Garages can quickly become blackholes of clutter and chaos: tools get tossed onto shelves and workbenches, hoses and tarps get bunched into a corner, and boxes get pushed up against a wall to keep them out of the way. Even though many of us don't spend a ton of time in our garage, that doesn't mean the space can't benefit from a little tidying and TLC. Thankfully, there are plenty of DIY storage solutions out there, most of which can be created using materials you may already have in your garage.

Lattice racks

Lattice racks are an inexpensive and elegant DIY storage solution for garages. Traditionally, lattice racks are made with wood, but PVC plastic works as well, depending on preference and what you may already have on hand. Use 2x4 studs to create a basic box frame, then secure the lattice on the top and bottom of the frame to use as a rack to store brooms, rakes, and other long-handled tools.


Repurposed pallets

Create modular garage wall storage by repurposing wooden pallets. Pallets are easy to find, and you can usually get them for cheap or free from local businesses. To create this design, simply disassemble the pallets and screw the individual pieces of wood in a wall of your garage, leaving enough space between them to add brackets. Once done, install simple, movable brackets for heavier tools, like shovels and pitchforks. If you want to avoid disassembling any pallets, then simply mount a pallet to the wall. Place shovels, rakes, and other items inside the pallet.


Leverage your joists

Leverage that space between the garage ceiling joists, so it doesn’t go to waste. One way to do this is to create ceiling carriages that will store all those plastic totes with once-in-a-while items, such as camping supplies or holiday decorations. Plywood boxes used as ceiling drawers may work better for storing tools or supplies you use more regularly. Ensure that the items being stored are relatively light, so there’s little risk of collapse.


Organize your cords

Hanging all cords on one hook is a recipe for confusion and mess. The solution to this is a simple cord organizer. One design involves using 6- or 8-inch PVC pipes spaced about 12 inches apart and affixed to a board. This makes it easy to grab and return the rolls. Another storage option involves creating a movable arm with large hooks at different levels for each cord. With this design, the arms allow for a bit more extension, if needed.


Other tool storage ideas

There are plenty of DIY storage ideas for tools that are simple and practical. PVC pipe can be installed under cabinets to store rulers, files, and other thin tools, or you can cut a gap into the bottom of the pipe to use it as a holster for power tools.


Put wood scraps to use

Having a small garage means finding ways to improvise with whatever space and equipment available. Cut wood scraps to make convenient storage brackets for simple items, such as lawn chairs. To do this, make sure the boards are approximately 8 inches long, position them at an upward angle of 30 degrees, and screw them into the wall studs. Another idea is to easily create layered cleats that notch the bins in a vertical rack, leaving more garage floor space.


Explore the versatility of pegboard

Pegboards are great for efficient cluster storage of lighter tools, like files, bits, and chisels. With a 2x2 frame, along with some regular and drywall screws, the pegboard can be mounted and assembled within a couple of hours.


Overhead or ceiling shelves

Overhead or ceiling shelves maximize vertical space, leaving more room for everyday items. These shelves can be made from any material, depending on the length and weight you need. Combine cemented PVC pipes with pipe fittings to create a stable rack shelf for heavier items. Metallic panels can be put up to hold coolers and larger totes with the help of screws and metal brackets. Before installing these, consult a building professional to make sure these DIY construction materials can handle the weight loads.


Ideas for storing ladders

Simply leaning a ladder against the wall may scratch the wall or cause more extensive damage if it falls. A better idea is to store the ladder on the ceiling or wall. Install basic J hooks into wall studs to hang your ladder horizontally. For a ceiling storage solution, screw two 2x4 racks at distant ends onto the ceiling joist. Ensure the racks are a little wider and thicker than the folded ladder, so it easily slides in and out as needed.


Creative bike storage ideas

Simply parking bikes in the garage takes up a lot of space. A quick way to leverage vertical space for bike storage is with the help of a claw-style hook that can hang the bike from the ceiling or wall. Another idea is to secure it on a pegboard with the help of screw-on hooks. For this to work, the board needs to be attached with washer-head screws, or it won’t be able to take the heavier load.

Bikes stored upside down


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