Who hasn’t pined for those uber-efficient garage storage systems where everything hangs from the walls, leaving vast expanses of shiny floors? Now, who actually wants to spend that kind of money? Fortunately, you can still organize your garage while spending much less.
Reuse, Recycle, Reorganize
Go through your garage and look for any items you didn’t want to throw away and see if any could be mounted to your walls, rafters or ceiling studs to simultaneously de-clutter and provide storage. Some items that make for great garage storage include old towel bars (for hanging anything with a hook or a handle, including lids that have knobs), old mailboxes (for tiny tools or random hardware), louvered shutters (mount vertically and use for filing or hanging anything that fits between the slats) and wooden ladders (great for attaching between rafters for high-hanging storage).
A ready-made flat trellis — or simply a sheet of lattice — can serve the same purposes as pegboard but with easier installation. The overlapping cross pieces of lattice allow you to hang just about anything from it with the aid of S-hooks. Simply screw the lattice into studs, horizontally or vertically. If the desired size doesn’t allow you to attach all the weight-bearing edges to studs, drill into the wallboard or concrete wall to use the appropriate anchors for your screws.
Suspend and Slide
Those lidded plastic bins that come in so handy for storing out-of-season clothing and all the other odds and ends we don’t need every day still wind up taking up either floor or shelf space — unless you create a sliding rack for them up against the garage ceiling. First, measure your clearance and make sure that the depth of the bins won’t intrude into space needed for people, cars or garage door retraction. Next, check that the bin lids lock tightly onto the containers, since it’s that lid lip that will be sliding on the track you are about to build. To create the “track,” use heavy-duty T-molding or make your own by attaching 1x2s across your joists and then screwing stop molding into each piece. The safest way to measure is to attach one side of your track, then while holding a (preferably empty) bin so that one side is in the track you’ve made, mark the position of the track for the other side. When you’re finished, you should be able to slide several bins into the tracks — the length of your track will be determined by the number of bins you have to store.