Tips AU

27+ Great garage storage ideas – tool storage, bike organisation

By Gianna Huesch

Updated: May 4th, 2020

Excess storage driving you mad? Here’s how to neatly park all the clutter of this high traffic space.

A garage often stores an eclectic mix of sports equipment, tools, garden stuff, exercise equipment, beach or camping gear, car supplies, out-of-season clothes, old power cords, a chest freezer, cleaning goods. But do you make it always look clean and tidy? Well, you need a bunch of awesome garage storage ideas to inspire you, which is exactly why I’ve put this article together.

Garages are usually only one or two cars wide, but you can really make a lot out of the space. Shelves can go all the way to the ceiling because—how handy—you’re likely to have a ladder nearby.

Just remember you need to be able to get past the car on either side and in and out of it. You also need to allow for car doors to easily open and to ensure you won’t bang your head.

white and blue
Source: Just a girl and her blog

The rest of your garage is a blank canvas! So to achieve a clean, organised, mess-free garage, you’ll need to keep things off the (very limited) floorspace with a mix of storage options, choosing from racks, cabinets and shelving to simple hooks on pegboard.

Figure out where you’ll want things to go, and how much storage you will need to incorporate everything neatly. Place any items needing to be placed near power outlets, and create storage around those items.

It often helps to organise the contents into designated zones (such as Sporting /  Garden / Tools) and to group similar products. But let’s take a look at some images to help us visualise all the wonderful garage storage solutions.

1. Go light and bright

If you’re decluttering your garage, you’ll probably be aware that as a starting point, you’ll be removing every item currently in your garage and restoring them only after a thoughtful culling process.

Take this opportunity to freshen up what is typically a dark space, by painting the room a light or white colour. The lighter the room, the more inviting it will be, not to mention easier to keep clean.

clean and simple
Source: Just a girl and her blog

2. Have great lighting

If you’ll use it as any kind of workshop or studio you’ll already insist on decent task lighting, but don’t underestimate great ambient lighting as well. It’s rare for a garage to have sufficient natural light, so add a gorgeous statement lamp.

Source: House and Home

3. Hideaway ugly things

Oh, you thought that’s what your garage itself was for? But there’s really no reason why your garage has to resemble Hoarder Central, piled up with random cardboard boxes, plastic bags and old toys. Yes, we all have junk—it just doesn’t seem as bad when the trunks look like this…

hide unsightlies
Source: House and Home

4. Use tools as decoration

There’s a reason #toolporn is actually a hashtag on Instagram. Seems quite a few people enjoy ogling other people’s tool collections and the ways they’ve been arranged to satisfy even the most OCD amongst us. You may not have as many tools as some of these folk, but it may give you inspo for curating the tools you do own.

beautiful woodwork area
Source: Pinterest
tool storage
Source: Pinterest
huge tool storage
Source: Pinterest
anya hindmarsh studio inspo
Source: Du Jour

5. Think about your benchtop needs

Rather than having a work table taking up lots of precious space, you may find a long, narrow workbench installed along a wall is sufficient for your purposes. Deep shelves can be installed even under a very narrow workbench as well, and a storage unit on casters that slides under the bench is even more useful.

organised workspace
Source: Laramalia

6. Think about your shelving needs

A blend of open and closed storage is most useful and customisable. Adjustable shelving is perfect for creating dedicated spots for bulky or long-handled equipment. Store frequently used items at hand height, occasionally used ones at shoulder height or above, and heavy items down low. For heavy items, ensure shelving is solid and installed into wall studs.

 Tip: Ensure you have at least one lockable cabinet for safe chemical storage.

7. Install portable shelving

Especially good for renters, setting up a temporary shelving system lets you accommodate all your storage needs with an overall tidy look. Pick up industrial style shelving cheaply at the home improvement stores or DIY a simple wooden shelving unit. (Why not get a carpenter to do the dirty work for you?)

Source: Livabl
garage greys
Source: Gardenista
storage trolley
Source: Gardenista

8. Install slat wall shelving

Liked for its versatility and neat, minimalist appearance, slat wall panels let you use hooks to create floating shelves where desired, and hang individual items.

Source: lemonthistle

9. The popularity of pegboard

Garage items needing storage are usually a huge variety of shapes and sizes, so the use of pegboard and wall grids has always been popular because it’s so customisable. It looks striking in contrast to your belongings when painted black, and you can then use chalk to make outlines of where tools should go.

black pegboard
Source: Estliving
chalkboard pegboard
Source: Remodelista
chalkboard outlines
Source: Remodelista

Pegboards spotted in garages are also popular in white or metallics.

Source: Gardenista

What all of these have in common is that they are painted a colour that instantly makes them more sophisticated. Get someone to take care of the painting for you so you don’t need to lift a finger.

10. Go vertical

Use the often underused ceiling space above cars and garage doors constructively to add to your storage space with suspended overhead racks and shelving—some even have pulley systems. You can get a pull-down ladder installed quite inexpensively. This space is perfect for things used only occasionally such as camping gear. Buy any kind of storage solution you like off the rack, DIY or get a handyman to do it.

build up
Source: House and Home

Speaking of garage doors, if you don’t have an automatic one you’ll be thanking me once you get your auto garage door installation done.

