Take Back Your Garage With These Fast Organizing Fixes

Does your garage look like it exploded? Rein in the clutter with 13 quick and easy tips, hacks and DIY storage projects.

Whether used as a parking spot or hobby hub, your garage is valuable real estate. Don't let that extra square footage go to waste! Clear the clutter and take back your space with our expert garage organizing tips and a few super-handy DIY storage hacks you can knock out in a day or less.

GET STARTED: KNOW WHAT NOT TO STORE

TS-57284300_paintbrush_s3x4

TS-57284300_paintbrush_s3x4

Paintbrush dipped in green paint resting on tin of paint

Photo by: Stockbyte

Stockbyte

With its high humidity level and fluctuating temperatures, the garage is a less-than-friendly storage spot for things like paint, cardboard boxes, food and more. Get the de-cluttering party started by figuring out which items you really shouldn't be storing out there, then toss, sell or relocate them.

MAKE IT YOURS

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Hachette_03-HO0708-63A

Photo by: Evan Joseph Uhlfelder

Evan Joseph Uhlfelder

Organize your garage to suit your needs. Are you an avid gardener? Carve out space for a gardening station. Do you do a lot of DIY projects? Leave room for a hobby bay.

CONSOLIDATE LIKE ITEMS

Wire Garage Shelf for Pet Supply Storage

Wire Garage Shelf for Pet Supply Storage

Storing similar items together, like these shelves for pet supplies in the HGTV Green Home 2011 garage, streamlines household routines.

© 2011, HGTV

2011, HGTV

Keep your garage tidy for the long haul by grouping similar items together on shelves or in storage bins for easy accessibility. You'll thank yourself later when you aren't digging through piles of junk to find that extra bag of cat litter.

SAVE ON STORAGE SYSTEMS

Recycled Pallet Garden Tool Rack

Recycled Pallet Garden Tool Rack

This tool rack uses recycled materials to hold eight long-handled tools and at least ten hand tools with plenty of space left over for small pots, potting soil, gloves and other gardening miscellany.   

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for a slat wall storage system, make your own for (almost) free by repurposing a shipping pallet into a vertical tool rack. Then take a vacation with all the money you saved.

More Garden Tool Storage Ideas

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No Time to Waste. There's Yard Work to Be Done!

When it’s time to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, or plant a garden, don’t waste time searching for lawn equipment. Instead, design a well-organized storage spot in the garage to ensure your tools are easy to find and in good condition. Consider these savvy strategies based on your needs, budget, and available space.

Wall Storage

Organization experts stress the importance of getting items up off the floor. “When it comes to lawn and garden equipment, I am a huge fan of using vertical space whenever possible,” says Lisa Mark, certified professional organizer at The Time Butler in Los Altos, California. “These systems convert otherwise unusable wall space into great storage space.” Think of your garage walls as a blank canvas for arranging useful “art”: rakes and shovels, sprinklers, pruners, weed whackers, and more.

Slatwall (or Slotwall)

This versatile system features grooved panels that attach to walls and organize various types of accessories, including hooks, shelves, baskets, and brackets. A slatwall system tends to be more affordable than cabinetry and features a narrower depth, says Chris McKenry, owner of Get It Together LA and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. “If you don’t want to take up the whole wall, you can also simply add small strips of slat wall with adjustable hooks,” he says.

Pegboard

These perforated panels affix to walls and hold various hooks and brackets that can be moved around as needed. Pegboard is affordable and easy to install, and can even be painted for a pop of color. If you’re worried you’ll forget where to return tools, draw the outline of each item on the pegboard.

Wall-Mounted Racks

To free up floor space, you can install various types of racks that are specially designed to hold wheelbarrows, ladders, leaf blowers, and long-handled tools, including rakes, shovels, and brooms.

Hooks

If you don’t need a whole wall storage system, McKenry recommends screwing attractive hooks into the wall to hang small tools such as cultivators, trowels, and pruners.

Shelving Units

Shelves are a great option for keeping gardening supplies off the floor and away from small hands. Freestanding units can be moved to free up wall space; some even have wheels for portability.

Photo By: Evan Joseph Uhlfelder

Cabinets

A sturdy cabinet can be ideal for tucking tools, bags of soil, and other supplies out of sight. If you have children, choose a style with lockable doors to secure dangerous items, such as sharp tools, weed killer, and insecticide.

Photo By: Evan Joseph Uhlfelder

Ceiling Storage

Tall items work well stored in racks attached to the ceiling says Judson Crowder, CPO, owner of Restorganize, LLC and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. “Sometimes you only have four to six inches of space above the garage door, and that is just enough space to store your ladders, shovels, and rakes,” he says. “This keeps your walls clear for other storage, and the long-handled tools slide in and out with ease.” HGTV Smart Home 2013 demonstrates this type of storage with surf boards instead of shovels.

Photo By: Eric Perry

Potting Bench

If you’re an avid gardener, consider adding an inexpensive potting bench, or repurposing an old desk, hutch, or diaper change station to serve as one. Choose a piece with a work surface and storage space for bins and planters. Add hooks to organize small tools and sturdy clips for hanging hats and gardening gloves.

