16 Clever Space Saving Ideas for Your Garage
Your garage is much more than just a place to park cars. It’s a warehouse, a toyshop, a workshop and quite possibly, your favorite place to hang out. This collection of great garage tips will help your garage work smarter so you can do everything you want there-including park your car!
Build a Compact Folding Workbench with Storage
Here’s a workspace that’s huge and accessible from all sides yet folds up and stows away easily. If you don’t have room for a full-size permanent workbench but really need space to spread things out, this workbench is it. It opens to a solid 4 x 7-ft. surface with both wings up yet closes and rolls into a small 4-ft. x 18-in. spot in a corner of the room. It’s a perfect workspace for the garage or basement. Plus: Check out 13 more super-simple workbenches you can build.
Store More on Walls
Don’t Waste the High Space
If all the stuff in your garage is within easy reach, you’re probably wasting lots of storage space. The high spaces may not be prime real estate for often-used tools, but they’re perfect for long-term storage. Deep shelving or cabinets near the ceiling can hold a ton of seasonal stuff like holiday decorations or camping gear.
Ceiling Storage Bonanza
This simple combination of plastic bins and homemade support carriages is perfect for holiday decorations and other rarely needed stuff. To make the carriages, just screw and glue 3/4-in. plywood flanges to 2x4s. Then screw the carriages to ceiling joists and slide in the bins. Get more details on building this system.
Easy-to-Build Benchtop Organizer
A stack of plastic bins can organize thousands of small items. But it’s not very convenient when the bin you need is at the bottom of the stack. That’s the point of this cabinet: You can slide out any bin—no stacking and unstacking. You can easily build a cabinet identical to this one. Or you can customize it, using larger or smaller bins, more bins or fewer. Whatever configuration you choose, this project is a great clutter solution for the garage, workshop or craft room. Click here for the full plans.
If your garage does double duty as parking space and work space, a rolling workbench is essential. It lets you convert your garage into a workshop quickly and rolls up against the wall to restore parking space. The version shown here began as a standard rolling bench made from 2x4s and plywood. Then we added a slick feature: heavy-duty shelf brackets that make it the Swiss army knife of workbenches.
Build Big Cabinets in Place
You don’t have to be a cabinetmaker to build big, sturdy cabinets— especially if you build them in place. All you have to do is screw 2x2s to the wall and ceiling and then screw plywood panels to the 2x2s to form the top, bottom and sides of cabinet boxes. This approach is simple, fast and economical; the materials cost about $250.
Don’t waste floor space on your wheelbarrow?hang it on the wall. Special hardware is available at some home centers, but you can easily build it yourself. Substitute a scrap of 1×4, a pair of mending plates and screw hooks that act as latches. Then you can easily lock the wheelbarrow against the wall.
Most electrical codes require just one outlet in the garage. And that’s just what most builders give you—one measly outlet for all your tools and toys. If you have open studs, you can easily run wire and add outlets as long as you follow a few basic rules (find articles about garage wiring here).
If your walls are covered, you don’t have to cut into them to run wires. Instead, you can mount metal or plastic wiring channels and outlet boxes right on the wall.
Build a Fold-Up Work Surface with Storage
Every good workshop (even if it’s just a sliver of your garage) needs a quality workbench with ample storage. Begin this space-saving starter workbench in the morning, and you’ll be using it to work on projects by the evening!
Add Outdoor Storage
Keep Ladders Out of the Way
Hang ladders from the ceiling so they don’t hog prime storage space. The rollers on this simple carriage let you easily slide in one end of the ladder, then the other. The materials you’ll need are all inexpensive. Fasten the corner braces to ceiling joists with 2-in. lag screws. Secure the ladder with an elastic cord so it can’t roll out and fall.
Enlarge Your Garage
Whether you need more storage space or more work space, the ultimate solution for a too-small garage is an addition. In many cases, you can knock out a section of garage wall. Install a header to support the weight of the roof, and build a large ‘bump-out.’ It’s easier than you might think to build a 5 x 12- ft. bump-out without adding a full concrete foundation.
For smaller items and tools, cabinets can be custom-made. This cabinet is the perfect solution for small painting supplies, glue and more. The compact design is close to the wall and sturdy.
Store Bikes Up High
It can be difficult to store bikes both out of the way and yet readily available. This collection of options for bike storage will help. From this simple hook to more elaborate double-bike racks, make organizing your garage with one of these solutions.