See how we used garage organization ideas to transform our messy garage into a fabulous organized space where everything has a place!
Ahhh, the garage. It’s a never ending battle to keep a garage clean and organized. Right?? At least in my experience!
It tends to be a dumping ground for things coming into the home and doesn’t get a lot of attention on a regular basis.
As with any space in a home, it will need a regular clean up and re-organization from time-to-time. But having a place for everything goes a LONG way in keeping it tidy and organized. (And keeping your cars parked inside!)
When we moved in, our garage was completely void of any organization systems. There were no shelves or hooks. Nothing! (It looks like the previous owners had a system, but took it with them.)
In a way, I’m thankful that it was a blank slate.
We lived in the space with a messy garage for a year and a half before we got it organized. While it was frustrating to live with the mess, it also allowed us to see how we used it. And thankfully we didn’t have to retro fit anything that was already there.
My Goals When We Started Organizing the Garage
I had two main goals for our garage organization project:
1. Find a Place for Everything (and get rid of what didn’t have a place)
2. Get as much as possible off the floor.
While we didn’t accomplish the second goal 100%, we got most everything off the floor and I’m happy with it. For example, we’ve always leaned camping chairs and golf clubs up against a wall. But having them off the floors has kept them so much more tidy! Fishing poles were always a tangled mess before. And now they are organized and stay tangle free!
Getting things off the floors was a lesson in garage organization ideas I learned after we organized our previous garage. I also learned that I needed to make things accessible that we used often (or wanted to use often).
We had a smaller garage in our old house, so we hung the bikes from the ceilings. But I could never reach them.
So, this time we put the bikes in the walls. Much easier to reach and therefore we ride bikes more! So, I learned a lot of lessons from our old garage.
Our Garage Makeover
I’m sharing all of my tips and tricks for storage in a garage here. But let’s take a look at where we started and how we transformed the space!
It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. We had dumped everything in there when we moved, sort of put similar things together, then left it. It sat like this for a year and a half before we organized it!
The worst part of it all was that we couldn’t find what we needed and several things were “lost” under piles. So, we really needed to clean it up and find some storage solutions.
Thankfully we have a large enough garage that it could be a mess and I could still park in there.
But it needed a lot of help, planning and implementation before it would be functional and organized.
And now that it’s done, I’m so proud of the space! I’m thankful we took our time figuring out how the space worked best for us. And I’m happy to say we LOVE the results! (We’ve been living with the results for 6 months+ as I’m writing this, so we’ve had time to live with it and it’s working so well!)
I hope this helps you to organize your garage if you’re facing a similar mountain of stuff. Hopefully sharing how we whipped our garage into shape will help you!
How to Organize the Garage
We started this project when it was the early summer. It wasn’t too hot yet and we had several days dedicated to getting the garage in order. Make sure the weather looks nice, too, since everything has to come out of the garage before you put it back in!
1. Pull Everything Out
All of the stuff had to come out before we could put it back in.
We threw away the trash and donated stuff we had outgrown or didn’t use any more. And we started to group things together that were similar.
2. Take Inventory and Categorize
I categorized everything into categories that made the most sense for garage organization:
- Camping Gear
- Outdoor/Yard Tools
- Household Tools
- Beach Gear/Lake Gear
- Hobby Equipment (hunting and golf bags, etc.)
- Miscellaneous Small Items
- Painting Gear/Supplies
- Grill Equipment
- and more!
3. Decide the Best Way to Store Each Category
So, after taking inventory, I knew how much of each category I had. Now, I had to decide the best way to store them.
I knew that I wanted everything off the floor. So, we needed to utilize vertical space as much as possible. And these are the best ways I’ve found to store each category.
Track System – this is usually best for yard tools, long-handled items, outdoor chairs and odd shaped items like strollers, wheel barrows and ladders.
Pegboard System – this system works well with small tools, light objects and cleaning tools or workbench supplies.
Shelves – these are great for storing bins of smaller items like camping gear, beach gear, gardening supplies, seasonal decor, hunting gear and more!
Hooks – I love a hook for ladders, bicycles, large tools and other heavy items! You can use hooks on or off a track system.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. See my full disclosure policy.
4. Map Out the Space Based on Your Needs & Implement Them
Now that we had our stuff categorized and decided how to store them, we could plan out the space! Learn from some of these garage organization ideas.
At this point I had to stop working in the garage and order the products and wait for them to arrive.
I knew I wanted to store our household tools, like hammers, drills, paint supplies and more, near the door to our house. I just step into the garage from the kitchen and everything I need is right at my fingertips.
The work bench was also a big priority in this space. So, I looked online for a product that would meet my needs and I settled on this Garage Workstation System. It’s one of the best garage organization ideas I came across! It’s the storage and organization system of my dreams.
I ended up modifying it a little bit to fit my needs better, but used the pre-made system as a base for my changes. I added an extra shelf to the bottom of the system for more storage since my ceilings are 9.5 feet tall. And this brought the workbench counter up a little higher, but it works perfectly as a standing workbench!
Then we figured out that my husband’s hunting cabinet could go in the far corner since it didn’t need to be accessed very often. And several of our large items go in front of it, like the saws, shop vac and lawn mower. Many of these things are on wheels, so they are easy to move around when we need to get something out!
Getting that situated in the corner let us know how much room we had for vertical shelving on the back wall. I also knew I wanted to have a track system under the shelves along the back wall for hanging our chairs and our extension cords, etc. This helped me decide how many shelves to buy.
