The 10 Best Garage Storage Systems to Organize Your Space
Even though garages aren't storage units, they're often the best place in your home to put tools, sports and lawn equipment, and other seasonal items (like holiday decorations). But since it's so easy to lose track of your belongings and end up with clutter, it's important to invest in a garage storage system to keep everything organized.
To come up with this list, we thoroughly researched the best garage storage systems on the market and narrowed down the options by considering factors such as size, material, and ease of installation. We made sure to include a variety of styles—including simple plastic storage bins and overhead options that take up no floor space—to suit garages of all sizes. For expert input, we tapped three professional organizers to learn more about their favorite garage organizers and get their recommendations on how to maximize storage space.
Our top pick, the King's Rack Bin Rack Storage System, is a great way to organize all your loose items and keep them in a place that's easily accessible. It has 22 plastic bin drawers in three different sizes, so you can store tools, gardening necessities, craft supplies, hardware, and more.
Here are the best garage storage systems, plus expert tips on how to choose a garage organizer for your needs.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Garage Storage System: King's Rack 6-Tier Bin Rack Storage System
- Best Budget Garage Storage System: Minchi257 13-Piece Wall-Mounted Tool Holder
- Best Overhead Garage Storage System: Fleximounts Overhead Garage Storage Rack
- Best Pegboard Garage Storage System: Wall Control Pegboard Organizer
- Best Garage Storage Bins: Hefty 72-Qt. Clear Storage Bin With Blue Hi-Rise Lid
- Best Garage Storage Shelves: Shop Style Selections 5-Tier Steel Utility Shelves
- Best Garage Storage Cabinets: Husky Steel Freestanding Garage Cabinet
- Best Splurge Garage Storage System: Elfa Utility Garage and Planting Solution
- Best Garage Storage System for Tools: Rubbermaid Garage Tool Tower Rack
- Best Garage Storage System for Sports Equipment: The Container Store Heavy-Duty Sports Storage Rack
Best Overall Garage Storage System: King's Rack 6-Tier Bin Rack Storage System
Best Budget Garage Storage System: Minchi257 13-Piece Wall-Mounted Tool Holder
Best Overhead Garage Storage System: Fleximounts Overhead Garage Storage Rack
Best Pegboard Garage Storage System: Wall Control Pegboard Organizer
Best Garage Storage Bins: Hefty 72 Qt. Clear Storage Bin With Blue Hi-Rise Lid
Best Garage Storage Shelves: Shop Style Selections 5-Tier Steel Utility Shelves
Best Garage Storage Cabinets: Husky Steel Freestanding Garage Cabinet
Best Splurge Garage Storage System: Elfa Utility Garage and Planting Solution
Best Garage Storage System for Tools: Rubbermaid Garage Tool Tower Rack
Best Garage Storage System for Sports Equipment: The Container Store Heavy-Duty Sports Storage Rack
It's hard to pick just one garage storage system because a lot of these items can technically work well together for the most space-saving efficiency. However, our best overall pick is the King's Rack Bin Rack Storage System because the open bins are perfect for storing things you need often, and the laminated countertop can store extra boxes or serve as a convenient workspace.
But if you have a small garage, then we recommend the Fleximounts Overhead Garage Storage Rack because it takes up no floor space. It's ideal for storing large items and things you don't need regular access to, like holiday decorations, ski gear, and ladders.
How to Shop for Garage Storage Systems Like a Pro
Even though there are so many different garage storage solutions, you'll have to cater to the space you have and your storage needs to decipher what's best for you. For instance, a garage with a low ceiling isn't ideal for overhead storage. If you have a large garage with a lot of floor and wall space (even if it's hiding behind all your stuff), you can opt for large shelves and cabinets. But if you're super tight on space—perhaps your floorspace is practically nonexistent when you park your car—you should make use of overhead and wall-mounted storage systems.
