13 Garage Organization Ideas to Open Up Your Space

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated July 29, 2022
A tidy, big and bright home garage
Photo: Don Mason / The Image Bank / Getty Images

You’ll have so much extra room, you’ll be able to fire up that garage band again

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We've all been there—you open your garage door and are overwhelmed with the sight of old boxes, tangled up holiday lights, and that bike you haven't ridden in five years. But fear not, because even a few garage organization tips can go a long way. Whether you're dreaming up a new workspace, storage area, or just need room to park your car again, these garage organization ideas will help bring more order—and space—to your life.

1. Map Out Your Space

Measurements and layout will play an integral part in your garage organizational plan. By measuring the square footage of the space, it's easier to make decisions about storage bins, shelving, workbenches, and hey, even a personalized home office. If you're working in a small garage, don’t worry—just measure the walls and even the ceilings to come up with unique storage solutions.

2. Prioritize by Usage an Accessibility

Before you jump into buying wracks and sky-high shelves to get the clutter out of the way, think about your daily garage visitors. If you have kids that stop by to grab the Wiffle ball set, consider a low, easy-to-access storage station. On the other hand, if you're storing items that you pull out once a year or less, don't take up precious eye-level storage space with these rarely-used items. Approach storing items on high shelves the same way you would with long-term storage packing.

These tips go for your workbench as well. Store items used on a daily basis out in the open. All the others will need a separate home out of the way.

3. Add a Pegboard

Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest impact. A pegboard is a simple, low-cost, and versatile way to use several of garage organization tips. Secure a pegboard to the wall with structural or drywall screws either above your workstation or on a wall of its own. Pegboards can hold everything from tools to shovels and rakes. You can also attach plastic bins to pegboards to hold loose hardware, backyard game accessories, seed packets, and much, much more.

4. Think Vertically

You don't need a ton of open floor space to streamline storage in your garage. Opt for thin, tall cabinets or wall shelves, especially ones with enough depth to fit a storage bin. Work all the way up the top of the wall, storing the rarely opened bins toward the top and the everyday bins at the bottom. If you choose to add floating shelves, be sure to install them with the proper hardware before adding heavy bins, especially for the ones overhead.

5. Create Overhead Storage

A closeup of screwdrivers hanging from a pegboard in a garage
Photo: Melinda Podor / Moment / Getty Images

Speaking of thinking vertically, why not add storage right above you? Many storage brands sell tracks and storage bins that attach to the ceiling. As you did with the walls, follow the instructions that come with the set to safely attach them to your ceilings. You'll need to use proper hardware to help it handle the load. If you're concerned about the proper way to affix the track to your ceiling, call a local contractor for a hand.

6. Add Tubes for Tall Tools

Talk to your local hardware store about buying leftover cardboard and plastic tubes used for shipping tools and dowels. These tubes are ideal for keeping your gardening tools organized without taking up wall space. Line the tubes up by the garage exit so you know exactly where your rake and shovel go when you walk in the door.

7. Include a Heavy-Duty Area

The garage is a common place to store heavy items that don't fit well anywhere else in the house. Reserve heavy-duty metal shelving for items like a generator, paint cans, power tool kits, and building materials. Wall shelving—when capable of holding heavy loads—can also organize lumber or other materials you plan to use for a project.

If you place heavy-duty power tools and mowers nearby, always make sure to include a rubber mat beneath them to protect your garage floor from oil and fuel stains.

8. Add an Everyday Station

If you pass through your garage on a regular basis, set up a small station that holds everyday items that you may need, such as sunscreen, bugspray, or a trash bin. You could also use the station to hold a bin for backyard toys and include a hook for your outdoor broom and dustpan.

9. Install Bike Racks

A collection of bikes can take up a large portion of your garage, especially if you need a path to roll them in and out of their storage spot each day. If you need to store multiple bikes, add a bike rack to your wall. Bike racks free up floor space for more storage or a bit more room to open the car door.

10. Color Code Storage

While it may seem intuitive to purchase clear bins to view where everything is, opaque bins ensure a much cleaner and more organized appearance. Opaque bins also open up the option to color-code your storage—one color for long-term and another for short-term storage, for example. You can even number your bins and maintain an online inventory as things come and go. If you prefer clear storage bins, you can use colored labels to help you easily spot the ones you need.

11. Opt for Rolling Cabinets

Rolling cabinets are a clever storage idea for every room of your house, especially if you're low on space. For example, add low storage cabinets with wheels under your workbench that you only pull out when you're working on your project. On all other days, roll them back under your desk for extra floor space. And if putting together all the pieces of a rolling cabinet looks daunting, hire a nearby professional furniture assembler for help.

12. Make a Cleaning Station

Designate a corner or a part of your new pegboard for exterior and garage cleaning tools. It's always best to keep a separate broom and mop for outdoor areas, especially if you regularly clean your patio or deck. Outdoor cleaning tools will keep you from tracking in mud and grit from the outside. If you choose to store any cleaning solutions in your garage, be sure to check the label about whether it's safe to store them in areas of high heat and low ventilation.

13. Consider Auxiliary Hooks

Life moves quickly, especially as you're coming and going from the car each day. Add extra heavy-duty hooks next to the interior garage door for spare keys, a baseball cap, or anything else that you need to prop within sight. Auxiliary hooks are also great for storing seasonal items that will eventually head back into storage, such as a snow shovel or garden tiller. Hiring a local home organizer can help you choose the best place for these hooks and can also offer more tips on bins, shelves, and your garage’s layout.

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