Photo By: Evan Joseph Uhlfelder

Containers

Sort small items by type and stow them in labeled bins or baskets. “I recommend storing smaller items such as gardening gloves, knee pads, and flower pots in stacking bins,” Mark says. Totes, buckets, and tubs are handy for items you bring outdoors frequently.

On the Floor

Park lawnmowers and snow blowers in a spot that is accessible, yet out of the way. Before putting them away for the season, check the manuals for cleaning and storage instructions.

MARK IT AND PARK IT

Bike Parking Lanes in Garage

Bike Parking Lanes in Garage

Darla DeMorrow, a certified professional organizer, used colorful duct tape to create bike parking lanes for kids. Such a simple solution, this gives children an easy, safe and orderly way to store bicycles.

Photo by: Darla DeMarrow, HeartWork Organizing

Darla DeMarrow, HeartWork Organizing

Clear up bike clutter by giving little ones their own "parking spot" in the garage. Make it even more fun by hanging small signs painted with each child's name above the spaces.

HACK IT

Repurposed File Cabinet Garage Storage

Repurposed File Cabinet Garage Storage

Use items from around the house to help you organize. For example, transform an old file cabinet into a storage bin for large yard tools. Add casters to the bottom to make it mobile for busy outdoor days.

Photo by: Haydee Letonja

Haydee Letonja

On a budget? Take a quick look around the house for anything that could be repurposed as garage storage. This old file cabinet was turned on its side and put to much better use as a tool command center.

Clever Uses for Everyday Items in the Garage

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Toy Story

Kelli Wilson had a creative idea for keeping outdoor toys under control, and a lightweight hand-me-down shelf was the starting point. After adding a coat of white paint and some bright yellow trim to the shelf, she organized the kids' toys using inexpensive galvanized buckets. Kelli made fun and easy-to-read labels for each bucket so that finding and putting away toys would be a breeze. Plus, the shelf carries easily in and out of the garage for handy storage.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Kelli Wilson

File Under Creative

A beat-up file cabinet was headed for the landfill until Haydee Letonja rescued it and transformed it into the perfect storage bin for her larger yard tools. Using spray paint, she painted it a bold red hue with white racing stripes on the front. The ends are sporting pegboard facades for even more handy storage. Haydee also added a wood plank to the bottom in order to attach casters, making her creation completely mobile for busy outdoor days.

Photo By: Haydee Letonja

Space Saver

In small work areas, it's all about giving yourself a little elbow room. In Jamie Humphreys' garage, she accomplished that by using the space under the shelf. She fastened the lids of used salad dressing jars to the underside of the shelf with screws, filled the jars with tiny, easy-to-lose garage accessories and then screwed the jars back into place. Voila!

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jamie Humphreys

Chic Recycled Containers

When it's time to plant your favorite spring flowers, the best containers may be sitting right in your garage. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn used galvanized metal trash cans and added casters and drainage holes to create a modern, portable container garden right on the patio.

Hubcap Hanger

Storage solutions don't get any simpler than this. For Michael Helander, space in the garage is a precious commodity. So, she created this hanging basket made from discarded hubcaps. She simply spray-painted the hubcaps black, attached a chain and hung up the finished "basket." This smart upcycling idea keeps items off the bench but still within reach in a clever way.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Michael Helander

Can Do

Sure, you could lay down a few dollars for fancy storage containers or you could just look in your kitchen cabinet. Organizing enthusiast Jennifer Jones added a little flair to her workbench with ordinary soup cans covered in decorative paper. They're perfect for storing often-used tools and supplies that you would like to keep close at hand.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Artful Gardening

Michael Helander sees potential in just about everything she finds. Here, she has created a grab-and-go garden tool rack from reclaimed wood, a piece of driftwood and an old wire basket. And just for a decorative touch, she added the floret made from a glass plate decoupaged with magazine pages.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Michael Helander

Super Seed Storage

No more searching the garage for those seeds you didn't end up planting last season. An empty tissue box is all you need to keep seed packets organized and easy to spot. After covering the empty box with floral-patterned paper, Jennifer Jones whipped up a pretty label using leftover scrapbooking materials. Now when spring rolls around, you'll know exactly where to turn for those wildflower seeds.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Clocking In

Just because you're having fun out in the garage, you don't want to be late for dinner. What better way to tell time at the workbench than with a license-plate wall clock? Brian Carlisle used these colorful old Illinois plates and some vintage wooden dominoes to make this quirky timepiece. The weights were made with antique doorknobs, and it's topped off with a decorative brass piece.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Brian Carlisle

CORRAL KID CLUTTER

Original_Kelli-Wilson-garage-organization-toys-in-buckets_s3x4

Original_Kelli-Wilson-garage-organization-toys-in-buckets_s3x4

Designated toy bins stored on a kid-size shelf make playtime cleanup quick and painless.

STORE BETWEEN THE STUDS

Tips for Organizing your Garage

Tips for Organizing your Garage

Organized shelving and rag storage in the garage.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

If your garage has bare wall studs, take advantage of all that glorious storage space by installing small shelves between the studs. The customization possibilities are endless!

