Garage Organization

By: Danny Lipford
Organized garage after adding shelving, hanging plant racks, and bike hooks.

Organized garage after adding shelving, hanging plant racks, and bike hooks.

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The first step in organizing your garage is to clean out anything you haven’t used in the past few years. Rather than throwing it away, consider holding a garage sale or donating useable items to charitable organizations. Then sort the remaining items by categories to make them easier to find. Once everything is organized, it’s time to work on storage solutions.

Bicycle Storage

Bikes can take up a lot of room in a garage. While children’s bikes are best lined against a wall for easy access, adult bikes can be hung upside down on plastic coated screw hooks from the ceiling to reduce clutter. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Measure the distance from hub to hub on the wheels to determine how far the two hooks should be positioned apart.
  2. Find the direction of the ceiling joists and measure out from the wall to the joist on which the bike will be hung.
  3. Mark the hook positions on the ceiling of the garage and check the location of the joist by hammering in a small nail.
  4. Drill pilot holes for the hooks.
  5. Screw the hooks through the ceiling and into the joist.

Watch How to Hang Bikes in a Garage to find out more.

Hanging Plant Rack

A garage ceiling is also the perfect place to store hanging plants during the winter. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Line the plants up to see how much space is needed to hang them.
  2. Install two screw hooks in ceiling joists far enough apart to accommodate the plants.
  3. Cut a piece of metal pipe 2” longer than the distance between the hooks.
  4. Measure in 1” from each end of the pipe and drill holes through the pipe to accommodate the two eye bolts.
  5. Insert the eye bolts in the holes and fasten in place with washers and nuts.
  6. Hang short lengths of chain from each of the ceiling hooks, and attach the chain to the eye bolts using “S” hooks.

Storing Lawn and Garden Equipment

Hooks or racks mounted on the garage wall are a great way to store lawn and garden equipment. To do it:

  1. Cut a 1”x 4” board to length, and mount it horizontally on the wall high enough to accommodate your longest rakes or shovels.
  2. Attach hooks, nails, or premade racks to the board and hang your equipment on it.

Watch Storing Lawn and Garden Tools to find out more.

Garage Shelves

Shelves mounted on the wall provide additional storage:

  1. Measure the items you plan to store to be sure the shelves are deep enough and the proper distance apart. We used two rows of shelves 16” deep.
  2. Measure down from the ceiling at each end of the garage, and mark the location of the shelves with a chalk line.
  3. Use a stud finder to mark the location of each stud on the chalk line.
  4. Cut 1” x 2” horizontal cleats to run the length of each shelf.
  5. Attach the cleats to the studs even with chalk lines using 2” drywall screws.
  6. Mount 1”x 4” vertical support strips in the studs every 32” beneath the cleats.
  7. Attach metal support brackets to the strips even with the top of the cleats using 2” or longer screws. For our 16” shelves, we used 11”x 15” brackets.
  8. Rip 3/4” particleboard, MDF, or plywood to width for the shelves.
  9. Screw the shelves to the brackets and cleats.

Watch How to Build Garage Storage Shelves to find out more.

Garage Countertop Workbench

A particleboard countertop serves as additional storage space and a handy workbench. We made ours 24” deep by 36” high:

  1. Attach a 1”x 2” horizontal cleat to the studs.
  2. Install 1”x 4” vertical support strips on 16” centers to each stud below the cleats.
  3. Screw metal support brackets to each stud flush with the top of the horizontal cleat.
  4. Cut two triangular particleboard or plywood end supports and attach to the cleat and support strips.
  5. Attach a particleboard or plywood top to the brackets and triangular supports.
  6. Glue and nail a 1”x 2” edging flush with the top of the countertop workbench.

Watch Building a Garage Countertop Workbench to find out more.

Additional Garage Ideas

  • Make and attach L-shaped wooden runners to the bottom of the countertop workbench to accommodate slide out recycling bins.
  • Discarded kitchen cabinets make perfect garage storage space.
  • Home centers also stock inexpensive utility cabinets that can be used in a garage.
  • You can also buy specialty garage cabinets from companies like Garage Tek and Gladiator GarageWorks.
  • Installing a wide strip of indoor/outdoor carpet around the perimeter of the garage with double sided carpet tape can prevent dirt from being tracked into the house.
  • Hang a practice golf ball from the ceiling on a piece of string so it touches the windshield when the car is far enough in for the garage door to close. (Watch Video)

Other Tips From This Episode

Tip for Bagging Leaves

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Bagging Leaves

To secure a plastic bag to the rim of a garbage can when bagging leaves, cut the center out of the garbage can lid then snap it on the can over the bag. Remove the lid when the bag is full to dispose of the leaves.

Milwaukee Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Milwaukee Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum

The Milwaukee cordless wet/dry vac resembles a toolbox, making it easy to carry and store. Models are available in either 18 or 28 volt and use NiCd or lithium ion batteries. Available at The Home Depot stores.

Reducing Heat Loss and Gain in Your Home

Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Reducing Heat Loss and Gain

Up to 40% of the heat loss or gain in a home is due to leaks in the thermal envelope surrounding the living space. To save energy, make sure the attic has plenty of insulation, and fill any cracks or gaps around windows, doors, plumbing pipes, and HVAC lines. Installing foam gaskets behind switch and outlet covers is another good way to reduce air infiltration in your home.

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Garage Organization