Since we tend to put bulky and heavy items in the garage, storage systems for this space are usually designed and built differently from those we would have in our bedroom, for instance. These storage solutions are typically heavy-duty and designed to hold a lot of weight. Cheaper shelving won't have a generous weight capacity, but many mid-range and high-end shelves can hold a lot more than you'd expect. That means even your heaviest tools and garden machinery, like chainsaws and mowers, can be catered to. But you should still take extra precautions by securing all shelves to the walls for safety reasons.
Storage solutions for the garage are often made of heavy-duty materials like steel and durable plastic, which might be a tad more expensive. Some of the more affordable items on the market are made from cheaper plastic—but keep in mind that because they won't be able to hold as much weight, they're susceptible to damage and will likely need to be replaced after a while. And since the garage is one area of the house that's prone to mold, mildew, or water damage, shelves or cabinets made from rust-resistant metal are ideal.
While most garage storage systems (like smaller shelves, bins, and wall-mounted hooks) can easily be DIYed, larger options (like cabinets, whole-wall shelving, and overhead storage) could be a little tricky to install by yourself. You might need the help of a professional for certain larger systems, but many retailers offer installation services for an additional fee. Alternatively, you can always hire a handyperson to help you install the storage system.
Questions You Might Ask
What should you store in your garage?
It always comes down to your personal storage needs, but garages are commonly used to store tools, sports equipment, holiday decorations, garden and lawn essentials, and seasonal items that you don't need to access often. While it may be tempting to use this space as a catchall for anything that doesn't fit neatly inside your home, a more mindful approach will ensure that your garage stays organized.
"The biggest mistake people make with garage space is using it as a dumping ground for items that aren't easily tidied," Thompson says, adding that you should be "both intentional and mindful about what is stored in your garage." Ask yourself how you need the space to work for you, whether it's making room to park a car, storing specific equipment and supplies, or both.
"Most of the items inside my clients' garages are leftovers… They're simply dropped in the first available spot," says Huzenman. "Make sure what's inside the garage actually belongs there; don't keep outdated and damaged items."
What's the best way to organize a messy garage on a budget?
The first step to organizing a messy garage on a budget is by decluttering. Start by assessing your belongings and making three piles: keep, donate, and throw out. Then, arrange for a charity drop-off or collection as soon as possible to empty the space. Once you're left with only your "keep" pile, start to sort items and decide where to put them. For more tips, check out our garage organizing checklist.
Once you've decluttered your space, it's time to get organized. All the experts we talked to recommend labeling boxes and bins so that you can swiftly find any item you're looking for as soon as you need it. Blakey recommends using index card pockets because "you can swap out the labels as often as you need to" without having to peel off old labels.
The organizing pros also suggest getting things off the ground by utilizing shelving units and wall-mounted racks. When you get things off the floor, it "instantly transforms the look of your garage," according to Blakey. Large bins and boxes with lids are the first things you should look for because they're a great way to keep your items in order without spending a lot of money. Wall-mountable options like hooks are another often-inexpensive way to utilize unused space.
Can you install garage storage systems yourself?
You sure can. Unless they're complex systems consisting of large wall-to-wall shelving or heavy-duty cabinets that would be akin to installing a new kitchen by yourself, you'll likely be able to install your garage storage solutions on your own. Smaller shelving units and wall-mountable hooks need very minimal setup, while bins and boxes need none. Most other units come with simple-to-understand instructions and don't require more than a hammer to put together. But if you'd rather have help, you can always hire a professional to install your new garage storage system for you.
Take Our Word for It
This article was originally written by Christie Calucchia, a former commerce editor for Real Simple, and it was recently updated by Kat de Naoum, a writer with over 10 years of experience covering products. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, they researched multiple garage storage systems, considering factors like size, material, durability, cost, and ease of installation. They also spoke to three professional organizers for expert insight on garage storage systems: Pia Thompson of Sweet Digs, Cindy Huzenman of Cindyology, and Holly Blakey, the owner of Breathing Room Organization.