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Garage storage ideas: Handy solutions for bikes, tools, cleaning products & more

Sometimes, keeping on top of all the stuff in your garage can feel like an impossible chore. Not only does a jumble of clutter make it harder to find the items you really need, but it can also make it a struggle to fit your car in your garage. In fact, according to one survey, nearly half of all garages in Britain are no longer used to store cars, and almost two in five of those polled claimed their garage space was so full of household clutter they could no longer fit their vehicle inside (RAC).

If this sounds all too familiar, then it could be time to give your garage an overhaul. With these clever garage storage ideas, you'll have more space for your car, and you'll be able to find what you need faster, too. Even if you don't need the space for parking, then a well-organised garage will still help you to make the most of your available space.

In this guide, we've shared some of our top garage storage ideas, including handy tips and tricks for storing common household items. We'll cover:

We'll also discuss which of our garage storage boxes you'll need to create an easy-to-access, secure and sturdy organisation system. Just read on to learn everything you'll need to know.

How to declutter your garage

If you're overwhelmed by excess clutter you don’t need or want, then a good clear-out will make your garage storage much easier to manage. So, in this section, we'll discuss how to declutter a garage with minimum stress.

This process could take a while, so you'll might want to set aside a full weekend for this, depending on how much clutter you have. It will also help to check the weather forecast and schedule your clear-out for a day with dry weather, as you may find that need to use your outside space as an overflow area when reorganising.

Set aside room for your car

If your goal is to have enough room to park a car in your garage, consider creating a parking space as a guide. This will illustrate the total space your car will need, so you'll know exactly how much room you've got left for storage during the organisation process. It will also make it easier to park in the future, too.

If your garage is already full to the brim, then you'll need to move everything out into a garden or yard before you do this. Then, you'll need to park your car in the garage, making sure that you've got plenty of space to exit the vehicle and shut the garage door.

Next, it's time to paint your parking space. You may want to use masking tape as a guide, to ensure that the lines are straight. Once your lines have dried, you can move your car outside again. Now you've got the parking space on the floor, you'll know how much room is available for storage, and which areas will be taken up by your car.

If painting a space isn’t an option, or you think you need something you can see as you park, then you could also try hanging a small item from the ceiling: when your windscreen meets the object, then you'll know your car is in exactly the right place. Little Things has some great tips for to making your own parking guide using a tennis ball, which is brightly coloured and soft enough not to damage your windscreen.

If it’s a real squeeze, then adding a bit of protection to the concrete walls of your garage can help to protect your paintwork from accidental scratches during parking. Mounting a few lengths of old carpet to the walls of your garage can help to cushion your car in the event of a mishap, as can foam pool noodles that've been cut in half lengthways. These are especially handy if you struggle to open your car door without hitting the wall.

Sort through your clutter and decide what to keep

A good decluttering session will make it much easier to re-organise your garage, and mean you’re not wasting precious storage space on items you never use. So, once you've established how much space you have for storage, then it's time to start working through your belongings and deciding which things you will no longer need.

At this stage, it's best to take a methodical approach. Think carefully about each item, and then sort everything into three categories: things you want to keep; things you want to throw away; and items you no longer want, but think you could donate or sell.

    • What to do with things you want to keep

This will include anything you use frequently, along with seasonal essentials which are only used at certain times of the year, like Christmas decorations or summer garden equipment. These can be set aside, to be re-organised later.

    • What to do with things you want to throw away

Much of the meaningless clutter in your garage can just be thrown away. If you've got more to throw than you can fit in your bin, then pack up the car and take it to the tip. You'll feel much better once you've gotten rid of it once and for all. Don’t forget that materials like glass, cardboard and plastic can be recycled, as can electrical goods and certain clothing — just take a look at Recycle Now to find out how and where.

    • Things you want to donate or sell

Chances are, much of the clutter you've got piled up in your garden simply isn't used often enough to be worth keeping. But, before you throw it all away, stop to consider whether an item is something you can sell or donate. You may have quality items that other people could benefit from in the future.

Whether it’s a garden gadget or power tool you bought years ago, there's still a good chance that it may fetch a decent price online, so check out auction sites to see how much similar items are selling for.

If you're not sure your items are worth selling, then you can also consider donating them. Recycling services like the Conservation Foundation will repair and refurbish your unwanted garden tools, and pass them on to schools and social groups for outdoor projects in the community.

