Great garage storage ideas are essential to make the most of this space. Ladders, tools, bikes, sports gear, gardening supplies, lawnmowers, home gym equipment and more – along with your vehicles – can be stashed in the garage, with the right solutions in place.
But it’s not just a question of finding a home for all your items: they also need to be easy to locate and grab whether we’re talking outdoor power equipment, hand tools, or holiday decorations; making a range of appropriate storage options vital when optimizing your garage space.
Garage storage ideas that are cool and functional
While it can be made part of your home with a garage conversion, most of our garages are ideal places for storage. If yours is a place to keep a whole host of DIY equipment and outdoor stuff, along with the excess items from the house, you’ll find top storage ideas here, along with organization advice from the experts.
Before you begin, take time to assess what’s in the garage now. ‘Be sure it’s something you use or want to save for the future,’ advises Sarah Dunn of Get it Dunn (opens in new tab) professional organizing. ‘Be discerning when decluttering because it’s always easier to organize when you own less things.’
Left with what you really do need, you can use these garage storage ideas to create a place for everything.
1. Build a holds-everything garage storage wall
Get everything up off the floor with floor-to-ceiling shelving. Open garage storage systems (using moveable brackets on fixed runners) can store everything you need, and maximize every last inch of space. The Home Depot has some great garage shelving (opens in new tab) to shop.
This garage shelving system (above) from Elfa (opens in new tab) includes different types of storage for hanging, stacking and hiding things away. It also offers a pegboard-style wall panel to hold all manner of objects.
2. Line garage walls with tool racks
We've all seen the Chaplin-esque comedy sketches of people stepping on rakes – and leaving long-handled tools like brooms lying around will invite this kind of trip hazard. So copy this garage storage idea and get tools up off the floor with a garden storage rack. You can also find smaller versions for screwdrivers, hammers and chisels to save you from rummaging in drawers of sharp tools.
3. Look for garage storage ideas that clear the floor
Garage storage on a ceiling can come in many forms, but all of the options save valuable floor space, leaving room for vehicles. A hoist is a great bike storage idea, and this version uses a pulley system to efficiently lift and lower items. It could also be used for kayaks.
Use the walls for other larger items that need to go in the garage. ‘Install heavy-duty hooks in the wall to hang things like ladders, bikes, chairs, and wreath bins so these items don't clutter the floor,’ says Sarah Dunn.
4. Smarten up your garage storage with stylish shelving
Even if you use your garage as a dusty workshop, there is no reason why it can't look great with the addition of some simple garage storage systems to help you get organized. In fact, if you spend a lot of time in there – perhaps making furniture, or restoring a beloved sports car – then you should make the space as appealing and welcoming as possible.
This garage storage idea from String at Skandium (opens in new tab) features open shelves for items you need to grab in a hurry, glass door cabinets for prized possessions and closed cupboards for hiding odds and ends.
5. Use pegboard for smaller garage necessities
A pegboard is one of the most versatile garage storage solutions out there, and perfectly suited to the wide range of things we need to store in our garages. Use one with hooks to hang your best paint brushes, rollers and cleaning paraphernalia, or add pegs to suspend garden tools or brooms. You can also easily add small shelves to them.
6. Make shelf brackets multitask
To make the most of a set of garden shelves, opt for brackets that will hold some of your more awkward essentials. You can hang hoses and power tools from the brackets, or thread garden tools through to be supported at either end.
7. Find fixings fast with multi drawers
While finding a spot for all the large, bulky tools and sports gear, don't overlook all the little bits and bobs that need somewhere to live. Never be scrabbling around for a bolt, screw or nail again with this clever garage storage idea from The Container Store (opens in new tab). The four drawer storage chest has dividers so you can make the spaces within even smaller, as needed, plus it has a handle, so you can carry it from room to room.
8. Create a garage workshop with fitted cabinets
If you use your garage a lot, think about designing it in a similar way to your kitchen. And to put an efficient garage storage system in place, you will need cabinets for storage, countertops and, of course, a sink for washing your hands, dirty paintbrushes and tools in. One option is to use a kitchen designer – but a specialist garage storage company will be able to supply drawers that are strong enough and appropriately sized for tools and hardware.
9. Pack and pile storage boxes with this simple garage storage idea
Keep everything from tools to out-of-season clothes dust-free but visible in a set of clear storage boxes or bins. ‘Group like with like and assign it to a bin,’ advises Sarah Dunn. ‘Fox example, all car cleaning products go into one bin, all gardening supplies in another.’
Bins can either be stacked on shelves or in a corner out of the way. They will also protect your possessions from mold spores and potential damage from pests, such as moths or mice. Clear boxes like these versions from The Container Store (opens in new tab) are great so you can see what is stored in each, while if you use opaque ones, label them clearly.
10. If you want a quick, no-fit solution, get garage racking
Versatile, hardwearing and affordable – there are plenty of reasons why racking is one of the most popular garage storage ideas. You can fill the entire rear wall of a single garage with racks at low cost, then add small drawer units, toolboxes and storage bins for a varied and inexpensive solution to all your storage needs.
