When you’re busy organizing your house, sometimes the last place you get to is your garage. Yet an orderly garage or storage space is an important foundation to having a well-organized home — from finding tools easily to being able to store more stuff! Don’t let things pile up and take over precious parking space — invest in some organization essentials instead.
Whether you’re looking for a shelving unit, hanging rack, or storage containers, there are plenty of options to organize your garage or storage container. These three simple steps – plus our proven garage storage ideas – will save you space, time, and money that you might waste buying new tools and supplies that you already have but just can’t find!
1. Organize with Storage Containers & Bins
Plastic storage bins offer a great option for bringing much-needed organization to the vast array of stuff that you need to keep handy in your garage. First, take stock of the types of items you need to store and group them by category, like garden supplies, cleaning supplies, home improvement tools, and sporting equipment. Once you have an idea of what you’re working with, you can decide which type of plastic containers are best and how many you need.
Opt for lightweight plastic bins if you’re looking for an affordable option that’s easy to move around or stack vertically. Clear bins are great for items you want to see, while opaque bins can hide any unsightly clutter and protect items from fading caused by exposure to sunlight. If you need to store heavy items in a box together, consider investing in heavy-duty storage containers — they’re made with thick plastic and sturdy latches to better support extra weight. Some styles also come with wheels on the bottom for easy transport. If you have a lot of tools, nails, or knickknacks, keep it all organized with a sectioned container that’s built for storing small items. Lastly, don’t forget to label your plastic storage bins so you can find what you need at a glance.
2. Go vertical to maximize garage storage
Whether you have a sprawling three-car garage or a small storage container, maximizing space is always crucial. If you own your home and you’re handy, wall-mounted racks and shelving make versatile space-saving solutions. If you’re renting your home, using a storage container, or just have trouble finding wall studs for mounting, you can still save space and avoid clutter with freestanding options for both shelving and rack systems. Before you purchase anything, plan your space based on what you need to store. For most garage and storage spaces, a mix of shelves and organizing hooks or racks makes the most sense. You don’t want to fill up every wall with shelves and then have no place to put your long-handled cleaning and yard tools!
Choose sturdy garage shelving
For shelving, whether you’re going to use wall-mounted systems or freestanding units, think through the depth and height. While deeper shelves will hold more, they can be problematic in a garage if you’re tight on parking space. Items placed on high shelves can also get in the way of your garage door opening. If you do opt for deep shelves, using plastic storage containers is even more important for organization and access. The more shelf space you have, the easier it is to collect clutter and the harder it is to find what you need, unless you use bins. If you’re looking for wall-mounted shelving, ALGOT systems from IKEA get rave reviews. For more budget-minded shelving, SafeRacks are tough enough to do the job. If you need freestanding shelving units, metal racks usually offer adjustable shelves for added flexibility, but plastic or resin shelving units (though less adjustable) tend to be less expensive.
Use wall racks and freestanding organizers
Sturdy wall racks and hooks free up floor space while increasing visibility and access for everything from cleaning and yard tools to sports gear. For bikes, the Steadyrack is designed so you can roll your bike in and out – no lifting required. If you just want some strong bike hooks and simple wall-hanging racks, Amazon has a wide selection of affordable options from under $25 for a single-bike mount to $40 to $60 for mounting multiple bikes. For freestanding options, we love this yard tool organizer from Home Depot and these bike and sport rack ideas from Wayfair.
3. Add Ceiling Storage
Adding storage to your ceiling is one of the best ways to create space, which can be a must-do if you have a single-car garage or lots of gear to store. Here are some of our favorite garage storage ideas for using ceiling space:
- Hang your bikes from the ceiling with this Gladiator bike hook or choose a bicycle hoist system.
- Store your kayak or paddle board with ceiling racks from StoreYourBoard.
- Keep ladders up and out of the way with a ceiling ladder lift.
- Stash coolers, seasonal items like boxes of holiday décor, and camping gear in overhead storage racks.
Prevent your garage space from becoming a catch-all for yard equipment, paint cans, and recreational items with the right storage solutions. Once you find the right essentials for your space, whether it’s installing shelving or adding plastic bins, you’ll have a more organized, streamlined garage. Still don’t have enough space? Store extra stuff in a portable storage container that you can keep on-site like an extra garage, or load it up and have it taken to an indoor storage facility.