Here’s Your Intro to Garage Storage and Organization

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse for Hunker

Let's all just admit it — the garage is the ​last​ place we think about when designing a home. It's not in a "fun" space (unless you transform it into one) like a game room or bar. It's simply a place to park our cars and bikes, tuck away gardening tools, and hide a wide variety of other stuff, right? As such, it's easy to get overwhelmed whenever you dare to think about organizing the chaos that has collected over the years.

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Surprisingly, garage organization can actually be quite satisfying. Suddenly, you'll be able to find everything faster. Yard work will be a breeze — well, at least finding your rakes and shovels will be a lot easier. Everything will hang on the wall or will reside neatly in bins, and you might even find that you have room left over for a tiny workshop or a gym.

From tiny solutions to budget ideas to clever hacks, here is our beginner's guide to garage storage and organization.

Small Space Solutions for Garage Storage and Organization

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Even if your garage is on the smaller side, you can still organize it like a pro. You'll just have to think a little more creatively.

Like any garage organization project, start with a good plan. Instead of buying a bunch of bulky bins and other storage items in advance (which may leave you with too many bins and not enough space), plan out exactly what you want to accomplish. Next, do a full edit. Separate items into piles of "keep," "donate," "sell," and "trash." Once you know for sure what items need to be organized, get planning.

Another key element to consider when organizing a small garage is vertical space — take your storage upwards wherever you can. Invest in sturdy, durable shelving that goes to the ceiling and allows you to stash storage bins neatly out of sight. Or, hang items high up on the walls.

Another tip when tackling storage in a spatially challenged room is to come up with "zones." For example, dedicate separate areas to gardening must-haves, toys, car supplies, everything you need for biking, etc. This is helpful in any garage, but it's especially convenient in a small garage when you're trying to make the most of every square inch.

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Budget Solutions for Garage Storage and Organization

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When you're on a tight budget, organizing a big space like the garage can seem intimidating. Luckily, it can be done with some ingenuity.

As we mentioned earlier, you need to devise an organizational plan before you start buying storage items. This will help you stick to your budget so you won't waste precious pennies on things you don't really need. One nice thing about garage organization is that bins and other helpful storage items aren't all that expensive. Instead of searching for pretty baskets or high-quality fabric bins, you'll be looking for pieces that are tough and durable: Think plastic, canvas, wood, and metal. IKEA and Walmart are particularly great places to score cost-effective options. If you buy your own shelving and bins, you won't need to plunk money down on a high-priced garage storage system.

Also, don't forget about pegboards. They're not pricey and they're ideal for hanging up tools and gardening essentials.

DIY Solutions for Garage Storage and Organization

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Going the DIY route can be another effective way to save money as you take on garage storage and organization. Plus, it's a way to customize your space to fit your style, too.

First, keep in mind that inexpensive scrap wood is a great resource for wall hooks, brackets, and even DIY shelving. Simply search YouTube and/or Pinterest to track down tutorials. If you're not especially handy, you can always go super-straightforward by hanging your own hooks throughout the garage. It's a DIY touch that will go a long way and won't require an entire weekend of work.

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But if you do want to try your hand at making your own garage storage solutions, you can craft useful wall shelving. Whether your garage is finished or not, things like cabinets, shelving, or a copper pipe tool organizer can take your walls from ordinary to oh-so-valuable.

Go-To Products for Garage Storage and Organization

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You can plan and plan and plan, but if you don't have the right products and essentials, your dreams of an organized garage won't become a reality.

For tools and gardening accoutrements, we again sing the praises of pegboards along with small tables that can double as workstations, hefty plastic bins, and wall cabinets. Shelving will allow you to go vertical with your garage organization, too.

Also, don't forget about bike storage. Bicycles are unwieldy things that aren't easy to integrate into an organizational plan, so be sure to buy products to corral them and everything that goes with them. Racks, pulleys, wood pegs, and hooks can be especially helpful here.

If you're able to play with your budget a bit, you could invest in a garage storage system. You can purchase a modular storage system from Lowe's or The Home Depot so you don't have to go off in search of items every time you need something. And you can customize it to fit perfectly within your space.

Where to Shop for Garage Storage and Organization

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Amazon

The Home Depot

Lowe's

The Container Store

Target

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Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.