11. Find sports gear storage solutions for your garage
Piling sports gear in a cupboard is not the best way to look after it, nor is it the best way to access it. Fortunately, there are plenty of specially designed options for all of your sporting needs, like this board rack from The Container Store (opens in new tab). It safely supports up to three boards and has handy holes for suspending bags or helmets from. It's a good storage solution for kids' scooters, too.
Or build a sports storage wall to your exact requirements with this solution from Elfa (opens in new tab).
12. Save space with overhead garage storage ideas
Your car dominates the garage and cabinets take up what little space is left, so it might feel like there isn't much room for anything else. But – look up and think again. Overhead racks, suspended from the ceiling, offer another area to stow things away. Just make sure they don't interfere with your up-and-over door.
They are better suited to lighter items to avoid the risks of lifting anything heavy over your head or up a ladder, or use them to support longer items that have no place on the ground (planks of wood, skis or boat oars).
13. Get organized with sturdy shelving
The key to good garage storage is shelving, and don’t opt for flimsy racking – it needs to be tough and sturdy to withstand all manner of items.
Ikea’s BROR (opens in new tab) range is easy to assemble and robust. It can cope with all temperatures, it won’t warp, and it can hold a load double that of a standard shelf.
14. Invest in a workbench
Workbenches are a good asset for any garage if you love doing DIY. Even if your garage is on the slim side you should be able to source one that is narrow enough to fit along one of the walls. Look for sturdiness too; DIY benches need to withstand weight and center bracing is key.
15. Hang storage high
As we’ve mentioned before, keeping the floor space of your garage free is key as you don’t want to be tripping over things or running them over when you drive your car in. The solution? Opt for specialized racks that create horizontal yard tool storage to optimize space and keep essentials out of the way.
16. Pick a streamlined style for your hobbies
Certain hobbies and jobs lend themselves to a more streamlined and super clean environment, so your garage needs to reflect that. If that’s the case, check out fitted garage options from specialists – perfect if you want a racing car workshop for example!
17. Utilize every inch of space
It’s a bit of a misconception that a garage can only store ‘outdoor’ items like the mower, sports equipment and DIY. They are actually fabulous if you’re slightly overcrowded in your house.
We love the idea of keeping your suitcases stored in your garage, and don’t forget seasonal clothes if the conditions in your garage are suitable – all those big heavy winter coats and winter shoes take up space inside, so pop up a storage solution like this one.
Want to know how to arrange shelving like this? ‘Keep things you need regular access to at eye height and below. Things you don’t need access to (like sentimental boxes) should be kept on overhead racks or the top row of a shelving unit,’ says Sarah Dunn.
18. And make sure you know where your tools are
If you’re a keen mechanic or simply love tinkering away at the weekends, keeping tools safe and in the right places is key.
The best storage always has a mixture of shelves and drawers, so opt for designs that tick that box. Another good tip is to buy something that’s lockable for security. Go for a design on wheels like this one, which makes life easy when you’re using your garage as a workshop. One of those garage storage ideas that is a must for those who are always tinkering at a new creation.
19. Spilt a double garage in two
The brief for this double garage was to have one ‘station’ for training and the other as a workshop for the bikes and home/general DIY. Dura (opens in new tab) fitted tool-controlled foam for specialized bike maintenance, peg panels for other tools, integrated power sockets, high and low-level storage, an integrated TV and a bridging unit with under-the-counter storage.
The flooring was PVC interlocking floor tiles that are easy to fit, clean and are a great thermal and dust barrier. The result is a fabulous dual-purpose space that’s spacious whilst offering loads of storage options.
20. Discover motorized shelves
It’s always worth utilizing every inch of space in your garage storage ideas, but sometimes that can seem impossible. Or, you have to risk climbing up ladders whilst carrying a heavy box – neither of which are safe or ideal.
Motorized shelves like these from Garage Pride (opens in new tab) could solve the problem. All you need to do is place your boxes on the shelves and let the remote-controlled, high-quality motor raise them up for you!
21. Hang up your tools
Be inventive with how you store your tools, anything with hooks and pegs can be utilized – like this wooden tool hanger and pegboard.
Both are really useful for hanging hand tools and other yard items from. You can add shelves to the pegboard so you can create your own design to suit your needs.
22. Look out for storage with character
Reminiscent of what you may have found Danny’s T-Birds using in Grease, this retro tool chest is a stylish as well as practical solution. It has a four-drawer roller cabinet, two-drawer mid-box and four-drawer top chest. It’s made of sturdy stainless steel with side handles chrome plated, to add to the authenticity.
23. Squeeze in as many components as you can
We often say you can’t have too much storage inside your home, and this is so true when it comes to garage space outside. Of course, the main obstacle is that you can only use the edges of the space, not the main area, if you still use the space to store your car in.
So this is where you need to make the most modular systems: configure them to make your own space unique. Home Depot is our go-to for modular garage storage systems (opens in new tab).
24. Opt for custom-built tool storage
It’s always good to support local craftsmen, and with a bespoke tool storage unit you’ll end up with a unique storage system that will last for decades. Be inspired to get your drills in order with this ingenious cordless drill organizer. It has purpose-built slots for drills, chargers, batteries and screws.