Now that you've streamlined your possessions, you’re ready to start getting organised!

Getting started: How to organise your garage

These guidelines will tell you how to organise your garage, to help you learn the basics of efficient garage storage. If you're looking for tips and tricks for bulky or awkwardly shaped items, then check out our tips on how to store bikes, tools, and household cleaning equipment.

Group your items in logical zones

When implementing a storage system, you'll want to group your items according to purpose. So, you'll want to make sure that all gardening equipment is stored together, for example. A logical layout like this will help you to find the things you need much faster. You may also want to use colour co-ordination to make it easier to distinguish where different types of items are stored.

Store items according to how frequently you use them

It makes sense to store items according to how often you need them. Everyday items — like cleaning products — will need to be easier to reach, while seasonal items you don’t need very often can go in harder-to-reach areas. If you frequently need to move certain items out of the garage, then consider storing them on wheels, as this allows you to move them without the need for heavy lifting. Our selection of plastic storage boxes with wheels are perfect for bulkier items, like gardening equipment or children's outdoor toys and games.

Keep storage to the edges of your garage

When it comes to garage storage, the golden rule is to build storage upwards, rather than outwards: this will help you to keep everything accessible and free up valuable floorspace. If you plan to park your car in the garage, then keeping storage against the walls of your garage will also leave as much space as possible for your vehicle. Just remember to ensure that all storage units are securely bracketed to the wall: you don’t want them falling and injuring you, or damaging your car.

Maximise any dead space with overhead garage storage

If you have any available wall space above your garage door, use it! You can make the most of this space by installing overhead shelves. This space is a great place to store essential but less frequently used items, like Christmas decorations — try storing delicate decorations and baubles in one of our Christmas decoration boxes.

Keep storage easy to access

When creating a storage system, you'll want to make sure that everything is easy to access. That means being smart about how you stack your storage boxes. You'll want to avoid stacking all your storage boxes up in a pile: while this might save floor space, it will be difficult to access the lower boxes when you eventually need to get something out of them.

Instead, store your boxes on shelving units. These will be much more accessible than those stacked up, as you won’t need to rearrange them every time you need something from one of the lower boxes. And, as long as you bracket the unit to the wall, you won't have to worry about your boxes toppling over, either.

If shelving units aren't an option for you, then you could also consider using plastic storage drawers or storage boxes which have an opening on the front. This will mean you don’t have to unstack the boxes every time you need to access them: instead, you can just grab and go. Our open-fronted boxes and bins are ideal for this sort of storage, and they’re available in a range of colours and sizes.

Label boxes and use colour co-ordination

Clearly labelling all of your boxes and drawers will help to establish what’s inside, so you won't need to waste time rummaging around to find what you need. It will also make it easier to put things back in their proper place once you've finished with them.

If you want to be able to locate items when you need items quickly, then colour co-ordinated boxes are a handy way to group certain items together when they won't all fit into one box. For instance, you could store all gardening equipment in green boxes, all cleaning equipment in red ones, and sports equipment in blue styles. This way, you can tell at a glance which equipment is where.

If you want to see exactly what’s inside each box, then clear plastic boxes will let you find what you need quickly and easily. For maximum accessibility, you could use transparent boxes with colour co-ordinated lids, to make it even easier to group boxes together. Our selection of clear boxes includes a range of different sizes and styles, including boxes with coloured lids, so you can see what's inside and colour co-ordinate your storage system at the same time.

Make sure your boxes are up to the job

When storing items in your garage, you'll need to bear in mind that it isn’t quite like other areas of the home. For one thing, garages tend to be unheated, which means that they can be more susceptible to damp, and moisture inside your storage boxes can lead to mould, rot and rust. They also tend to be dustier than other areas of the house, which can damage power tools and other electricals.

So, it’s important to find storage boxes that will provide adequate protection against moisture, dust, and dirt. Our range of boxes with clip-on lids will seal out moisture for extra protection, and they'll stop dust from settling on your stuff, too. Items stored in the garage also tend to get knocked about from time to time (just think what happens when your kids need to find a garden toy or game in a hurry) so it's well worth investing in some tougher boxes. Our super-tough collection of heavy-duty boxes includes some of the sturdiest styles on the market, so you can rely on them to store heavier items safely.