LOOK UP

Photo by: Dylan Eastman

Dylan Eastman

If your garage doesn't have bare wall studs, make the most of your vertical storage space with inexpensive pegboard. It's super customizable and easy to install!

INEXPENSIVE CEILING STORAGE

Organized Garage With Red Medicine Cabinet

Organized Garage With Red Medicine Cabinet

Install pipes along the ceiling for an all-encompassing storage solution. James Angus and Jamie Bolton used S-hooks to hold a variety of tools. A red medicine cabinet rescued from a friend’s junk pile is filled with salsa jars that hold hardware.

Photo by: James Angus and Jamie Bolton, The Cavender Diary

James Angus and Jamie Bolton, The Cavender Diary

Metal pipes installed along the ceiling joists are an easy and inexpensive way to store infrequently-used items in the garage. Simply suspend objects from the pipes by using large S-hooks.

CLEAR IT UP

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CI_Container-Store-plastic-storage-bins_s3x4

Ditch the cardboard boxes and opt instead for clear plastic bins to store seasonal or surplus items. The see-through containers keep stored items dry and safe from pests and make it easier to locate your stuff.

MAKE IT MULTITASK

Ci-Gladiator_Garage-storage-bench_s3x4

Ci-Gladiator_Garage-storage-bench_s3x4

If you use the garage as your main entrance, consider creating a mini mudroom next to the door to curb clutter and keep dirty shoes and smelly gym bags out of the house.

CREATIVE HOLIDAY STORAGE

Wrapping Paper Stored in Garment Bag

Wrapping Paper Stored in Garment Bag

Grab a see-through garment bag for this clever storage solution that keeps wrapping paper dust-free and easily accessible. This idea makes you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?" Good thing The Chic Site with Rachel Hollis did!

Is holiday decor taking up a bulk of your garage space? Save room and money with a few creative and budget-friendly storage solutions for ornaments, string lights, gift wrap and more!

More Genius Garage Organizing + Storage Hacks

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New Uses for Old Stuff

James Angus and Jamie Bolton of The Cavender Diary are serial garage hackers who have created the ultimate man cave. Faced with lack of space, they made use of reused and repurposed items found around the house. Here, a red medicine cabinet rescued from a friend’s junk pile is filled with salsa jars that hold hardware.

Photo By: James Angus and Jamie Bolton, The Cavender Diary

Pipe Dreams

Install pipes along the ceiling for an all-encompassing storage solution. Angus and Bolton used S-hooks to hold a variety of tools. 

Photo By: James Angus and Jamie Bolton, The Cavender Diary

Not Just for the Kitchen

Angus and Bolton used more cabinets from a kitchen renovation to serve as the base for a work station. Knife magnets from Ikea make an ideal solution for drying paint brushes. Soup cans are used to store pens and pencils. 

Photo By: James Angus and Jamie Bolton, The Cavender Diary

Floor-to-Ceiling Storage

In the laundry area, Angus and Bolton put leftover cabinets from a kitchen renovation to use. They stacked two over the washer and dryer and left room for plumbing pipe rod to hold loose hangers.

Photo By: James Angus and Jamie Bolton, The Cavender Diary

Mobile Tool Caddy

Roll through outdoor or indoor chores with all your cleaning supplies in one place with this single-file turned utility cart. This portable storage solution by Elizabeth Joan Designs is a janitor’s closet on wheels.

Photo By: Elizabeth Joan Designs

Parking Spaces

Darla DeMorrow, a certified professional organizer, used colorful duct tape to create bike parking lanes for kids. Such a simple solution, this gives children an easy, safe and orderly way to store bicycles.

Photo By: Darla DeMarrow, HeartWork Organizing

Simple Solutions

DeMorrow believes in keeping garage storage accessible and simple. She recommends hanging a clock so you don’t lose track of time. A paper-towel holder pointing upward holds large rolls of packing tape, a large pop-up bag contains wrapping paper and a gift bag holds smaller gift bags. A wheel guide on the floor, makes for perfect parking to avoid smashing into storage. 

Photo By: Darla DeMarrow, HeartWork Organizing

Overhead Compartment

Store children’s vehicles and other portable items on wall-mounted shelves. Kenarry Ideas for the Home used simple 2x4s to construct this storage unit that keeps bulky items off the floor.

Photo By: Kenarry Ideas for the Home

Magnetic Touch

Keeping track of small tools is easy with a magnetized strip installed on a slat garage wall.

Photo By: Tailored Living

Wheels on Wall

Using a swivel wall-mounted device, store bicycles anywhere you find space. These can be installed on walls or ceilings. The bike can also be moved out of the way while still mounted.

Photo By: Tailored Living

Garage Gym

Long for a workout space but lack a spare room? Take advantage of a garage wall to install everything you need to stay in shape. This wall-mounted gym installed by Tailored Living consists of a slat-wall storage system that makes it easy to customize.

Photo By: Tailored Living

Cabinet Fever

Store large items that are rarely used, such as snow blowers, beneath cabinets. A pull-out platform makes it easy to retrieve and put equipment away.

Photo By: Tailored Living

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