25. Keep all your tools in one place
If you don’t have a large garage and simply need somewhere to store your tools on a shelf, then consider a tool chest. They come in various shapes and sizes so make sure you opt for one that can hold all of your hand tools. Drawers are handy for smaller screwdrivers, and look out for lockable designs – they are always a good idea.
26. Use all available wall space
If you have a few spare inches of wall space try screwing in spring grips. They are the perfect hook for holding a torch, rake, broom, mop – anything with a handle basically. Just snap it into place.
27. Mini storage is still essential
It’s not always large items that need to be stored in a garage: nuts and bolts need a home, too. Opt for a multi-drawer storage bin to tidy small items, and consider a version like this with different size drawers to suit all you need to keep to hand.
28. Remember you need to leave room for the car!
It’s all very well getting hooked into fabulous storage solutions that hang from ceilings, modular systems that store everything imaginable, and handy tool chests but what it that means you can’t get your car in?! Avoid the problem with shelving that makes room for the car to provide great storage without sacrificing your parking space. And remember, a clear-out of clutter is always a great idea, too!
29. Go all round
Boost the potential of a garage (if you have room) by creating storage around all three walls of the space. In this project from MC Design (opens in new tab), a combination of cabinets, drawer storage, and hanging racks offers a full range of options for items of different sizes and shapes to keep them easy to find, and in good condition.
‘The number one piece of advice for any organization project, particularly in the garage, is to put a system in place,’ says principal designer Megan Dufresne. ‘This can be as simple as adding shelves with labeled storage tubs to an elaborate built-in organizing system.’
30. Opt for flexibility
Always busy DIYers and gardeners might fall for a system that makes it really easy to take tools and more from storage to where they’re needed, and put them back neatly when they’re done.
With a common interlocking system between the wall and mobile storage, RYOBI LINK modular storage, available at Home Depot (opens in new tab), fits the bill. Walls rails are compatible with hooks, shelves, bins and tools in the same range, and the rails can also support ladders, bikes, power equipment and more.
31. Make use of a high ceiling
Garage with a high ceiling? Don’t let it go to waste. A deep ceiling rack, like this one from Overstock (opens in new tab), will allow you to store a whole lot more than you can by using the floor and walls – and might make the difference as to whether your car fits into the garage.
Look for a rust-resistant finish to keep your storage items in great shape.
32. Keep the garage neat with cabinets
Just like inside your home, it’s worth including cabinets in your range of garage storage so you can shut the doors on your stuff for a neater impression. Items can be stored loose on shelves inside, or use them for lidded boxes for items such as decorations that are needed only seasonally.
If you’re adding cabinets to the garage, look out for features such as adjustable feet so they can be leveled on an uneven floor. Home Depot has plenty of Ready-to-assemble (opens in new tab)picks.
33. Divide and rule
How best to sort out what goes where in the garage? ‘Tins of paints and boxes of bits and pieces can go on shelves, but big things like bikes, golf bags and garden tools are more difficult to store,’ says Luis Prtak, founder of GearHooks (opens in new tab).
So, if an item takes up space vertically, designate it for a wall rack. ‘That keeps everything safe and sound, neatly organized and frees up the floor for bigger things like a mower or a BBQ, or even the car,’ says Luis.
How can I organize my garage cheaply?
To organize your garage cheaply, opt for open shelving, which is an affordable way to make use of the space around the walls. Take a look at plastic boxes with secure lids, too, as these are also a low cost choice.
Before you invest, though, assess what you need to store. ‘The first step to a DIY garage organization would be to take a day off,’ says Sandy Magura of Foundation Organizing (opens in new tab). ‘Then gather trash bags and empty boxes and bins. Begin to throw out what is trash and grab anything that you may want to sell or donate. Take that out of the garage. The next step is to spread out some empty boxes and bins and whatever you are keeping, and begin to categorize all like items together.’
Once you’ve been through this process, you’ll know how much storage you need and won’t overspend.
How do I maximize garage storage space?
To optimize garage storage space, you need to use walls, the floor, and the ceiling. ‘The key to maximizing garage storage space is to think vertically,’ says Dunn. ‘You can buy garage storage systems that attach to the ceiling or the wall.’
‘I also love to install metal bin storage racks that hang from the ceiling and allow you to stack storage tubs underneath or on top to maximize storage along garage walls,’ says Megan Dufresne. ‘These are less bulky and take up less space than traditional freestanding shelving units.
‘My favorite trick, if space allows, is to build a loft space in the garage where items can be stored up and out of the way,’ she continues. ‘This is a great option for homes without attic access.’ These can also be used if you're looking to convert your space in the future, and need garage conversion ideas.
How much does garage storage cost?
The cost of garage storage comes down to what kind of storage you are after. You can pick up freestanding shelving for less than $70 (£50), and create your own storage wall with boxes and hooks. But if you are after something more bespoke or a type of storage you have to pay someone to install, you could be looking at paying from $1,500 (£1,000) upwards.