Garage organization tips

Garages store much more than cars—inevitably, families ending up using them as repositories for everything from tools and gardening supplies to bicycles and seasonal decorations. And they get messy in a hurry. But you can avoid your garage becoming a neighbourhood eyesore by implementing some simple garage storage solutions. Whether you’re looking for a good place to store your shovels, rakes and weeders or trying to organize your collection of nuts and bolts so you can actually find what you’re looking for when you need it, we’ve got ideas for you.

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1Get started with some simple shelves and/or cabinets.

Garage organization tips shelving cabinets

Every garage can benefit from some plastic tubular shelves. They’re inexpensive, assemble in minutes and can store all manner of stuff, from car batteries to 100-litre plastic bins. If you want a cleaner look, consider modular garage cabinets. They hide things away behind doors, and you can keep adding to them as needed. Some helpful tips:

  • Larger items—like camping gear—can go on shelves as they are.
  • Try to group smaller stuff (such as Christmas lights and bike parts) in bins.
  • Make sure to place heavier articles like paint cans and salt bags on lower shelves.
  • Remember to fasten shelves and cabinets to walls to prevent tipping accidents.

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2Select the right bins for the right stuff.

Garage organization tips storage bins

Bins can be used to hide all manner of things, but not every bin is made for every thing. Giant plastic bins are great, but load them up with 100 litres of pet food products and they become back-breakingly heavy. We suggest taking stock of what you intend to store before buying your bins. A few tips to keep in mind:

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3Preserve floor space with racks and hooks.

Garage organization tips floor space

You’ll be amazed at how much more spacious your garage feels once you clear stuff off the floor. What’s more, using racks and hooks to hang things can provide quick access to clunky tools and outdoor toys while also making it easier to sweep and clean. Pick the right wall mounts and your garage will be the envy of the neighbourhood. Some tips:

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4Spend an afternoon sorting screws and your future self will thank you.

Garage organization tips sorting screws

Drawers full of random screws, nails, fittings and fasteners are a nuisance for garage owners everywhere. You can easily solve this problem with multi-compartment organizers. Invest a couple of hours sorting through all your wee doodads and future projects will go much more smoothly. Some tips:

  • Resist the urge to overstuff individual compartments—this defeats the purpose of organizers.
  • Try an organizer with drawers for slightly larger items, like batteries and adhesives.
  • Some organizers can be stacked, letting you scale up as your screw collection grows.
  • Don’t be afraid to toss or recycle small parts you know you’ll never use again.

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5Upgrade your tool storage (shoeboxes don’t count!).

Garage organization tips tool storage

You may not be a professional contractor, but you should still take care of your tools. A simple, inexpensive toolbox is all it takes to keep your wrenches and ratchets sorted and in good working condition while simultaneously helping you keep your garage and workspace clean and tidy. Some helpful tips:

  • Sort your tools by type, rather than size or shape, to make finding them easier.
  • Look for toolboxes with compartments for screws and nails—they’re a one-stop picture-hanging shop.
  • Bad back? Consider a rolling toolbox to make it easier to take your tools where they’re needed.

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6Store even more with a tool chest.

Garage organization tips tool chest

If toolboxes are homes for tools, then tool chests are basically tool mansions. Not only do they provide more storage, they also often come with handy features, including work surfaces, power outlets and even Wi-Fi speakers. The main draw, though, is that they keep tools large and small sorted and safe—and they look good doing it. Some tips:

  • Dangerous tools and curious kids aren’t a good match, so consider a tool chest with lockable drawers and cabinets.
  • Some tool chests are expandable, letting you purchase the bottom first, then buy a top with additional drawers if/when needed.
  • If you frequently work with corded electric tools, a chest with built-in power outlets is a must.

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7Dealing with the bicycle clutter.

Garage organization tips bike storage

Do your kids tend to leave their bikes in tangled heaps on the driveway? Help them to be a bit tidier and to keep their two-wheeled transports in tip-top shape by properly putting them away in parking racks in your garage. Then when winter comes, keep your family’s bikes safely out of the way by hanging them from the wall or ceiling. Some helpful tips:

  • Pick a bike rack with enough wheel slots for all your bikes.
  • Make sure to screw tire hooks or clips into wall studs that can handle their weight.
  • Remember that garages with raised ceilings are best suited for bike hoists.
  • Consider removing front tires for more efficient winter bike storage.

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8Why storage carts are going to be your new best friend.

Garage organization tips storage cart

A drawback to storage solutions like cabinets or big bins is that once you put something in them, they can become heavy to move around. Storage carts combat this issue by allowing you to reposition whole groups of items elsewhere in your garage or out onto the driveway and down paved yard paths with a simple push. A few helpful tips:

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9Combine productivity and storage with a workbench.

Garage organization tips work bench

Garage workbenches don’t simply provide a surface for you to do home improvement projects. They also often come with drawers and shelves for you to store many of your larger tools, plus pegboards so you can hang smaller tools above the table for easy access. Some tips:

  • It’s best to resist the urge to stack stuff on the work surface or you’ll negate the bench’s primary purpose.
  • Note that some benches have casters so you can roll them around and reposition within your garage as necessary.
  • If you use power tools or work at night, consider a plug-in bench with power outlets and overhead lights.

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