a mesh storage bag. The bag sits nicely attached to the wall and, since it's see-through, anyone can see the exact item they want to grab.

Moveable hooks allow a space to adapt to how you use it.

Do you have the sort of situation where your handheld and power tools, like a preferred hammer, are constantly being switched out for a different item? Acting as a tool rack, this pegboard has hooks that move around and can be placed where they best accommodate the different sizes and arrangements your tools take on that day.

This trunk with wheels can be moved depending on needs; plus, with all its ample room, it can be filled with loads of extra clothes and necessities for the home, like paper towels and toilet paper rolls, until they are needed inside the house.

Fishing enthusiasts, coin collectors, and sewing or knitting needle experts will want to store smaller items like those in their collections in smaller storage bins. This storage cabinet is just the right size for nails, fishing hooks, screwdrivers, and more odds and ends.

Dorn says she also swears by the larger plastic bins to organize the cleaning products she keeps on shelves in the garage and smaller plastic containers for tools. "It makes it so much easier to see everything with the plastic bins when I’m looking for something," she says. With these bins, you can grab needed supplies and go, or, because the bins are wall-mounted, as they slide easily in place onto the walls, you can grab the bins themselves and use them as freestanding containers.

"If you have the space on your property, we generally recommend moving mowers and other large equipment to a shed to keep your garage open," La Fond says, "especially if you have a lot of specialized equipment." Thus, transfer weed whackers, lawn tractors, and wheelbarrows to the shed outside.

The milk crate is a classic for a reason.

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Possessions that don't need as much protection from the elements (or ones you use more often) can work well in open milk crates. These square containers are large enough for most items, and the containers themselves can be stacked into quasi shelves.

With a mobile workstation, you can reposition it to fit your needs. According to Bancroft, "We see it used alongside a workbench or desk as a quick and mobile option for projects. But we’ve also seen it used to assist with hosting for carting around snacks or drinks or even as a mobile bar cart."

When in doubt, add more countertops with a workbench. Smaller crates and bins can be housed below the bench to one side, while smaller handheld tools can rest ready and waiting on the countertop.

Magnet strips can host the odd hand tool, creating a vertical workstation or wall storage option.

Heading out the door? The best place for the final touch to your daily gear might be a baseball cap or gardener's hat. A vertical hat rack works great behind the garage door.

How can I maximize my garage space? Is it cheaper to buy or build garage shelves? How do I organize my two-car garage? What are steps I can take to organize a garage? Turn the ceiling into bonus storage space Line bins against the wall Use your garage's drywall Top it all off with a high shelf Add hooks for easy access Or look to heavy-duty hooks Install a vertical organizing system Protect patio cushions Choose open industrial shelves Organize the drawers with dividers Pick storage with a dual purpose Opt for a bike rack with a shelf Or affix bikes to the wall Consider your clothes Store above the door Remember to choose stackable bins and containers Organize the cleaning supplies Stash away garden supplies in a cabinet Find lockers for kids’ gear Gather the sporting equipment in one place Bag all the balls Mix it up with changing hooks Choose storage with wheels Find the right storage cabinet for small accessories Make it grab and go Relocate the lawn mower to the shed Call in traditional crates Make a portable workspace Enlarge the surface area Arrange tools upright Pop in a hat rack