Storage Tips

12 Garage Storage Ideas You’ll Wish You Thought of Years Ago

Spoiler: Leftover PVC pipe goes a long way.

February  7, 2022
Photo by Jodie Johnson/Getty Images

I like to think I’m a moderately organized person, but let me tell you—my garage is a mess. With a blizzard bearing down on us last week, my partner and I spent a full hour cleaning up just so we could fit our two cars into their respective bays. What was in there, you ask? Mostly human-size stacks of cardboard boxes (in my defense, my work in product-testing yields a lot of boxes), miscellaneous yard tools that don’t have a designated home, and piles of scrap wood from our recent window replacement project.

It’s easy to overlook the organization of garages and workshops, but I couldn’t help thinking how much easier life would be if everything was a bit tidier. So, I’ve decided to make organizing the garage my late winter/early spring project. Naturally, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. Here are some of the best storage ideas I found that are going to make my life—and yours—so much easier.

1. An Upcycled Tool Organizer

One of the biggest hurdles I have to tackle is figuring out how to organize all our garden tools—we have so many shovels, rakes, hoes, brooms, etc. I was initially looking at wall-mounted tool hangers, but they’re pretty pricey and I much prefer the idea of upcycling materials we already have. This tool rack is made from PVC pipe and spare wood, and I like that you can space the sections as far away as needed to comfortably fit your tools.

2. A Special Rack for Spray Cans

We have a miscellaneous corner filled with spray paint in the garage, so you can bet that I’m going to invest in one of these amazing racks. The wall-mounted spray paint holder can accommodate up to 20 cans, and it holds them at an angle to maximize space. Plus, the rack can also hold other similarly sized cans, such as WD-40.

3. This Funky Gadget That Winds Up Extension Cords

I’d like to shake the hand of the person who invented this tool. It’s a wall-mounted extension cord winder that you can use to neatly store all those spare power cords. When you need the cord, just pull it out, and when you’re done using it, you can crank it back into the little mesh basket. No tangles! Excuse me while I add two to my cart.

4. A Sneaky Way To Create More Storage Space

Think you’re all maxed out on shelf space? Not so fast! If your garage or workshop has exposed ceiling support beams, you can easily turn them into convenient storage space. (Seriously, why didn’t I think of that?!) All you have to do is put a wire shelf or another support underneath them, and just like that, you have built-in storage cubbies to tuck miscellaneous items out of the way.

5. Power Tool Holders Made From... PVC Pipes

Let’s be honest: PVC pipe is the star of this round-up. This person used small pieces of leftover pipe to create holsters for power tools, and then they mounted them to the bottom of a shelf. Our power tools always end up scattered around the house, workshop, and basement, so I love the idea of having one “docking” station for them.

6. A DIY Nail And Screw Storage Station

It’s no secret that we love up-cycling, so this strategy for storing nails, screws, and other pieces of hardware is A+ in our book. The creator used little plastic jars to sort all types of fasteners, and then they mounted the lids to the underside of a shelf. This keeps the jars visible and out of the way, and you can simply screw the container off when you need a nail or screw.

7. An Inexpensive Hack for Storing Garbage Bags

Here’s a DIY project that’s easy enough for anyone to tackle. All you need to create this garbage bag dispenser is two curtain rod brackets and a wooden dowel, and the beauty of it is that you can adjust the size to fit your preferred trash bags. I’m definitely planning to make one for our big roll of contractor bags!

8. Another Option for Storing Long-Handle Tools

I also really love this option for storing garden tools, especially for smaller spaces. It’s great because you can make it as tall as needed to accommodate all your long-handle tools. You can buy the vertical brackets already made, but it would also be a fairly easy DIY. All you need is some heavy-duty dowels, a spade drill bit, and some wood glue.

9. A Lumber Rack for All Those Wood Scraps

This wood storage solution is going to be a must-have in my garage/workshop. We have so many little piles of scrap wood hanging around, and I’d love to have it all organized in a lumber rack. There are lots of different rack styles to choose from based on how much space you have and what you’re storing, and the best part is that most of them can be made using said scrap wood.

10. A Power Tool Charging Station

Here’s another great option for keeping power tools—and their respective chargers—organized. The shelving unit has slots where tools can be hung, and there are shelves to store both the batteries and chargers. You could likely build this storage unit yourself if you’re handy, but there are similar tool racks for sale, as well.

11. An Easy DIY Holder for Sports Balls

You know those big bins full of bouncy balls that you see at Walmart? It’s like that, but DIY-friendly! All you need is a few bungee cords and a wooden frame, and you’ll be able to make the perfect holder for all your family’s sports balls. The best part is that you can adjust the spacing between cords to hold balls of different sizes.

12. A Rolling Storage Bin For Wood Cutoffs

It’s only fitting to finish out this round-up with another amazing PVC project. This cutoff storage bin has pipes of all different sizes, allowing you to sort wood scraps by length. Plus, it’s mounted on a wheeled base so you can easily move it around the workshop as needed. I love it!

When was the last time you reorganized your garage? No judgment, promise.

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • KC
  • Marcene Austin
    Marcene Austin
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    Liz Summers
  • Smaug
Freelance writer, product tester & baking enthusiast.


KC March 23, 2022
These were practiced by my grandfather (and likely the grandfathers of many others) decades ago. Nothing new here.
Marcene A. February 17, 2022
I really like several of these ideas, but I'd love to see some pictures. All I see are pictures of unrelated items (e.g., Home Decor, Cleaning).
Liz S. February 7, 2022
There are some great ideas here! I don't tend to keep much stuff "in the event I'll need it ... someday" ... except in the garage. I re-organize, clean up and get rid of some things Spring and Fall when I change locations of lawn care/snow removal tools and machines, but there is still "stuff" that is leaned against/between wall studs. So ... this Spring, I will take some of the above ideas and put them to use. That is my plan :)
Smaug February 7, 2022
I search my workshop in vain for all that unused wall space I'm always told to utilize. The cords on the router and sander are wrapped too tightly, they're likely to fail eventually- should be a cheap repair, but there's no such thing anymore.