Tools on the wall in garage

Garage tool storage ideas

Tools are among the most difficult items to store, so when it comes to garage tool storage, you'll need to make sure you’re doing it right. Often awkwardly shaped and sometimes dangerous or sharp, you'll need to make sure you're storing your tools safely, so you won’t injure yourself when trying to access them.

In this section, we've shared a few smart garage tool storage ideas that will help you to store every item in your tool box, as well as some advice on storing smaller accessories such as nuts and bolts.

Storing smaller tools

If you only have a few tools which you rarely need, then a toolbox with a carry handle is a great option, as you can easily carry the box the other areas of the house when you need to do some DIY. But, if you have lots of tools, or you use them very frequently for crafts or DIY projects, then a wall-mounted pegboard could be the right option for you. This will allow you to see all of your tools at a glance, and it’s an efficient way to use wall space.

Metal tools are susceptible to rust, so hanging them up on a wall can also help to protect them from the moisture and damp that often form on concrete floors. If you're storing your tools in boxes and drawers, adding small packets of silica (the kind that often comes in cardboard packages and shoeboxes) can help to absorb moisture and ward off rust.

Storing power tools

Power tools are best stored in the hard cases they are sold with, as these will provide them with proper protection from accidental knocks and drops. But, if you don't have a case for your power tools, then a durable plastic box should keep them safe — you could even try lining yours with some foam padding for extra protection.

Dust and dirt can jam the motors and stick the lubricant, so you'll want to store them in a case or box with a lid that will prevent particles from settling on your tools. If your garage is particularly dusty, then you could even cover your tool boxes with dust sheets for an additional layer of protection.

Power tools can also be dangerous in the wrong hands so, if you have children, you may want to store them on a high shelf, to prevent little ones from using them as toys. Power tools are also susceptible to water damage and rust, so keeping them off the floor can help to keep them free from damp, too.

Nut and bolt storage

For nuts, bolts, washers and nails, you'll want a box with multiple small compartments to keep everything separate. An organiser with multiple drawers or lidded boxes will allow you to access the exact piece you need, without disturbing the contents of the other compartments. This is also a great way to store drill bits, replacement parts and other small bits and pieces. Our selection of compartment boxes includes carry-case options, which are ideal if you'll be carrying your toolkit around the house and garden for various odd jobs.

Bike Storage

Garage bike storage ideas

Given their size and awkward shape, bikes can be tricky to store. They take up a lot of space, and they're easily knocked over — meaning they're more likely to be damaged or fall onto your car. Here, we've shared three of the best garage bike storage ideas, to help keep your pride and joy stored safely and efficiently.

    • Hang it

If you have the available wall space, hanging your bike on a wall-mounted rack can be an efficient way to save space, particularly if you have limited room on the floor. Just make sure your bike rack is securely bracketed to the garage wall, as a fall from a height is likely to damage your bike.

    • Store it vertically

A vertical bike rack, like this one from the Bike Storage Company, can help you to save valuable floor space. This is a great option if you have a heavier bike and think you might struggle to lift it up over your head every time you need to put it away.

    • Use a hoist or pulley

Ideal for taller garages or those with space in the eaves, a pulley will hang your bike up out of the way. You should bear in mind that if you plan to store your bike over your car, then you won't be able to access it while your car is in the garage.

If you're a frequent rider, then you'll want to store your bike accessories nearby, so keep your helmets and any repair kits near your bike rack in an easy-access box, like one of our plastic baskets. 

Brushes

How to organise and store chemicals, paint, and cleaning products in your garage

Special care needs to be taken when storing chemicals, paint and cleaning products. These items can be potentially hazardous, and they can also lead to leaks, spills, and stains, so you'll need to make sure they're stored safely. Here, we share how you can make efficient use of your space.

Chemical storage tips: How to store household chemicals

Chemicals such as weed killer, rat poison, garden pesticides, paint strippers and bleach can be toxic if consumed, and they can also cause severe damage to the skin and eyes. That's why it’s so important that these potentially dangerous products are stored in a secure, lockable cabinet or box, where children and pets won’t be able to access them. Our sturdy Lockaboxes have a combination lock, meaning you can keep your chemical products secure without having to worry about losing the key.

When storing chemicals, you should always keep them in their original containers. This is because the manufacturer's instructions are usually printed on the side of the packaging, and it’s important to keep this information close to the product. The original packaging has also been specially designed to prevent leaks and keep the chemical secure, so don’t decant it into another bottle.