11. Repurpose garage storage ideas

Second-hand furniture is perfect for garage storage.

wall crates
Source: Design Sponge

Remember also that closed storage cabinets reduce visual clutter.

garage studio storage
Source: Lalulalang
repurposed vintage storage
Source: House Beautiful

12. Be creative with tool storage

Arrange your tools on the walls in ways that make sense to you and the uses you’ll be putting them to, keeping in mind that things always look better grouped together. Use magnetic strips to hang tools or create purpose-built storage easily.

tool storage
Source: Wood Magazine
storage knobs
Source: Pinterest
art corner
Source: Poppytalk

13. Hooks for looks

Hooks are a great way to hang things in your garage and a very versatile garage storage solution.

garage pegboard
Source: Homes To Love

…or create some with nails.

organised paints
Source: Buzzfeed

14. Use labelled tubs for storage

Labelled, matchy-matchy plastic tubs will project instant order, and will protect your belongings from bug or moisture damage. Stacked vertically they can take up little floor space, and if you get opaque ones you’ll get a hint of what’s inside before you check the labels.

diy light blue containers
Source: Just a girl and her blog
garage toy storage
Source: Tidbits

15. Surfboard storage

Surfboards and other boards or large water sport instruments can be put into freestanding racks or wall-mounted. Or mount on rubber, prop them along the side of the garage, separate with wooden pegs and fasten with occy straps. Or you could find space above the car…

garage-storage-surfboard (1)
Source: storeyourboard

Or make a feature of them if they’re a beloved hobby.

Source: Pinterest

16. Neatly store cleaning supplies

A curated selection of household cleaning supplies made from natural materials looks pleasing against a wall (but hide the bottles and solutions in storage baskets unless they have their own appeal).

Source: Wit & Delight

Look for hidden storage opportunities, such as the backs of doors, for hanging organisers.

wall hanging organiser
Source: House Beautiful

17. Create a simple mudroom

So simple to DIY, it’s easy to see why the mini-mudroom continues to be a popular trend. The wall nearest the garage door is obviously most convenient but any wall will do in a compact garage. A mudroom acts as a clutter trap to prevent mess even entering the house, with a personalised landing zone for each family member boasting coat hooks, shoe storage and baskets.

Source: Pinterest

If a mudroom is something that you’d like to add to your home, we’ve put together over 30 mudroom ideas for all sizes and room types.

18. Create a green room / potting shed

Create a mini potting shed with a work surface, shelves and hooks lining a wall, and gather up gardening supplies and plants. You only need a narrow sliver of space for many of the purpose-built potting benches on the market or you could easily DIY a bench with storage.

greeen room inspo
Source: Pistils Nursery
stainless gardening bench
Source: Garden Design
pegboard gardening setup
Source: Studio McGee

19. Set up an art or craft studio

If you have the chance to convert your whole garage, think about turning it into that bucket list-worthy artists’ studio you’ve always craved. Especially if a beautiful aspect goes otherwise unappreciated!

Source: Lalulalang
garage craft station
Source: Bloglovin

20. Set up a wash station

Very handy if you use will be using your garage as a workshop, art studio or just to wash the dogs in.

garage paint station
Source: House Beautiful

21. Sports storage

A simple unified colour scheme and neat plastic tubs will instantly declutter equipment. Designate different tubs to each family member’s sport with labels.

sports storage
Source: Home My Design

This kind of ball storage makes it easy and fun for the kiddies:

Source: Home My Design

22. Bike garage storage ideas

There’s plenty of options for how to store a bike vertically in your garage, but before placing it up too high, remember you’ll be needing to easily get it down to use. Note: keep lawnmowers and bikes near doors so they don’t track dirt all the way through the garage. Here are some ideas for storing wheels:

bike workshop in garage
Source: Pinterest
cedar bike rack
Source: Pinterest
diy scooter storage
Source: DIYS
Source: Cool Material
wall of bikes
Source: Home Décor Magz

23. Hide it all

Take decluttering to the next level by banishing functional items behind panelling or for a lower budget, sheer curtains.

hidden bike storage
Source: Est Living

24. Convert to a studio

Create a calm, zen home office/workspace and be literally detached from all the craziness in the house.

Source: Design Sponge

25. Convert your garage into a sleep space

If you don’t need your garage for parking a car and/or for storage, think about taking advantage of the space to remodel it into a guestroom.

converted garage apartment
Source: Domino

26. Go minimalist

Step out of your car or your house and into a feeling of pure serenity when you simply whitewash your garage interior and place only one or two decorative items. You’ll need to Marie Kondo the heck out of all your junk to achieve a look like this, but this may suit if you don’t store tools or ride a bike, or even if you had a small shed out the backyard that could handle your outdoor gear instead.

minimalist garage
Source: Apartment Therapy

27. Have fun!

Garage walls looking worse for wear? Spruce them up with a typography wall mural such as these.

Source: Bashooka
typography wall mural
Source: Bashooka

Love these ideas or maybe you have a few more garage storage ideas? Let us know in the comments below



I'm an interiors writer living in coastal Australia and discovering all the joys of DIY renovating.

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  1. Arthur - Storewall

    To make the best use of your garage you need to use the height of your walls as well as the walls themselves. You should also consider the roof if this is an option. Getting everything off the ground is key so you can move around safely and access your storage.

  2. Shuhana Allen

    Thank you for such a wonderful round up of garage ideas. We have a garage and a barn that we congenital that is in dire essential of a purge and reorganizing if we hope to park in the garage this winter and prep for our pony’s arrival in the spring. We have a busy winter ahead of us. Thanks for gathering all the inspiration!

    Shuhana Allen

  3. Jean McClaude

    Well this is the most valuable article i have ever read in a while. The garage storage system has helped my garage looks quite spacious. It all depends on the company or the articles you read. If you are living in Utah, Rack your Garage can help you organize your garage.

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