Garage Storage Systems Explained

storage cabinet in a garage
  • 4-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-2,000

Using garage storage systems to organize your garage can add a great deal of functionality and organization to that space in your home.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a garage storage system, including what type to use, where to install, and how much to spend.

Step 1 - Decide on a Type

There are several different systems for organizing the garage. One is a simple system you put together yourself.

Use a series of plastic or metal shelves and accessories such as storage bins and tubs. If it is well planned, this kind of system can result in a functional garage space, and may save you some money over the other types of garage systems.

A grooved panel garage storage system uses grooved plastic panels, similar to retail slat walls, to cover the walls. These panels can accommodate a variety of storage units, including cabinets or shelves.

They hang from the slats in a wide variety of patterns.

A grid storage system uses a grid attached to the wall. Once the grid is attached to the studs, you can add a variety of bins, work surfaces, and storage units that attach to the grid.

There are also pegboard systems, although they do not generally include cabinetry. Still, they do offer a wide variety of organizers and bins that attach to the pegboard. These systems can be used in combination with cabinets or shelves purchased separately.

Each of these systems varies in cost and convenience, so research is important in this initial stage of the process. Do you want to install a grid or grooved panel across the entire wall? Or do you want individual, freestanding units?

Step 2 - Design Your Storage

organized tools in a garage

After you’ve chosen a system, decide what varieties of storage shelves, drawers, and bins you want.

Look at all the items you need to store, and determine if shelves, hooks, cupboards, bins, or overhead shelves will be best for those items.

Now is also the time to consider the budget. If you are able to spend the money for cabinetry, it provides a neater look. Full-wall systems are more expensive than a system put together from individual pieces, but they do provide a finished look.

Draw out the plan. You can either use a piece of graph paper, making each square equivalent to a foot in the garage, or just make a rough sketch.

You’ll then make a list of the numbers of bins, shelves, hooks, and cupboards you need.

Step 3 - Clean Out the Garage

Don’t begin this step until you have a plan in place and the materials ready so you don’t end up moving things in and out of the garage several times.

If you expect your project to take more than a day to finish, then move items to one side of the garage, complete the work on the cleared side, and then move them to the finished side of the garage while you install the remaining product on the opposite side of the garage.

Step 4 - Install the Storage Items

shelving for garage organization

Each manufacturer will provide detailed instructions regarding its own particular products. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

Install grids, grooved wallboards, and cabinets on the studs. Standard spacing for studs is 16” for walls in homes, but some garages use 24” between studs. Use a stud finder to be sure.

If you use assorted shelving, consider stabilizing the units by attaching them to the wall to avoid accidents.