Tips for safe paint storage

When storing tins of paint, you'll need to remember a few things to prevent spillages and keep your paint in good condition. If air gets inside the tin, it can cause the paint the spoil or dry out, so you'll need to ensure that it is properly sealed after each use. Paint will also spoil if it’s stored at too high a temperature, so you'll need to pick a spot in your garage that's away from any heat sources (like air vents, or tumble dryers).

Guard against leaks

A leaky paint tin will stick to your garage floor or shelves, staining your surfaces and making it hard to remove them when you next need them. So, it’s important to make sure your tins are properly sealed before you store them away.

To re-seal a tin of paint, you'll need to clean all of the paint out of sealing rim with a damp cloth while it's still wet. Then, when it's completely clean, gently hammer the lid back into place with a rubber-headed mallet — be careful not to use too much force, as this may alter the shape of the seal, allowing air into the tin that could ruin the paint.

Store it upright

Some people claim that storing paint cans upside down is the most effective way to keep the contents fresh, as the paint supposedly forms an airtight seal against the lid. However, this is a myth, according to Dulux, who claim that storing paint upside down can actually increase the chances of damage to the lid, causing paint spoilage and leaks. So, it's best to store your paint tins in an upright position.

Although a properly sealed, upright tin is unlikely to leak, it’s still a good idea to put down a layer of tough waterproof fabric, like oilcloth, in the area where you plan to store your paint tins. This way, your tins won’t stain or stick to your garage surfaces, even if the tin becomes damaged.

Store your paint securely in a dry, airtight place

Paint tins tend to be made from metal, meaning they can become rusty if exposed to moisture, and rust will alter the colour of your paint. So, you'll want to store your tins in an airtight box or container to keep them dry. As these tins can be quite heavy, your boxes will need to be sturdy — something from our selection of heavy-duty containers should be tough enough to store multiple tins of paint safely.

If your garage is particularly damp, then a few sachets of silica (you can usually find these in shoe boxes) will help to prevent moisture from building up inside the box.

Tips for cleaning product storage

Keeping every room in your home clean can require a whole host of different cleaning products. But all those different lotions and potions can take up a substantial amount of cupboard space, making them difficult to store. Our cleaning product storage tips will make the most of the room you've got, and will keep your cleaning products and equipment easy to access when you’re in a hurry.

    • Sprays, aerosols, and liquid cleaning products

These are likely to be among the most frequently used cleaning items, so accessibility and portability are essential. A caddy with a carry handle will allow you to grab what you need and transport to other areas of the house for cleaning. Or, if you have an internal garage door, a plastic over-door organiser is a great way to store individual bottles and cans in a way that is easy to access. Remember that all cleaning products should be stored in their original containers, as these are specially designed to keep the product secure.

    • Mops and brooms

Taller cleaning equipment — like mops and brooms — can be prone to falling over, so if your mops and brooms have a hole at the top of the handle, then consider hanging them on a wall or shelf using wall-mounted hooks to keep them in place. If they don’t, then try bracketing a broom holder to the wall, instead. These are relatively inexpensive, and it will keep your mops securely in place and out of the way.

How to keep your garage organised for good

Getting your garage organised is only half the battle. Now that you've created a space for everything, you'll need to make sure that you keep on top of it, so it doesn't become disorganised again.

Even though it's tempting to just chuck things back in any old order, you could soon find yourself back at square one with a disorganised garage. But, sticking to your storage system will help make sure you can always find everything when you need it, so try to make a special effort to put items back in the proper place once you’re finished with them. It can help to label your boxes clearly with an inventory of the contents: this way, you'll be able to put items back exactly where you found them.

In terms of keeping your garage clutter-free, it can also help to follow a 'one item in, one item out' rule. This means that for every new item you buy, you throw away (or donate) something you already own. This will help you to stay on top of your possessions, and ensure your garage doesn’t end up overrun by excess clutter.

If you find that your garage gradually becomes disorganised despite your best efforts, then set aside a couple of hours a month to get everything straightened out. Spending a little time on your garage once a month will help to avoid things getting messy, meaning you won’t have a big job on your hands in six months' time.

Now that you've read our garage storage ideas, you're ready to get organised. Just take these tips on board, get yourself some garage storage, and you'll soon have a clutter-free garage with plenty of efficient storage space. Looking for more home storage solutions? Don’t forget to check out our guides to kitchen cupboard organisation and wardrobe storage to find more inspiration.

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