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garage storage tips

Everyone needs more storage. If you have space, the garage is a very good storage place.

But not all storage is created equal. Some things need to be accessible at all times; other things we see only every 10 years when we move, but we want to keep them anyway.

The problem with storage is that we forget what we have. Or else, we remember what we have - but forget where we stored it. Either way, the result is the same - we can't put our hands on it.

These garage storage tips can help make sense of all our stuff.

  • Store only what you are fairly sure you'll use again; 
  • Record where you put it; 
  • Put things you use most often in the most accessible places.

The garage storage system below can help you keep track of all the items you've stashed in your garage. 

Start by dividing your garage into 3 distinct storage areas based on how often you'll need to access the items inside.

short-term garage storage tips.

This is for things you'll need in the next three months or things that you need intermittently, such as items you buy in bulk.

Short-term also includes items that you don't use often but need to keep handy, such as boots, flashlights, and umbrellas.

mid-term garage storage tips.

These are things you use seasonally, such as Christmas trees, grills, hammocks, and snow boards. Put them in lofts or stack them in boxes, but don't push them all the way to the back of the garage.

long-term garage storage tips.

These are things you don't really need but can't really part with, either, such as old tax records, your daughter's first dress, your children's artwork, mementos, and family treasures that you can't stand but will pass down anyway. Put these at the dark back inaccessible corners of the garage.

tips for organizing garage storage.

The first challenge of using the garage for storage is that unlike most rooms, the garage is not exactly furnished.

You will need a lot of storage "furniture" to make the garage work for your family. If you're furnishing your garage from scratch, the good news is that these catchall furnishings don't need to be attractive, just functional. And they don't have to be expensive, either. 

Here are some systems that you might consider for your garage, depending on what you use it for.

You will probably need a combination to meet all your needs. These furnishing options are arranged from most to least expensive.

Garage cabinets from floor to ceiling.

This one of the most attractive options, and it's also one of the most expensive. The advantages of this system is that all your unsightly items are out of sight.

You can organize them well, and you can keep them relatively dust-free and clean. For neatness, this might be the right choice. 

Garage cabinets and counters.

Some people install garage cabinets and counters, just like you'd have in a kitchen. Of course, this too is an expensive solution.

You do have the convenience of drawers or small items. And you can keep things relatively clean. But it's obviously not for everyone.

Overhead garage storage.

For the long-term storage of items that you use only once in a blue moon, you might want to invest in overhead garage storage.

Overhead storage is generally a platform suspended about 4 or 5 feet from the ceiling. These are great for storing mementos, old financial records, and other stuff you don't need right now but can't part with. It keeps them dry and out of harm's way. 

Specialized racks.

For just about anything that you want to hang or store, there is a specialized rack designed specifically for it.

There are racks to store balls, tennis supplies, you name it. If you have a passion - biking, tennis, fishing, golf - and have expensive equipment, you might want to invest in proper storage for it.


These are boards filled with holes on which you hang things with special hooks. Pegboards are very handy garage storage because everything is accessible and in plain view yet not on the floor. Pegboards are great for storing bikes, gardening tools, work tools, and sports equipment.

Lidded plastic containers.

Remember that the garage is a really dirty place. Protect anything that's not sealed by storing it in plastic lidded containers. Wheeled containers are great for toy pickup at the end of the day.

Check out the Clean Organized Home Store for garage organizing and storage products and tools to get you started.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.