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10 Easy Ways To Organize The Garage

If you’re looking for some tips to organize the garage, these easy storage ideas will have the clutter cleared in no time.

10 Easy Ways To Organize The Garage
10 Easy Ways To Organize The Garage

It seems like at the beginning of every year, I go through a round of organizing, and this year is no different.  Since I finished my office organizing project (which you can see HERE), I moved on to organize the garage.

Trust me when I say it needed to be organized in a bad way! It took me the better part of 2 weekends to get it done, but I’m very happy now that it’s finished!

Click next to see the ways I used to get my garage organized.

Store Wood

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Lumber Storage Rack, via amazon.com*

A storage rack for wood adds gives you a lot of storage space without taking up much floor space.  I got this one* for Christmas a coupe of years ago.

Turn wire shelves upside down to keep short boards from falling off
Turn wire shelves upside down to keep short boards from falling off

To make shorter boards easier to store, turn wire shelves upside down.  The turned up edge will keep the boards from falling off.

If you prefer not to buy a wood rack, you can also make one.  Find the instructions at ana-white.com

Hang Extension Cords

Use PVC plumbing pipes to hold extension cords.  This is an easy DIY project.

Drill an angled hole in a 2" x 4"
Drill an angled hole in a 2″ x 4″

1. Use a 7/8″ hole bit to drill a hole on an angle in a 2″ x 4″. Make sure not to drill all the way through the board.

2. Cut a 3/4″ PVC pipe to 6″ lengths.

3. Install the pipe lengths in the drilled holes.

4. Hang up the extension cords.

Store Small Items In A Shoe Organizer

A shoe organizer makes great garage storage
A shoe organizer makes great garage storage

A shoe organizer* is a great way to store all kinds of odds and ends.

On my to do list:  Adding labels to make things easier to find (and make sure they get put back in the same place).

Add Wheels

Create a dolly by adding wheels to a piece of wood
Create a dolly by adding wheels to a piece of wood

Add wheels to as many things as you can.  That will make things easy to move around.

You can easily add wheels to anything by cutting a piece of plywood to fit under the item and attaching wheels to each corner of the board.  Then place the item on top of the board.

Make Use Of The Ceiling Height

If you have things that you don’t use often, consider installing a shelf close to the ceiling.

I bought one of these ceiling storage racks* and I was surprised at how many things will fit up there.  For items you don’t use very often (like Christmas ornaments). it’s a great place to store them that is easy to get to and out of the way.

If you prefer, you can also build a rack of your own using these instructions from ana-white.com.

Ceiling Rack Installation Tip

These ceiling storage racks need to be attached to the studs in the ceiling in order to be strong enough to hold the weight.  Finding studs in the ceiling is much more difficult than in the walls (my regular stud finder didn’t work).

The trick I found was to see where my garage door opener brackets were attached.  They also have to be installed into studs in the ceiling so start there and measure out.  The studs will usually be 16″ or 24″ apart and you’ll still need to figure out which direction they are going in (front to back or side to side)…but at least you’ll know where to start looking.

Use Clear Bins

Clear bins make finding items easier
Clear bins make finding items easier

I think every garage organization article I have ever read talks about using clear bins* for storage…there’s a reason for that!  They make getting organized so much easier.

It helps to have the bins ready before you start organizing.  Then designate a different one for each type of item you need to store (I have bins for things like electrical parts, plumbing bits, drawer pulls, etc.)

Putting the bins on shelves so that you can pull them out without having to un-stack them makes them much easier to use.

Label Everything

Label bins
Label bins

Adding labels to everything makes them much easier to find…and makes sure things get put back in the right place.

I like to use a label machine* to make easy-to-read labels.  But masking tape and markers work too!

Install Wide Shelves Perpendicular To The Walls

Shelves perpendicular to the wall
Shelves perpendicular to the wall

If you have shelves that are more than a foot wide, standing them up against the wall can make it difficult to find things. If you have to move a bunch of things to get at what you want (at the back of the shelf), chances are it’s not going to go back in the same place.  That will make your garage become disorganized again quickly!

One way to make these shelves more efficient is to install them perpendicular to the wall.  Then you can get at items on the shelves from both sides.  Just make sure that the shelves are sturdy enough to stand up without falling over.

Build a Fold Down Work Bench

The finished workbench
The finished workbench

Building a work bench that will fold down has 2 benefits.  One is that you have a great surface to work on.  But when you don’t need it, it doesn’t take up too much space.

You can find the instructions to build one one HERE.

Workbench via amazon.com*

Of course, if you prefer not to make your own workbench, there are lots of pre-made versions available.

Organize Your Tools

Electrical boxes are perfect for pegboard storage
Electrical boxes are perfect for pegboard storage

If you keep your tools in the garage (like I do), making sure they’re organized is a big part of keeping the garage organized.  I tackled this problem last year (you can see that project HERE).

I’m happy to report that this part of my garage did manage to stay organized.  To me, that is a sign that it worked!

Do you have some other easy ways to organize the garage? Tell us in the section below.

This post was originally published on March 14, 2017 but was updated with new content on January 8, 2022.

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  1. Kathleen Church says:

    Another way to do storage containers is color containers like.. green for Christmas, red for valentine’s day, orange or black for Halloween and so on… To do an outline of your tool hanging from the peg board, so when isn’t there, you track it down, that helps also on what you have or don’t have. I hope this helps you miss Wanda and others like ourselves.

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      I love those ideas, Kathleen! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Very good ideas, Wanda. Can’t believe how many of your ideas I have done over the years only yours are a bit more sophisticated. Are brains passed thru generations? Love watching you. Aunty Elaine

    1. Thanks, Aunt Elaine…it must be a family way of thinking 🙂