Garage organizers that will change the way your garage functions using smart storage solutions for tools, paint, and sporting equipment.
It’s life changing what some decluttering, smart storage, and a fresh coat of paint can do in an entire garage remodel.
Our garage is proof that the cost-effective way is sometimes you need to get it into good shape.
If you need a great solution for your own garage, this post is full of the best garage storage ideas used by professional organizers to help you reclaim your space.
This DIY garage makeover has been a solid 5 years in the making, and if it were up to Robert, it would have been finished from Day 1.
But we had a million room makeover projects (plus had a baby in the middle of it all), so Operation: Get Our Garage Crap Together kept getting knocked further down the priority list. Now, this once messy garage is the best place to find everything we need.
As evidenced by this before shot from a few years ago, we desperately needed some garage storage solutions that made sense.
Sometimes just dedicating a weekend to tackle decluttering on the to-do list is the first step to make the entire process move faster.
Garage Makeover Before and After
As you begin to make a plan for your garage makeover, think about how you can create zones:
- Plastic bins
- Holiday decorations
- Cleaning supplies
- Household tools
- Recreational items
We made space in our backyard shed as a DIY home gym, which made more space for the rest of our “zones”.
Between the gym shed and now the garage, this is basically Robert’s “man cave central”.
Here is one more before and after garage makeover shot for good measure before I dive into all of the storage solutions that helped us tame the chaos.
How To Save Money On a Garage Makeover
If you need some garage makeover ideas, here are some ways we saved along with best practice storage solutions.
Mix Old Paint
Utilizing your leftover paint stash to mix old paint together is a great way to refresh the walls of your garage while removing old cans from your wall shelves.
It’s one of the best ways to stretch your makeover budget and create plenty of room.
Remember when we did our paint storage closet organization project?
We had so many half used paint cans from all of the room makeovers we’ve done that we mixed all of our white and cream paints and mixed all of our black, gray, and brown paints in 5 gallon buckets.
Mixing paint gave us just enough to paint the walls, ceiling, doors, and trim.
Not to mention, it gave us extra space that once held leftover paint storage. Consider painting the exterior of your garage door too.
Rent a Concrete Floor Grinder
Instead of hiring a contractor to refinish our concrete garage flooring, we rented a concrete grinder and polisher to do it ourselves.
If you don’t want to grind your concrete, epoxy paint is a great idea for a fresh floor coating you can apply yourself.
For a less messy flooring alternative, consider installing rubber tiles.
We’ve had questions about how we installed shiplap in our garage wall but the paneling was already here. The beauty of an old house is the character built in.
Tip to Remember Before Organizing a Garage
It’s a total Captain Obvious statement, I know. But first things first: purge and declutter ruthlessly before ever starting any sort of garage organization plan.
Have every family member pitch in so it helps prevent the garage from being a dumping ground again in the future.
Why would you buy storage cabinets for items you won’t use?
Place items in labeled piles:
(If you plan to fix an item, write on your calendar when you plan to fix it. If you don’t, it will likely still sit in your garage unused taking up room.)
Be as minimal-minded as possible. Create as much space as you can; as you declutter, visualize the end result of a clean garage to motivate you. That alone helped our plight quite a bit.
But creepy Gummy Bob (Robert’s punching bag) made the cut, and yes, I do still scream when I see a “strange man” in our garage in the middle of the night. 🙄
The Garage Decluttering Rule
No more “well, maybe we’ll use this someday.”
If you haven’t used an item in two years, out it goes to donation if it’s usable, trash if it isn’t. That’s our rule anyway.
Not all of the stuff from those above “before” shots came back into the garage since we ruthlessly decluttered and donated a lot of things we really didn’t use.
The wooden wall-mounted shelves previous owners installed (likely from decades ago by the looks of them) really made no sense and wasted more space than they were worth.
So Robert ripped out every last piece of lumber first (and then we were able to repurpose some of it in our shed for better use).
Sports and Recreation Storage Organizers
Part of our sports equipment and recreation organization is kind of an oddball situation since we gutted our backyard shed to turn it into a home gym.
That home gym project created a lot of garage space for us since we moved the weight rack. But that was only a portion of our sports and recreation storage needs.
Here is how the gym shed looks with our workout equipment from the garage relocated.
It’s turned into a great option for a shed that was mostly crammed with unnecessary clutter before.
This was the backyard shed situation before. Total waste of space, right?
It makes so much more sense now and is like an extension of our home.
In the garage however, we still had:
- Sporting balls
- Golf equipment
- Outdoor toys
So we figured out some garage storage solutions to contain the rest of the sporting equipment on one side of the garage.
Heavy Duty Storage Bench
We used two of these heavy duty storage benches with hinged lids on top of wire bins as a catchall for balls, sports gear, sidewalk chalk, helmets, and any other small outdoor toys.
It’s the perfect place for our girls to sit and remove muddy shoes or put on roller skates.
Skateboard Storage Rack
Skateboards left on the ground are a big hazard, so we found this skateboard storage rack to keep them off of the floor.
It also serves as a place for Olivia to charge her hoverboard near an outlet.
(By the way, if you’re inspecting the before and after while analyzing this door situation, we moved the door to accommodate a new layout in our breakfast nook. But the location change worked so much better than before on the garage side of the door too.)
Golf Storage Rack
We have yet to fill up all of the shelves in this golf storage rack.
It’s a great addition for anyone who plays golf, but I love that we have extra room for any additional sporting goods that come our way since Olivia is getting into golf lately too.
For now, this rack is the perfect solution for Robert’s golf bag and golf balls.
(My grandfather collected old golf balls for literally decades, and Robert still has a lot of them despite using them on the course all the time.)
Surprisingly, we didn’t feel the need to rig up a wall mounted bike rack in our garage since we had this alcove space under our stairs to park them.
Thankfully, we have plenty of wall space if we ever change our minds.
By having them in easy reach, they’re more readily accessible for the kids (and us) to use.
Tools and Paint Storage
Before figuring out garage storage solutions for all of our paint, home project supplies, and tools, we did a major decluttering and donated some to Habitat for Humanity.
Spray Paint Storage Rack
I found the perfect storage rack for spray paint cans because we always have many colors, primers, and sealers in our stash.
We always need them at a moment’s notice in the middle of a project, so this one was a must.
We can easily see what we have and fill in the gaps of our paint supplies as needed.
Tool Storage Chest
So many of our tools and project supplies that were scattered all over our garage fit perfectly in this tool storage chest (that I found at a discount this summer to give to Robert as a Father’s Day gift).
Having a storage system for tool organization is 100% worth it.
We use it to store every small project supply you can think of (other than items relating to paint).
- Small power tools
- Batteries / charging docks
- Hammers / screwdrivers / wrenches / pliers
- Tape measures / levels
- Extension cords / power strips
- Drill bits / saw blades
- Trash bags
It was the biggest splurge in all of our garage storage items, but so far, it has proven to be worth it since it’s such a workhorse.
It even has a light inside of the lid so we can see what we’re doing if we’re out here working in the dark and need a task light.
Heavy Duty Wall Hangers
For things like our ladder and brooms, these heavy duty wall hangers come in handy for taking advantage of garage walls for vertical space.
They work well for storing yard tools like large shovels, rakes, pitchforks, axes, post hole diggers, and weed-eaters too.
You can see how we used them in our gardening closet last year.
Paint Closet Pegboard Storage
The project that started it all in this garage was this paint storage closet organization.
We got really lucky in that pegboard was already installed in this closet in our garage when we moved in.
So we reinforced and painted the existing pegboard and Robert built shelving using scrap wood in the sides of the closet.
Since we don’t have space for a “man cave room”, Robert used this little corner of the garage to display all of his Marine Corps mementos above the workbench.
We opted for this workbench on wheels that we can roll out into the middle of the garage floor space if we ever need room to cut or clamp a long piece of lumber.
And the drawers allow us extra storage for any other small tools we need handy.
We end up with so many different sized screws, nuts, hanging kits, hooks, etc that we hung up three of these hardware organizers for easy access and used this label maker to keep track of what hardware pieces are in which drawers.
We hung up this plug-in work light so we don’t have to worry about hardwiring, and we’re in business!
As for other commonly stored garage items, we realized it made more sense to relocate our seasonal items to our attic.
If we ever need it, we can always add these overhead storage shelves.
The most exciting part though is I can finally park my car in the garage for the first time in 5 years. It’s the little things, you know?
I’m just excited I don’t have to scrape my windshield in the dead of winter anymore.
Who wants to take bets on how long this garage will stay clean? I’m hoping forever, so we’ll see how life and messy projects treat this place.
More Home Organizing Ideas
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Mix together leftover latex based paint you’ve stored to paint your garage walls.
2. Utilize pegboard for storing small tools.
3. Keep like items together.
4. Screw ceiling hooks into joists to store bikes.
5. Add shelves to organize storage bins.
6. Upgrade your garage floor with epoxy paint.
Installing cabinets, a workbench, and shelves can help add value to a garage. Also consider insulating and painting walls and resurface your garage floor with a concrete grinder, epoxy paint, or interlocking floor tiles.