Tripping over mountains of garage clutter? Well, take heart, you're definitely not alone. Most garages have become catch-all storage zones, housing home improvement supplies like tools and paint, yard and garden necessities, recreational gear, and trash and recycling bins. Add bulky seasonal items like holiday lights and yard decorations to the mix and it's no wonder the family car no longer fits!
The good news is you probably do
have room for all that stuff; it's just a matter of corralling each item according to type. Need help? Here are the five most common garage storage conundrums -- plus space-saving solutions. You'll wonder how you ever lived without these must-have products!
Too many tools, not enough shelves.
Wall-mounted, adjustable shelving.
Your collection of home improvement supplies has expanded, but chances are your garage's shelving capacity has not kept pace. You know what I mean: a jumble of hand tools and power tools
all vying for space with other essentials -- painting and caulking supplies
, lubricants and engine oils, light bulbs and so on.
Consider upgrading to a wall-mounted shelving system. The beauty of these systems is that they are super-durable yet also adjustable. Best of all, you can add on to them and customize as your needs change. Take Rubbermaid's FastTrack system
. The wall-mounted brackets are permanent, but sliding hooks and shelves allow you to store what you want where you need it most. The Container Store's elfa line of steel garage shelving
(pictured above) is, likewise, built to last but designed with flexible configuration in mind.
One too many rakes and brooms.
Long-handled tool tower or rack.
Does reaching for a broom mean fighting off an avalanche of other long-handled cleaning and garden implements? If so, get yourself a tool tower designed to store anything long-handled.
Mops, brooms, hoes, shovels and rakes can all be conveniently contained in a sturdy free-standing holder like the Rubbermaid Deluxe Tool Tower
(pictured). If space is at a premium, try to get them up off the floor entirely with a wall-mounted device like the Racor Garden Tool Storage Rack
This ceiling-mounted bike lift is a winning space saver. Photo: Racor Inc.
Bicycles constantly underfoot.
Ceiling-mounted bike lift.
If struggling to keep your family's bicycles in an upright position is routine for you, let me introduce an easy solution: Racor Inc's ceiling-mounted bike lift
. This popular device lets you reclaim precious floor space, yet still allows easy access to your wheels when needed. Alternatively, pick up a simple bike hook
that screws into the ceiling or an exposed ceiling joist.
A freestanding bike rack
is worth considering, too, especially for kids' bikes where easy access is essential. Nope, it won't get bikes up off the floor, but at least they'll be kept organized and stable.
A large rolling bin is useful for containing other bulky sports equipment like balls, helmets and catchers' mitts. This mesh rolling bin from The Container Store
has see-through sides for convenient grab-and-run access on practice days.
Ceiling storage units maximize unused garage space. Photo: Amazon
Seasonal items gobbling up space.
Ceiling storage unit.
Odds are some of the bulkiest items in your garage are only used seasonally. I'm talking holiday home and yard decorations (like that 5-foot Santa yard ornament and reel-upon-reel of holiday lights
), camping gear and certain sporting items like skiing and snowboarding equipment.
The secret for containing such rarely-used stuff is to stash it as high as possible, taking advantage of unused ceiling space (yes, ceiling space!). For maximum stability, install a steel storage platform designed for exactly this purpose. HyLoft Ceiling Storage Units
are adjustable and simply screw into your garage's ceiling joists. Each 45 x 45-inch section installs separately, but you can add as many as you like depending on your budget and the space available.
Bulky trash and recycling carts.
Stackable plastic bins.
With everything else your garage is expected to contain, do you really have room for those huge rolling trash and recycling carts from your city's utilities department? I'm betting the answer is "No!" Okay, so stow those big bulky wheelie bins outside where they belong, in a spot that's convenient for curb-side collection. Next, shop around for some stackable plastic bins and use these for keeping recycling contained and sorted.
Suncast's set of three stackable bins
are sturdy and roomy yet take up a bare minimum of floor space. If you own a hand truck
, it'll be a cinch to roll all three outside on trash day without breaking a sweat.
Your garage still in need of help? Don't worry, we have more organizing tips in this video: