It’s not the size of your garage that matters, it’s how you use it. Here’s how to take full advantage of the space you have, so you can store all your stuff without it looking like a cluttered mess.
A giant three-car garage would be amazing, but most of us aren’t so fortunate. I’m lucky enough to have a small, one-car garage (and “one car” is an optimistic description). Still, I’ve somehow made it spacious enough for two motorcycles, a couple of bicycles, a small workbench, a handful of tools, and storage for various knickknacks.
I even have a bit of workspace left over if I need to fix something on a Saturday afternoon. Whether you have a one-car garage like me, or a coveted three-car, these handy storage solutions can help you declutter and create more space.
Organizing Your Garage
There are a lot of awesome accessories you can get for your tiny garage that can help with storage space. However, these are useless if your garage isn’t organized in the first place.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Have a place for everything: It sounds better in French—“mise en place.” Everything should have a dedicated spot and not just for the sake of organization. This way, you’ll know where everything is and won’t have to dig through a pile of junk to find something.
- Put everything back when you’re done with it: It’s insanely easy to take a tool out of your toolbox, and then throw it on a workbench when you’re done. You tell yourself you’ll put it away later, but you won’t.
- Always optimize: When you first clean up your garage, you might not think of the best organizational methods right away, and that’s fine. Finish decluttering and organize the best you can. Come back later and think about how you can improve the setup. In fact, you can (and should) constantly reevaluate how to organize your stuff over the next few months (or even years). Nothing’s perfect the first time.
Ceiling-Mounted Storage Rack
When you only have a small space to store a lot of stuff, you have to think three-dimensionally. In other words, use the walls and ceiling for storage. Yes, the ceiling! This overhead rack is perfect for it.
You mount it to the ceiling joists. It measures 4 by 8 feet, with up to 40 inches of vertical space. That’s more than enough room to store all your lesser-used items so they won’t be in the way. It’s like having a miniature storage loft in your garage.
Wall-Mounted Bike Rack
Bicycles take up a lot of precious space in a garage—especially if every family member has one. Take advantage of the wall space and use a wall-mounted bike rack, like this one from Delta Cycle.
It’s very easy to set up and can be completely freestanding, which makes it a great option for renters who have security deposits to think about. It’s available in a two- or four-bike configuration, and it’s been one of the best purchases for my small garage.
Rake and Shovel Rack
You’ve probably noticed a theme by now: racks! Let’s keep it going. Finding a good place to store long-handled tools, like shovels and rakes, is always a struggle. The best solution is a wall-mounted rack with adjustable pegs and hooks.
They’re great for storing brooms, shovels, rakes, and mops. However, these are also versatile enough to handle just about anything you can hang from a hook. You can use it for extension cords, hoses, or even small machinery.
A garage is a great place to work on projects, but a workbench can take up a lot of precious space. However, a folding one, like this one from Stanley, can give you the best of both worlds.
You mount it to the wall, which leaves the floor space open. It folds out to provide a 36-inch long work surface, as well as a small pegboard for tool storage.
If you want more customization, and you’re particularly handy, you can also build your own larger fold-down workbench to suit your specific needs.
It’s time to get back to basics for this last one. If you’re looking for the easiest solution to store a bunch of stuff, freestanding shelving units—like this cheap, but sturdy, four-shelf unit—are the way to go.
I have a couple of these in my garage, but just one of them saves a ton of floor space. It can open up room in toolboxes or overflowing drawers. Better yet, you can assemble one of these in 20 minutes or less, making them a no-frills solution for folks who want to get organizing right away.