Smart DIY Storage Ideas to Make Your Garage Work Harder
Is your garage getting so cluttered there's barely enough room to park your car? These DIY garage storage ideas will help you make the most of every square foot.
DIY Garage Storage Ideas
Store more on your garage walls
If you mount hooks, brackets and other hardware only on studs, you’re wasting lots of garage storage opportunities. In terms of bang-for-buck, one of the best DIY garage storage ideas is to add a layer of one inch plywood over the drywall or bare studs. That gives you a continuous fastening surface, so you can mount storage hardware easily, arrange items in a space-efficient way and cram more stuff onto the garage wall.
Add high shelves and cabinets
If all the stuff in your garage is within easy reach, you’re probably wasting lots of storage space. The high spaces may not be prime real estate for often-used tools, but they’re perfect for long-term storage. Deep shelving or cabinets near the ceiling can hold a ton of seasonal stuff like holiday decorations or camping gear.
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Hang storage bins from the garage ceiling
This simple combination of plastic bins and homemade support carriages is perfect for holiday decorations and other rarely needed stuff. To make the carriages, just screw and glue one-inch plywood flanges to 2x4s. Then screw the carriages to ceiling joists and slide in the bins. The heavy-duty bins we used cost about $17 each.
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Add a space-saving DIY garage workbench
Here’s a workspace that’s huge and accessible from all sides yet folds up and stows away easily. If you don’t have room for a full-size permanent workbench but really need space to spread things out, this workbench is it. It opens to a solid 4 ft. x 7 ft. surface with both wings up yet closes and rolls into a small 4 ft. x 18 in. spot in a corner of the room. It’s a perfect workspace for the garage or basement.
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Build your own DIY garage cabinets
You don’t have to be a cabinetmaker to build big, sturdy cabinets—especially if you build them in place. All you have to do is screw 2x2s to the wall and ceiling and then screw plywood panels to the 2x2s to form the top, bottom and sides of cabinet boxes. This approach is simple, fast and economical; the materials cost about $300.
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Wheelbarrow hang-up for the garage
Don’t waste precious floorspace on your wheelbarrow—hang it on the wall! Though special hardware is available at some home centres, you can easily build it yourself. Substitute a scrap of 1×4, a pair of mending plates and screw hooks that act as latches. Screw mending plates to the studs, then you can easily lock the wheelbarrow against the wall.
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Add outlets to the garage
Most electrical codes require just one outlet in the garage. And that’s just what most builders give you—one measly outlet for all your tools and toys. If you have open studs, you can easily run wire and add outlets as long as you follow a few basic rules. If your walls are covered, you don’t have to cut into them to run wires. Instead, you can mount metal or plastic wiring channels and outlet boxes right on the wall.
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Keep ladders out of the way
Hang ladders from the ceiling so they don’t hog prime storage space in your garage. The rollers on this simple carriage let you easily slide in one end of the ladder, then the other. The materials you’ll need cost about $20 at home centres. First, build braces with PVC conduit and wood. Next, fasten the corner braces to ceiling joists with 2-inch lag screws. Secure the ladder with an elastic cord so it can’t roll out and fall.
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Enlarge your garage
Whether you need more storage space or more work space, the ultimate solution for a too-small garage is an addition. In many cases, you can knock out a section of garage wall. Install a header to support the weight of the roof, and build a large “bump-out.” It’s easier than you might think to build a 5 ft. x 12 ft. bump-out without adding a full concrete foundation.
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Photo: The Family Handyman
Store bikes up high
It can be difficult to store bikes out of the way while keeping them readily available.
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