10 Garage Storage Hacks to Keep You Organized

Use common household items to help you declutter.

When you don't spend too much time in a room, it's easy to make it a catchall space for all the stuff you don't know where to put. It becomes a giant storage closet with no organization system. The garage is one of the most forgotten and disorganized spaces in the home for most of us. To help organize your tools, follow these simple storage solutions using household items.

DIY Garage Workshop

DIY Garage Workshop Area

DIY Garage Workshop Area

Combine old dressers and tabletops to create a large workbench on a small budget. 

Photo by: Melissa George

Melissa George

Combine old dressers and tabletops to create a large workbench on a small budget.

Window Planter Can Holder

Spray Paint Can Holder

Spray Paint Can Holder

Plastic window planters make the perfect storage containers. Mount them to the garage wall, and fill with spray paint cans and other materials.

Photo by: Melissa George

Melissa George

Spray paint cans fit perfectly inside plastic window planters. Mount the planters on the wall to save shelf space.

Chain Cord Hanger

Extension Cord Holder

Extension Cord Holder

If you have a pile of tangled extension cords in your garage, try this inexpensive hack. Use 1' sections of chain to hang cords on a coat hook. Mount the coat rack on a stud or use wall anchors, and hang two cords from each hook to create wall storage. 

Photo by: Melissa George

Melissa George

Keep extension cords from getting tangled by hanging them on the wall from one-foot sections of chain and a coat hook. Make sure to mount the coat hook on a stud or use wall anchors.

Locker Storage

Locker Garage Storage

Locker Garage Storage

Transform old lockers into a container that holds various chemicals in the garage. Easily add wood shelving for extra storage space.

Transform old lockers into a place to hold paints and various chemicals in the garage. Insert scraps of wood inside the lockers for extra shelving to maximize storage space.

Towel Rack Clamp Holder

Clamp Rack

Clamp Rack

A wall-mounted towel rack is a great solution for storing various clamps. Next time you replace a towel rod inside the house, save the old one for the garage!

Photo by: Melissa George

Melissa George

A wall-mounted rack is a great solution to storing various clamps. Next time you replace a towel bar inside the house, install the old one in the garage for a convenient way to hang clamps.

Toy Bucket Storage

Original_Kelli-Wilson-garage-organization-toys-in-buckets_s3x4_lg

Original_Kelli-Wilson-garage-organization-toys-in-buckets_s3x4_lg

Label galvanized buckets, and place your kids' outdoor toys inside. Place the buckets on low shelves, so kids can grab and put away toys easily.

Golf Bag Garden Tool Holder

Golf Bag Garden Tool Holder

Golf Bag Garden Tool Holder

An old, sturdy golf bag makes a perfect storage station for gardening tools large and small. Rakes and shovels fit it in the top, and the pockets are perfect for gloves, a bulb planter and other hand tools. 

Photo by: Melissa George

Melissa George

An old, sturdy golf bag makes a perfect storage station for gardening tools large and small. Rakes and shovels fit in the top, and the pockets are perfect for gloves, small planters and other hand tools.

Spray Paint Organizer

Upcycled Shoe Organizer

Upcycled Shoe Organizer

Use an over-the-door plastic shoe organizer to hold spray paint. You’ll be able to see all the paint colors available in one quick glance

Photo by: Blue i Style

Blue i Style

Use an over-the-door plastic shoe organizer to hold spray paint cans. Label the caps or the pockets, so you can easily find the color you need.

DIY Tool Holder

DIY Garage Broom Holder

DIY Garage Broom Holder

Make a budget-friendly broom holder for your garage using scrap wood and pipe straps.

Photo by: Melissa George

Melissa George

Save floor space by hanging large items like brooms and mops on the wall. We made this wall-mounted holder from scrap wood and pipe straps. 

Make It: DIY Tool Holder

File Cabinet Garden Tool Storage

A filing cabinet is an easy, budget-friendly storage solution. Remove the drawers, flip the cabinet on its side and store large gardening tools inside.

What Not to Store in the Garage

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Decluttering Your Garage

The garage is a great storage spot, but don’t let the space become a cluttered catchall. Organizing and cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper recommends taking stock of belongings and donating what isn’t needed. “Most of the stuff people store in the garage is stuff they decided they no longer want in their everyday living space,” she says. “So they get it out of their house — out of sight, out of mind — and there it sits.”

While you’re editing your belongings, keep in mind three rules of thumb for appropriate garage storage: Don’t store items that could be damaged by extreme or fluctuating temperatures, belongings that could be ruined by moisture and humidity, or hazardous materials that could damage your home. Click through our list of other items you should keep out of the garage.

Food

Shopping at bulk stores can be cost-effective, but the garage is not an ideal place to stash your staples. Food can invite rodents and other pests. Plus, exposure to heat and humidity can cause your groceries to spoil. An unused closet or cupboard in the house is a better choice.

Wine

Fluctuating temperatures can cause wine to expand and contract, which leads to oxidation. A better bet is a wine cabinet or wine refrigerator inside the house.

Photo By: Sawhorse Design & Build

Daily Used Items

Lisa Mark, certified professional organizer at The Time Butler in Los Altos, Calif., notes that the garage is best for infrequently used belongings. “Items accessed all the time should be stored in the spaces in which they are used,” she says, “and overflow items like paper towels can be stored on shelves in the garage and moved into the home as existing items are used up.”

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Cardboard

Don’t store your belongings in cardboard boxes. “The contents will be vulnerable to insects and pests that can damage them,” Kuper explains. “Spiders look at cardboard boxes and say, ‘Wow! What a great new home!’” Instead, choose waterproof, pest-proof plastic bins.

Paintings

Temperature and humidity changes can make paint flake and crack and cause the canvas to expand and contract. For long-term storage, stow artwork in a painting rack in the house, away from heaters or fireplaces.

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Photo By: Caitlin Murray

Photographs

Moisture and extreme temperatures can cause cherished photos to stick together and even grow mold. A closet inside your house (not in the basement) is a better choice.

Important Documents

Passports, birth and marriage certificates, and other difficult-to-replace papers can be damaged by moisture. Store these in a fireproof box in a home office or bedroom.

Photo By: DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Delicate Clothing

A wedding dress, a graduation gown and baby’s first outfit can all be ruined by heat, humidity, and cold. Place cherished clothing in an acid-free box in a chest or closet in the house.

Photo By: iStock

Propane Tanks

Due to the danger of ignition, propane tanks should be stored outside the garage. Set cylinders on a flat surface outdoors, away from your house.

Photo By: iStock

Paint

Extreme temperatures can ruin leftover paint. Place cans indoors, out of children’s reach, in a basement or closet.

Photo By: Stockbyte

Hazardous Materials

“When possible, refrain from storing toxic materials in the garage,” Mark advises. She recommends disposal via available county hazmat programs.

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Fruits and Vegetables in Pots © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Wooden Furniture

Expansion and contraction caused by fluctuating garage temperatures can damage wooden furniture. Keep it in good condition in the house or in a climate-controlled storage unit.

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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