5 Smart Storage Systems for Organizing Your Garage

Emmet Pierce
Last Updated on April 29, 2024
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Garage organization is an important way to have enough room for your vehicle, tools, and other items, while still being able to find things when you need them. But if your garage is a little chaotic right now, and you haven’t gone through it in a while, you might feel like an organized garage is just a dream. 

Fortunately, getting your garage organized can be easier than you think with a good plan and proper storage options. Here are five storage tools solutions to consider when organizing your garage.

1. Modular Storage Units

garage storage cabinets

Lining one or more walls with modular cabinets and cupboards is a good way to get stored items out of sight, said Amy Trager, a professional organizer in Chicago, IL. Cabinets that can be locked are best for items that might need to be stored securely, such as expensive tools.

Modular units are popular “if you want a finished look, or if you feel the garage will be another room in the house,” she said.

If you group the items you’re storing by categories, such as tools, recreational equipment and holiday decorations, it’ll be easier for you to remember where things are. Julie Naylon, a professional organizer in the Los Angeles, CA, area, recommends labeling the unit doors or drawers so you can locate items more quickly.

2. Freestanding Shelves

garage shelves

Freestanding plastic and steel shelves often are placed against a wall. However, if you have the extra space, several shelves can be lined up in your garage to create storage aisles that provide easy access to your possessions. Just make sure you leave enough room to walk between rows of shelves. Also, you should buy sturdy shelves to help prevent accidents.

Deppa said you should stay away from any shelving that uses particle board, especially if there’s a chance that items in your garage will be exposed to moisture.

“Those types of shelves have a tendency to expand if they get moisture in them,” she said.

3. Pegboards

garage pegboard

An inexpensive way to get organized is to place pegboards with hooks on at least one wall, Deppa said. These can be used to hang tools and other small items that you use frequently.

By relying on a pegboard rather than a toolbox, you can keep frequently used items in plain sight. One of her clients took the extra step of having her trace an outline of each tool on a pegboard so items always would be returned to the same place.

4. Wall-Mounted Tool Racks

tool rack

Tool racks are useful for hanging garden tools, such as rakes, hoes, spades and shovels, Deppa said. They also can be used for hanging bicycles.

Tool racks are a good alternative to shelves, cabinets, boxes and plastic bins when you lack space in your garage. Just make sure they’re securely anchored to the wall.

“It is all about retrieval. You can find things quickly,” Deppa said.

5. Overhead Storage Units

garage ceiling storage

Overhead storage units can be good for people with garages that are short on places to stash stuff, according to Deppa. Keep in mind that these racks aren’t easy to reach. They should be used for items you won’t need frequently.

Make sure these units are installed properly so that they don’t fall from the ceiling. If you don’t have the skills to do this yourself, consider hiring a contractor.

Which Garage Storage System is Best? 

The best garage storage system is the one that works for your needs and space, but it’s generally recommended that you use a vertical system. That gives you more space and helps you use up the room in your garage in a way that’s neat and efficient. You can also keep things tidy by using cabinets, garage shelving, storage bins, pegboards, and labels. 

Garage storage solutions that involve putting small items in storage bins, on the walls, or on shelving helps ensure you can see what you need and get to it easily in your neat, tidy, and organized garage.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on November 8, 2022 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Emmet Pierce

Emmet is an award-winning journalist based in the San Diego area.
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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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