I love that our camping and beach chairs are no longer in a pile on the floor. They were always falling over before!
We knew we wanted the yard tools near the outside door, so it made sense to put them on the largest wall closest to the garage door. And that left us just enough room to hang up our bicycles.
Then, on the opposite wall, we had to contend with breaker boxes and a window we didn’t want to cover. So, it was the perfect place to put things like our deep freezer, trash can, golf bag storage and some outdoor toy storage.
And in a manner of “no wasted space” we used the wall space above the 4-wheeler as the home for our wall-mounted fishing pole storage. I refused to keep our fishing poles in a tangled pile ever again!
That’s how we stored each category of stuff we have in our garage. Let me know if you have any questions about any of it in the comments!
The Products Used for Garage Organization Ideas
I have used a variety of products over the years to organize a garage and I can vouch for two specific products that we love! (Not sponsored, just love them and spend our own money on them.)
Rubbermaid FastTrack systems the the brand for all of our track and shelving systems. It makes it easy to keep it all in the same brand family because everything is interchangeable. We used this system in our last garage and knew we liked it, so we used it again!
- Garage Track System – the started system with several hooks and holders included
- Steel Multipurpose Hook – perfect for rakes, brooms and other long-handled tools
- Vertical Bike Hook
- Shelving System
For as long as we’ve been married, we’ve just propped up our golf bags against the wall. They were always falling over or just being in the way. I LOVE this golf bag organizer with shelves for shoes or other things. We have an extra large organizer that will hold our two golf bags plus our kids’ golf bag. It’s made to hold two extra large bags.
This utility garage system with workbench is a little more in-depth than the track and shelf systems. I measured my space and then looked at the dimensions for the workbench system. There was room for some more storage on the bottom because my walls are taller than 9 feet.
I also realized I didn’t want to use the track systems on the left side at the top. Instead I wanted a hook for our ladder there. And I moved the lower left track to another wall for sports and toy storage.
The whole system was also out of stock when I went to buy it, so I had to piecemeal it together. It took me quite a while on the Web site to figure out each piece I needed. If you want to order the components, I’m sharing the individual pieces I ordered, so you can simply copy me!
Garage Utility System with Workbench Pieces
- 4 – Elfa 84″ Hang Standard Platinum – These are the vertical pieces that run along the back of the system. I wanted longer pieces since I have 9.5 foot walls. So I ordered the 104″ hanging pieces.
- 5 – 32″ Elfa Top Track Platinum
- 1 – 80″ Elfa Top Track Platinum
- 3 – Elfa Wood Screws Pkg/10
- 4 – Elfa Utility Fittings for Utility Track Platinum Set of 2
- 22 – 16″ Elfa Ventilated/Decor Shelf Bracket Platinum – I ordered 4 more since I added the extra baskets at the bottom.
- 4 – 20″ Elfa Ventilated/Decor Shelf Bracket Platinum
- 3 – 16″ x 2′ Elfa Ventilated Shelf Platinum
- 1 – 16″ x 4′ Elfa Ventilated Shelf Platinum
- 5 – 2′ x 15″ x 5/8″ h Elfa Utility Board Platinum
- 8 – Elfa Classic 2’/60cm Hanging Drawer Frame Platinum
- 6 – Elfa 24″ 2-Runner Mesh Hanging Drawer Platinum
- 3 – 20″ x 2′ x 1-1/4″ h Elfa Utility Work Surface Grey
- 2 – Platinum Elfa Classic 2′ Mesh Hanging Drawers & Frame
- 4 – 16″ Elfa Center Bracket Cover Platinum – These cover the drawer frames between the drawers
- 6 – 16″ Elfa Left Bracket Cover Platinum – these finish off the edges of the left-side shelves
- 6 – 16″ Elfa Right Bracket Cover Platinum – these finish off the edges of the right-side shelves
- 1 – Elfa Utility Mesh Storage Bag Grey
- 2 – 16″ Bracket Hook-5 Platinum – I added these hooks to the sides for extra storage
- 2 – Elfa Utility Bracket Posts Grey Set of 2
- 4 – Elfa Drawer Label Holders Pkg/4
Utility Pegboard Components
- Long Board Hook Platinum Pkg/3
- Large Tool Holders Grey Pkg/2 – great for paint rollers
- Small Tool Holders Grey Pkg/2 – great for hammers
- Long Tool Hook Grey Pkg/4 – I love these for paint brushes and scraping tools
- Pliers Hook Grey Pkg/2
- Multi-Tool Holder Grey – great for screwdrivers
- Round/Cord Hook Grey – I use these for my drill and nail gun
- Slim Hook Platinum Pkg/6
- Straight/Handled Tool Hook Grey
- Pegboard Boxes
- Wrench Holder Grey Set of 2
- Magnetic Divided Pencil Cup – Comes in more colors, just search the site for them!
Extra Baskets at the Bottom
(Must have 3 – 104″ hang pieces instead of the 3 – 84″ hang pieces to allow for room for these baskets.)
- 3 – 16″ x 2′ x 3-5/8″ h Elfa Classic Shelf Basket Platinum – this is if you want to add extra baskets at the bottom, like me.
- 6 – 16″ Elfa Shelf Basket Dividers Clear Pkg/2
I hope it was helpful to see how we took a blank garage and made it an organizational work horse! I beam with pride every time I walk through the garage because it turned out so well. I’m glad we took our time and made sure it would work for our family’s needs.
Let me know if you have any garage organization ideas of your own! Leave them below in the comments so we can all benefit from them!